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Five Things Wikipedia’s Online Fundraising Campaign Can Teach Non Profits

Sunday, 16 April 2017
Years back, during its 2013 fundraising campaign, Wikipedia raised an amazing $37 million through small donations from over 2.5 million contributors through the Wikimedia Foundation.  The campaign, which was based online, provides a lot of insight for non-profit organizations who need to raise money for their operations.



Be Succinct

For most small non-profit organizations, it can be tough to fundraise effectively.  However, one thing learned from the success of Wikipedia’s fundraising efforts is that there is no need for a large campaign or flashy come-ons.  A short, simple message that is concise and easily understood is an excellent option for fundraising.  Target your message carefully, and your fundraising may be more effective than you ever imagined.

Be Focused on Your Donors

Make it easier for your donors to contribute, and they will be more likely to do so.  Wikipedia takes donations in more than six dozen currencies and accepts nearly twenty forms of payment.  While this may be a bit excessive for your organization, it is important to meet the needs of your donors and focus on helping them contribute.

Be Prepared to Change

Test to see what works, and always be willing to refine or change your banner designs, verbiage and timing to suit the tastes of your donors.  Wikipedia carried out testing to focus on what worked best across a range of nations, languages and currencies, as well as the “ask amount” that was most appealing to potential donors.  They validated several techniques through their testing that can easily be put into use by small, non-profit organizations.

Be Inclusive

The mobile-friendly nature of Wikipedia’s fundraising banners was also an important part of its successful campaign.  Full-screen messages and smaller, on-screen calls to action led potential donors through a donation process that was ;well suited to mobile payment.

Be Mindful of Results

It’s important to keep track of the results of your campaigns.  With each one, you should gain a better understanding of your donors and use that information to enhance your next campaign.  To follow Wikipedia’s example, set specific goals for your fundraising and create a plan to keep your campaign moving in the right direction.  If possible, employ metrics to compare campaigns and improve on earlier efforts.

A Final Note

Non-profit organizations of all sizes can take notes from Wikipedia’s fundraising success.  Using these strategies in your fundraising efforts can help you meet your goals in future campaigns.



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