Fundraising Benefits of the Internet

by Michael Bres

For the charity market, online marketing is the pre-eminent medium when it comes to eliciting a response. This may be by means of placing a banner or text link on the Internet on sites which you know your target group visits. Then people are just one click away from contact with you. If you then provide your information in an expert and exciting way, this will result in visitor interest and therefore in a response.

Search engine marketing and optimization of it are also excellent ways of attracting potential donors. With the right approach, good results can be achieved in a highly cost-effective manner. If there is limited knowledge of search engine marketing within your organization, it is worth considering using a specialist for this purpose.

What opportunities does the Internet offer you?

  • branding, for name recognition and the goal which your organization is aiming for
  • traffic; direct visitors to the website, possibly with a special campaign site
  • recruitment and retention of donors
  • information about current projects and results achieved
  • recruitment and retention of collectors
  • attraction and retention of legacies
  • market research; research following donation behavior, empathy, creating donor profiles, market developments etc.

Marketing Mix

Many companies have specialized in one or a few aspects of online marketing. There is nothing wrong with this in itself but don’t forget that online marketing is just one part of the total marketing mix. No single specialization exists independently; it must fit into the overall policy. This also makes the law of synergy apply, “together we are stronger”.


Each investment you make, online or offline, must be paid back. It is therefore important to be able to measure as much as possible with concrete goals, target groups, targets, budgets and results. By monitoring HTML expressions, campaign sites, surveys, online databases, campaigns and banners for example, you can build up lots of experience. Then it is not just the final results which are assessed, but areas of high and low performance can also be precisely ascertained. That is essential for making adjustments in good time and achieving optimum results.

Payment Models

There are various different possibilities available for the way of settling accounts for the launching of online campaigns. Do you pay for “seeing” your expression or a banner, or do you pay for every click that takes the visitor to your website, campaign page or donation form for example? Or would you rather pay “by genuine respondent” for registration for your newsletter or even by donation?

In specialized terms the following payment structures are possible:

  • CPM      campaigns on the basis of costs per 1.000 views
  • CPC       campaigns on the basis of costs per visitor
  • CPL       campaigns on the basis of costs per lead
  • CPO/A   campaigns on the basis of costs per order/action

What determines your choice?

To quote Johan Cruijff: “every advantage has its disadvantage”. The more possibilities there are, the more involved it becomes. The way in which you can settle accounts best and the market areas where you do your best business depend strongly on what you wish to achieve. Purchasing these services is also a separate specialization. Thus it is obvious that you buy as keenly as possible if it is a matter of price per visitor. If you do not, however, completely motivate the owners of the relevant websites with this, they will choose to place banners which produce better results for them with the result that you attract few visitors. If you pay too much you will not get your investment back.

In short, take advice from a specialist who is well versed in this matter.

Michel Bres is with DM Media BV, a Netherlands based firm that specializes in the development, production and expansion of online marketing campaigns.