How to effortlessly drive more holiday donations in 2019.

Jul 16 2019 | PayPal editorial staff

The busiest giving season of the year is around the corner. As you prepare for a record-breaking season, keep in mind you don't need a complicated strategy to reach more donors and drive more donations. Here are five easy ways to drive up donations this season, and the tools to back you up.

1. Accept online and mobile donations . . .
If you limit your organization to offline donations, you're leaving good money on the table. Since 2016, online giving has grown by 17% and now represents 8.5% of total fundraising revenue. 1 And more online donors are embracing mobile giving, with mobile donations rising from 9% of all online giving in 2014 to 27% in 2018.

When you design your website, make sure to add a Donate button to your desktop and mobile webpages. You can even accept recurring donations and offer your donors multiple ways to pay - debit card, credit card, and PayPal - by adding the PayPal Donate button.

2. . . but don't forget in-person donations.

For in-person fundraising events, keep your mobile card reader handy to accept debit and credit card donations on-the-go.

Save the Children has been using the PayPal Here app for years to collect donations at its biggest yearly fundraising event, the Illumination Gala. "The PayPal Here card readers are easy for our staff and volunteers to operate, which increases their practicality," says Ettore Rossetti, senior advisor for digital innovation and social strategy for Save the Children US. "The payment process is quick and easy for the donor. That helps us to maximize participation in onsite fundraising."

Another way you can conveniently accept in-person donations is with QR codes, which you'll automatically receive once you create a Donate button with PayPal.

3. Set up automatic pledge reminders.

Reminding donors of their pledges can be awkward and time-consuming. Skip the discomfort and save valuable time with online invoicing. You can create, customize, and send invoices to your donors in minutes using PayPal Invoicing, and easily follow-up with reminders for unpaid balances.

4. Sign up for a donation-matching program.

It doesn't cost you anything extra, so why settle for a $50 donation when you can accept $100, or even $150? Both small and large companies offer donation-matching programs as a way to participate in corporate philanthropy and encourage employees to give back to their communities. Participating in these programs can also help your organization build ties with corporations – partnerships that could lay the groundwork for sponsorships, corporate grants, and teams of corporate volunteers.

To benefit from donation matching, seek out companies with gift-matching programs, and contact them to find out if your organization qualifies. Once you enroll, promote your participation to current and potential donors. Clearly outline the gift-matching program so donors can search to see if their employers already match donations to your organization. Additionally, mention donor matching opportunities in your donor acknowledgment letters – donors might not know such programs exist.

5. Get the most out of #GivingTuesday.

Chances are, you already marked December 3, 2019 on your calendar - the day of GivingTuesday. While individual giving is the focus of GivingTuesday, corporations and foundations also use this day as a special occasion to partner with social media channels to match donations and boost the day's visibility. On GivingTuesday 2018, more than 1 million PayPal customers across 180 markets donated approximately $98 million to charitable causes, a 51% increase compared to 2017.3

This year, make sure to enroll with the PayPal Giving Fund so you can automatically be listed in the PayPal app and on PayPal's fundraising site.

"At PayPal, we firmly believe that doing good is not only our greatest opportunity, it is our greatest responsibility," says Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal. "My thanks to every member of the PayPal community who donated on #GivingTuesday and to everyone else who plans on giving at some point during the holiday season. Let's keep going."

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

Blackbaud Institute, 2018 Charitable Giving Report, February 2019.

2 Giving Tuesday, "In Just Seven Years, Global Movement Has Become A New Annual Ritual Around Giving," November 2018.

3 Nonprofit Times, "#GivingTuesday Tally Tops $380 Million," November 2018.

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