Apr 20, 2010

Fundraising Kudos to: American Cancer Society

According to a survey in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the American Cancer Society (ACS) was number one among nonprofits doing online fundraising last year. It raised $114 million online, an impressive 13% share of its total contributions.

What is the ACS doing right? I don't have the behind-the-scenes info, but looking at its website, I can make a few, hopefully educated guesses. Notice, for example:

  • The home page contains interesting, substantive content. Studies have shown that people rate substantive content number one in importance when evaluating a nonprofit's website. The ACS offers a host of topic links, like, "Learn About Cancer," "Support Programs and Services," and "Cancer Facts & Figures."
  • The home page also leads people quickly to donation opportunities. Readers can click to "Join the Fight Against Cancer," "Get Involved," and "Donate Now," not to mention on a special headline inviting people to participate in the Relay For Life.
  • When you click the "Donate" link (under "Join the Fight"), you're given an introductory reminder of the good that your gift does, plus various options for how to donate. And in case you remain unconvinced, there's another link called "Learn How Your Donations Help." This provides even more detail on ACS's research, advocacy, service, and other programs supported by donations.
  • The payment page is simple to fill out, provides logos with assurances about the security of the information you'll be transmitting, and actually has an 800 number that people can call for help! That last bit probably isn't realistic for most smaller nonprofits, but at least put your organization's phone number up, with information on when to call if need be, and who to ask for.
Well done, I say. And have a look at my free article for more information on "Using Your Nonprofit's Website to Help Fundraise. "