When you’re ready to choose an online giving platform, having clear guidelines can help you feel more secure that you’re making the best decision for your nonprofit.
Some of the more obvious criteria include choosing a platform with a history of being used successfully by other nonprofits, one with a reputation for performing the way it’s meant to perform, and one that has a price your nonprofit can actually afford.
Here we’ll go over some other criteria you may not have considered, but that could have a substantial impact on your organization in the long run!
Follow the 4 S’s of Platform Success
Not everyone is super tech savvy, nor should they have to be in order to run an effective online fundraising campaign. An easy-to-use interface and the availability of free demos and client support to ensure success are must-haves for any platform you consider.
A simple platform also means quick and seamless campaign execution, giving your nonprofit more time to attract and engage with donors and volunteers.
Quick and easy are features for your convenience, but don’t underestimate the importance of using a secure platform for collecting your donations and storing important donor information.
Opt for a platform with a history of minimal or zero downtime. Most websites that have experienced crashes or glitches can be exposed easily with a simple Google search.
If you were to face any issues with fundraising software, you need to know with certainty that there’s reliable support available to help you out. In other words, prioritize highly ranked customer support!
Get to Know the People Behind the Platform
They say that a company is only as good as its employees, so why not investigate them a bit further? When browsing a company’s website, see if they show value for their staff and nurture a happy working environment. If they’re not happy with their work, do you think they’ll be able to help you feel good about yours?
Also, do their employees do things like volunteer, donate, or contribute in other ways to the nonprofit causes they care about? One of the most effective ways to help someone is to understand them, so if your platform provider isn’t involved with nonprofits personally, how will they really know how to help you out?
There’s nothing more frustrating than hidden or surprise fees and unexpected technical issues, especially when your primary objective is to raise funds to help your cause.
Be sure to investigate the company’s pricing model, including whether or not they’ve been accused of having hidden fees by their prior customers. Charging more based on how many contacts you have (or some other form of tiered pricing) is also something to be aware of in advance. Also look into their history of technological issues that they may not want to readily disclose.
Lastly, take a deeper look into their platform history for any technological issues they may have had and ask what steps they’ve taken to remedy them.
Now that you have a better idea of what to look for when selecting an online giving platform for your nonprofit, remember to keep your personal values in check and trust your instinct! If you feel that a company isn’t trustworthy or truly acting out of your best interest, you’re probably right and it’s time to search elsewhere!