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Raise More Funds by Building Trust Online

It's easy to underestimate the importance of trust in fundraising. Not only do your donors trust that you'll put their money in the right places, but they also rely on you to process their donation securely and protect them from cyberthreats. By making small changes to your online website and brand, you can show prospective donors that you are taking care of their personal and financial details.

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Be Transparent

One of the best ways to garner trust with potential donors is to offer full transparency about the information you gather and why. If you ask for their email, make it clear what you're going to use it for, how long you'll keep it on file, and whether any third parties (such as an email client) will have access to it. Depending on where you are, you may be required by law to offer this information.

Create a policy that explains in plain language how you use your contacts' information, make it easily accessible on your website, and even include a link to it in any emails you send out.

Another great way to increase transparency is to make it very clear what each link, button, and CTA will lead to. As people interact with your website and emails, and see that your actions match your promises, they will view your organization as more trustworthy.

Provide Choice

Within your clear, transparent communication with your audience, provide them with choice wherever possible. If you're asking potential donors for their email as part of an event sign-up, give them the opportunity to opt in or out of your newsletter or any other communications. This helps your contacts feel like they have agency over how you are using their information, which can improve trust and build a positive digital identity among your supporters.

You can also consider offering multiple payment methods for making a donation. Many people trust some payment methods more than others, and allowing donors to use a method they trust can help them to feel safer and trust your organization more by proxy.

Humanize Your Brand

If users trust and identify with what they see of your organization online, they will feel more comfortable engaging with you. It can be helpful to literally "humanize" your brand, by interacting with contacts on social media and showing the faces of leaders, staff, and volunteers. Telling your organization's story using accessible and relatable language helps your donors better understand your work, which will entice them to engage with you more.

You can also ensure that you are easily contactable by email and phone and that your customer service is fast and of a high quality. This will help prospective donors, beneficiaries, and advocates to feel heard and seen by your organization, helping them to trust you with their time, money, and needs.

Build Trust with Prospective Donors

In order to build relationships with a reliable base of monthly or annual donors, it's important to foster trust with your contacts. You can do this by staying transparent and following through on your promises. Understand the risks associated with storing information and take reasonable precautions to protect it, as well as offering choices where you can.

Positioning yourself as a trustworthy organization is a great way to help people feel more comfortable engaging with you. If they feel that their information is safe, that they have agency over how you use it, and that there are real human beings behind your online systems, they may feel more inclined to subscribe, donate, or access your services.

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