Time is a precious commodity for all of us, but running a small charity as a volunteer in spare time alongside a full-time job still carries many of the same responsibilities and requirements as the larger charities with employees have to deal with. There are many website features for charities available, but here are a few that will help you save time.
1. Online payment system
Standing orders have been around for years, but using this method not only requires you to look through your bank statements to keep track of your donors, but is unable to seize on the moment. 22% of visitors to your website are looking to make a donation1, and you wouldn’t shake a collection bucket with no slot in it, would you? A good online donation system can enable you to take the donation there and then rather than relying on the donor to print the form out and take it to the bank, and the information can be viewed online instantly. With Charity Checkout, you can see at a glance the date the donor set up their donation and when it is next due to be collected. The system even calculates how much you are due to receive in regular donations this month.
2. Latest news & events section
Your website gives supporters the opportunity to find out the latest news on your campaigns, sign up for your mailing list, follow you on Twitter, hit ‘Like’ on your Facebook page, and much more. This can save you time taking enquiries by phone and email about details and dates for upcoming events and campaigns. Encouraging people to use your website to keep up with you also means that they have the opportunity to donate.
3. Automatic communications
Having the ability for your supporters to sign up to receive your newsletters helps you to keep in touch with them, and can also help you to gauge the effectiveness of your website – but in particular, saying ‘thank you’ and acknowledging your donor’s kind contribution is not only courteous, but critical for engagement and long-term retention. If you don’t have any contact details for them, it can be difficult or impossible to do so. You can use your website to collect that donor’s email and postal addresses and store them for you. Charity Checkout allows you to create Bespoke Thank You Messages for each of your campaigns. This means that you don’t have to write letters, but if you still want to, you can set up limited access user accounts for volunteers to access your list of contact details.
4. Digital Gift Aid declarations
Let’s face it, reclaiming Gift Aid is a hassle. You can capture Gift Aid declarations via your website and store them digitally. There are also many HMRC-approved Gift Aid agencies that are able to submit these digital claims on your behalf.