Digital Dilemma: How Nonprofits Can Harness eCommerce and Tech to Drive Change
More nonprofits are appreciating the benefits of using eCommerce sites for online donations. Rather than mailing in a check, donors can use multiple online payment methods, track their contributions, and receive automated receipts. Nonprofits can also generate funds via eCommerce by creating an online store for donations through merchandise or event sales. With 1.8 million charitable organizations across the U.S., competition in the nonprofit sector is deeply felt between public charities, private foundations, fraternal organizations, civic leagues, and small nonprofits.1 Mikel Lindsaar, CEO and Founder of StoreConnect, states, "Fueled by the imperative to create a positive influence in the world, the entanglements of overseeing numerous plug-ins within the eCommerce sector, what I call 'Plug-in Purgatory,' can impede the altruistic endeavors of many nonprofits." Charitable organizations require innovative solutions that enable nonprofits to fully realize their noble ambitions, free from the time and labor expense restraints associated with plug-ins.
Profit and not-for-profit organizations frequently use plug-ins, a type of app that enhances the utility, serviceability, and custom features of an existing website's content management system and keeps operational processes more efficient and up-to-date. However, managing an excessive number of plug-ins can hinder a website's functionality and performance, leading to loading and compatibility issues that can result in processing bottlenecks and increased security risks. One study discovered that incorporating only six customer-facing apps (plug-ins) can extend load times by five seconds; the average number of plug-ins is 25. If a webpage takes more than six seconds to load, a charitable organization could lose half of its potential donors.2
Nonprofits face unique challenges grappling with multiple plug-ins:
- Resource Limitations: Nonprofits frequently operate with limited staff and constrained budgets, making plug-in management expenses a liability they can't easily afford.
- Complexity Complications: The intricacies of handling multiple plug-ins can be overwhelming and pull limited staff away from their core responsibilities that actually contribute to the cause.
- Jeopardizing the Mission: For nonprofit organizations counting on every donor and dollar, diverting money away from those in need toward troubleshooting inefficient processes can have undesirable consequences for the overall mission.
Altruism is alive and well; however, reaching out to new donors and managing existing ones remains beset with challenges, such as insufficient resources, changes in regulation, the complexities of tracking donations, and fractured omnichannel engagement. Prospective donors usually require 7 to 12 "touches" before becoming donors, such as websites, emails, newsletters, direct mail, videos, and social media.3 Assessing the efficiency, efficacy, and scope of these approaches requires using a platform that integrates multiple channels and provides a detailed evaluation of their tangible results in the fundraising effort.
To retain and acquire new donors, nonprofits need a customized Customer Commerce strategy that builds strong donor relationships with a cost-effective solution that covers CRM, CMS, POS, multi-currency support, API integrations, and omnichannel capabilities.
StoreConnect is the Customer CommerceTM Company and is the only fully integrated eCommerce, point-of-sale, content management system and CRM platform powered by Salesforce. It includes a scalable, feature-rich platform enabling nonprofits to oversee single or recurring monthly donations, memberships, merchandise sales, event reservations, inventory control, and workflow management, along with providing flexible fundraising and donation choices. It strongly emphasizes donor relationships by integrating all content, product, donor, and inventory data into a unified multi-store system that operates seamlessly on mobile devices, the web, and point-of-sale locations. StoreConnect provides all of these features without requiring additional plug-ins, all within a budget aligned with the philanthropic mission of each nonprofit.
"StoreConnect's Health Check tool reveals what keeps donors engaged and what might deter them. It's a one-stop platform designed for nonprofits to build personal, lasting bonds with donors, fostering loyalty and sustaining vital contributions to their cherished causes."
StoreConnect is Time. Well Spent.
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