The Pros and Cons of Online Fundraising

online donationsOnline giving and social media have revolutionized fundraising for charities.

With online payment processors like PayPal, anyone with a credit card anywhere in the world is a potential contributor.  With social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, it’s possible for a charity to gain tens of thousands of online followers.  And those tens of thousands of followers have the capacity to spread the word about a campaign to millions of their followers.

I’ve written about several of the success stories:

If you lead a charitable organization, it seems foolish not to be using PayPal, Facebook, and Twitter to maintain relationships with donors and connect with new donors.

Donor Fatigue

The success of online fundraising, the low barrier to entry (any charity can set up PayPal, Facebook, and Twitter accounts for free in a minutes), and the growing number of people using social media, has led to an explosion in online giving campaigns and donation requests.

Hardly a day goes by when I don’t see at least one donation request on Facebook or Twitter.

If you genuinely care about people,  reading the donation requests, considering them, making a decision as to whether to give or not, and then accepting that decision can be stressful and lead to “donor fatigue.”

At some point, you begin coping with donor fatigue by closing your heart to the requests.  You read them, but don’t seriously consider them.  Or maybe you stop reading them.  Or maybe you stop following certain people/organizations who ask too often.

Tomorrow, I’m going to write about strategies for coping with donation requests, but today I want to focus on what this means for church, ministry and charity leaders.

If you understand donation request fatigue as an individual, don’t perpetuate it as church, ministry, or non-profit.  This is another situation where…

Less is more!

Limit and be strategic about when and how often you ask for donations.

Have you personally experienced “donation request fatigue?”  Church and charity leaders, how often do you ask for donations via Facebook, Twitter, & your blog?  Do you consciously limit the asks?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

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