COOKIES! The value of first-party data for school marketers

When it comes to online giving, it’s no secret that US independent schools have been leading the pack. According to the 2019 Nonprofit Technology Adoption Survey, schools have been more likely than any other type of nonprofit to adopt new technologies in recent years. And as we all know, online giving has been one of those technologies.

Online giving is breaking records. Despite fears of the pandemic, most independent schools’ annual funds and capital campaigns fared well. As the rest of the world felt driven to do more online during the pandemic, so did donors. A record number made gifts electronically and via mobile devices.

So what does this mean for your school? It means that now is an excellent time to focus on your website strategy for online giving.

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1. Make it easy for donors to give

One of the most important things you can do regarding online giving is to make it as easy as possible for donors to give. This means having a user-friendly website and ensuring that all your donation forms are easily accessible. You should also ensure that your donation pages are mobile-friendly, as an increasing number of people are making donations via their smartphones and tablets.

2. Promote online giving prominently and deeply on your website

Your school’s homepage generally focuses on new student recruitment efforts, so the purpose of the content is to drive inquiries and applications. That said, it’s critical to ensure that the advancement section of your site is dynamic and engaging, focusing on your stories and content that drive philanthropic giving and support.

3. Make donating fun and engaging

Another reason people don’t give online is that they find it dull or unappealing. So make sure your website is visually appealing and showcases donations' impact in an engaging way.

4. Appeal to their emotions

Donors are more likely to give if they feel an emotional connection to your school. Ensure your website contains inspiring content that will motivate potential donors to give. Share stories about your mission and the impact of their support at your school and in the world.

5. Show them how you'll use their donations

Rather than just listing the amount needed or the campaign's goal, share stories about how donations will be used and who they will help. This content is more likely to resonate with donors and inspire them to give.

6. Identify your donor personas and create content that is targeted and personal

Evidence suggests that when people visit websites tailored specifically to them, they are more likely to donate money. For example, one study found that website visitors who saw a personal and targeted donation page were almost twice as likely to contribute as those who saw a generic donation page. 

7. Use social media to promote your giving campaigns

Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your giving campaigns. Make sure you create social media posts highlighting your cause's importance and asking people to donate. You can also use social media to thank donors for their contributions. 

8. Offer incentives

Another way to encourage people to donate is by offering incentives. Consider things like free t-shirts or tickets to special events. You could also offer matching donations or challenges where donors compete against each other to see who can raise the most money.


There’s no doubt about it – moving potential donors to take action requires a personal and meaningful approach. If you'd like to explore how the AMAIS™ DXE can help, please get in touch.

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