Evaluating The Donation Management Landscape

Recent events have demonstrated the importance of supporting organizations and communities in need. Donating is a simple and effective way for brands to show support. And using your online platform is a great way to leverage your business’s voice for the greater good. Customers respect brands that resonate with them and are likely to remember a brand that goes out of their way to do something good. There are many for-profit businesses that are seeking a way to incorporate a donation aspect into their online platform but don’t know where to start.

We want to provide our expertise and research to help guide businesses who are seeking a way to incorporate a donation management platform into their digital experiences. From website extensions to a crowdfunding site, we layout potential options that could be well suited for your business.

Beginning Steps

When it comes down to selecting a donation management platform, there’s an abundance to choose from, which makes it difficult to decide which one would be best suited for your organization’s goals and needs.

The first step in deciding what solution would be best for your organization is determining what your goals and intentions are. For example, promoting a positive brand image through aligning with an organization that compliments your business is a potential goal. Trust is critical and it’s important to choose a reputable organization that aligns well with your business. Providing relevant information, such as a description of the charity, when the money will be donated, where the money will be going, and if you will make this a temporary or permanent program, are just a few ways to build trust with your customers.

Along with establishing trust with your customers, it is important to consider if you will be donating to a registered non-profit organization. For donations to qualify for a tax deduction, the organization receiving the money must be a 501(c)(3) organization.

Overview of Possible Solutions:

This is not an exhaustive list of options, but just some potential solution patterns you could choose from and an example of a possible product offering.

Simple CMS Landing Page Link

  • Consists of a CMS page created on your website with a link that redirects a user to the charity’s website
  • Beyond the amount of click-through traffic you are sending their way

Crowdfunding Site Solution

  • This would be using a third-party crowdfunding/donation site where campaigns can easily be launched through the use of externally-hosted platforms
  • Ex: gofundme

Donation Widget / Module

  • A simple way to embed payment capture on your existing website
  • Ex: PayPal

Donation Checkout Widget

  • Similar to the donation widget/module, the checkout widget has very set functionality since it is only available during the checkout process
  • Ex: Mageworx

Dedicated CRM Integration

  • This would require a CRM implementation that is dedicated to managing the activities surrounding your fundraising efforts
  • Ex: Salesforce Elevate

Commerce-Enabled Website

  • A commerce-enabled website solution is a key technology asset that can be used through the technology you already have that supports the sale of products
  • This type of solution involves a physical or symbolic product to purchase that represents a donation, such as t-shirts or “buy a lunch, give a lunch”
  • Ex: Bonfire

How Do I Make A Choice?

We’ve formed a list that represents some key levers that will help you evaluate what options are suitable for your business. There are many other factors that will influence your decision, but this is meant to be a starting point.

1. Eligibility

  • Some platforms are only available to 501(c)(3) organizations, so make sure that you pick an appropriate platform for your business status.

2. Customizability & Supporting Functionality

  • Evaluate how important aspects like, brand logo, coloring, styling, and functionality are to you and your customers.

3. Cost

  • Keep in mind the cost implications of a donation solution. The expected donation volumes should be factored into this due to payment processor fees.

4. Estimated Effort

  • Figuring out if you have the time, money, and resources in order to implement a donation management platform is a huge consideration. Not only will the effort of implementation need to be considered, but the effort of supporting it over the duration of the initiative.

Download our more in-depth brief laying out the donation management landscape and how your business can approach implementing a donation aspect into your digital experience.