In 2012, online donations comprised only 2% of total donations for Midwest Food Bank, which serves 900 nonprofit organizations in the midwest and southern U.S. from seven distribution centers in four states. After implementing iDonate on their web sites, online donations skyrocketed to 8% of total donations ($320,000 of $4,000,000 in 2014). And the numbers continue to grow.
Peter Goddard, Comptroller of Midwest, attributes this increase to iDonate’s clean user interface and extensive giving options. “Online giving is growing for us because it’s easier to use and people like it,” says Goddard. “Prior to iDonate, we did our online fundraising differently at each of our different locations, using PayPal and regular credit card processors. Each site did their own thing, which was the main reason we looked at iDonate, so that each site would have the same options and user experience. iDonate allowed us to streamline and standardize our online giving experience across all our sites.”
Seven Vehicle Donations in One Month
Midwest has also benefitted from iDonate’s wide range of giving options, such as noncash donations.
“We had decided to target higher net worth individuals,” says Goddard. “They tend to have more stuff. We became sold on iDonate because we needed to be able to receive different sorts of assets, such as gift cards, cell phones, and vehicles. It was tremendous to be able to ask for these things in addition to the generous cash donations they were already making.”
“The noncash giving has gone really well,” says Goddard. “We had been asking for noncash gifts in our general newsletters, but we didn’t usually ask for specific fundraising goals or items. In September, we specifically asked for vehicles and we received seven vehicles donations – four in the first week and then we sent another email out and we got three more. That was huge for us and we want to continue doing targeted campaigns because it’s important to ask for it. Our donors are happy to make noncash donations but they need to know the option exists.”
Repeat giving has also been a hit for Midwest. “We’ve had people tell us they want to give every month,” says Goddard. “In the past, we had to do it manually, but now we just send them to the site. Additionally, when someone else comes to our sites, they see that they can set things up to give monthly and we’re seeing an increase in monthly giving because it’s easy to do.”
Midwest found it easy to integrate iDonate’s donation forms into their seven web sites. “We’re not HTML coders,” said Goddard. “iDonate’s web team worked with us to get the snippet of code integrated onto our pages. Now I can update and change the form whenever I want in the iDonate admin area and just publish the changes to our web site. We don’t have to work with our web vendor or incur any charges for tinkering with things. For instance, if we want to raise donations for a time-sensitive event, like disaster relief, or if new features come out, I don’t have to involve our web team because I can make the changes myself.”
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