How to Build and Maintain Donor Trust in the Digital Age

A retained donor smiling at her computer

The digital age has made communication and the creation of content a lot easier. However, it has also introduced a lot of digital noise and made it easier for some to deceive. That in turn has led to a general air of skepticism in the digital age, but that trust is essential for nonprofits to successfully fundraise. We’ll explain how nonprofits can use their website to build and maintain their donor trust in the digital age, and how it can even help to strengthen that trust for more effective fundraising strategies.

Donor Trust is Essential for Digital Fundraising

As a non-profit, the trust of your donors is paramount for you to continue providing your incredible services to the community. Without their trust, they are much less likely to donate to your fundraising campaigns, reducing your ability to help those in need. A multi-year survey by Give found that in the last few years, the amount of those trusting charities decreased, with only 12% of Canadians now highly trusting charities. For effective fundraising campaigns, charities need to strategize around restoring that donor trust in the digital era.

Your Website is Essential for Building Donor Trust

Trust is a key part of a donor’s decision to donate, but the other part is your website. 1/3rd of Canadiansmake their decision to donate to a digital fundraising campaign based on the charity’s website.For those in the US, it’s only slightly less at 30%. The other major source for Canadians is general web searches, which should direct them to your own website, and family/friend recommendations. Thus, those donors who trust you can recommend your nonprofit to others and direct them to your website. Overall, your charity’s web presence is critical to donor trust and successful fundraising in the digital age.

A Clear, Smooth, and Visually Appealing Website Build Trust

Since your website is critical for your nonprofit to earn donor trust, it needs to be designed and strategized appropriately to build and maintain it. Therefore, following modern web design practices is an essential digital fundraising strategy. A website with clear visuals and text, that operates smoothly, is visually appealing and has clear call-to-actions are all essential for a modern website, especially one that builds donor trust. 

Transparency is Essential to Digital Fundraising

Digital fundraising is mostly done through your website. To build and maintain donor trust, the donation process should be entirely transparent and clear. This requires a donation portal that is simple in presentation with visible fields and clear call-to-actions. The donation process should also explain how the donation is collected and used by your nonprofit. Donors want to know how the donation process works from donation to the benefit of community members. Transparency about that on your website is a critical digital fundraising strategy.

Posting Updates and News

Your website needs to look active to properly build and maintain donor trust. As the main space donors gain their trust, it’s also a central communication platform. Be sure to post regular updates on the website, or even link to recent updates on your social platforms. Providing updates with images and videos of recent fundraisers or accomplishments of your nonprofit is one of the most effective strategies for building and maintaining donor trust. Alongside your website, charities gain the trust of donors through evidence of their charitable actions. Similarly, keep all the information up to date, such as key staff, programs, upcoming fundraising campaigns and events, etc. All of those are critical to maintaining donor trust. By showing a commitment to your website, your nonprofit shows a commitment to its cause. 

Websites, Storytelling, and Digital Fundraising

People attach themselves to stories, and your nonprofit’s story is how people come to understand and appreciate its mission statement and values. Use your website to tell that story. It should explain how the nonprofit or charity began, how it developed, its accomplishments, the key people involved, and how it continues to help. Using text, images, and video to tell that story on your website establishes your history and gives people a better sense of what your digital fundraising accomplishes. With the right story, donors are compelled to trust and donate.

Consistent Branding and Messaging

Consistency is one of the most fundamental human methods of building trust. Always presenting the same messaging and morals in all places establishes the stable character of your nonprofit. In the digital age, that means your nonprofit needs to have consistent branding and messaging in all its digital channels. Your emails, social media, emails, and more should all reflect the same imagery, presentation, tone, mission, and values found on your website. As a result, your website should become the touchstone for these other channels in appearance and voice. Those channels become part of how you build on the story your website creates. That consistency helps donors trust that your charity is similarly steadfast in its goals and work.

Start Building Donor Trust in the Digital Age

Your website is essential for digital fundraising for more reasons than just providing a donation portal. It’s essential to any strategy for building and maintaining invaluable donor trust in the digital age. If you want to revitalize your digital fundraising strategies, and help maintain donor trust, contact Rosewood Fundraising. We’ll help you build a website that shows why people can trust your incredible cause.

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