How to Launch Online Holiday Charity Drives or Fundraisers

Cathie Ericson, Writer

This article is part of Square’s definitive guide on eCommerce best practices during the holidays. Explore the guide to learn how to curate a festive and stress-free shopping experience for your customers and stay competitive.

‘Tis the season for giving, and for most people that includes giving to a good cause. According to Nonprofit Source, 30% of annual giving occurs in December, with each person supporting an average of four-and-a-half charities annually.

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That makes the holidays an ideal time to launch a charity drive or fundraiser on your website. But how do you inspire visitors to donate online? Here are some best practices for using your landing page to drive interest (and money) toward your good cause.

Let them know why they should donate

A compelling narrative includes two key elements: the facts that establish your drive as worthy — the “what”— and the story that convinces them — the “why.”

Start with facts. If you’re selling items for a children’s charity or to help raise research funds, let your potential donors know how many lives they will be touching. Communicate the size of the impact, through a statement such as “This many kids in our community won’t be receiving a gift this holiday,” or “This condition affects X% of people nationally.” Then connect their giving to the hoped-for outcome. Perhaps their purchase will allow three children to receive stockings, or their $50 donation will provide group support services for 15 patients.

Add emotional appeal through stories that highlight someone who either has been helped by your cause or is in need of assistance. For example, if you’re selling handmade pet ID tags to raise funds for a local shelter, populate your landing page with photos of the animals you’re helping to rescue, along with tales of how the funds will be specifically used, such as soft bedding for new visitors.

Make it easy for them to give

You want to have a clear call to action that says “donate now” or “buy now.” Then offer suggestions for donation tiers. While $10 might be a denomination that most people give, bump your first level up to $15. While some visitors might click to add their own custom smaller amount, more will select the first option they see, increasing your receipts.

Make sure to offer them a variety of ways to pay, and then note if any or all of their donation is tax deductible.

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Help them share the cause

Let your donors spread the word — and maybe indulge in a little humble bragging by announcing that they have already given — by making it easy for them to share your page on their own social media. Offer them some suggested copy, like “Did you know that 100 kids in our town go to bed hungry? I just gave so they can have food over the holiday break. Will you join me?”

Build bridges for your next campaign

Motivated by your success? Don’t let the momentum diminish. Email each of your donors to thank them and celebrate the constructive impact of their generosity. Your update will give them a positive feeling and inspire them to become involved the next time you run a similar campaign.

The holidays can be a great time to rally others around a good cause. Providing space online to foster that sense of community and inspire action makes the need to do good convenient, actionable, and fun. Similar to a traditional online store, creating a fundraising website is all about providing the ideal user experience.

As more shoppers head online to find the perfect gift, sellers can capitalize on the rise of eCommerce by launching an online store. With a user-friendly eCommerce website, you can stay competitive this holiday season and grow your customer base. Square Online Store helps you quickly launch an eCommerce website with an intuitive online store builder and easy-to-use eCommerce tools. Showcase your items, set up Square for online payments, and you’re ready for this peak shopping period. Learn more about Square Online Store.

Cathie is a freelance writer who specializes in clear, actionable content on finance- and marketing-related topics to help owners of small-and-medium-sized businesses focus on their goals.