Charities and fitness often intersect so I have had the opportunity to participate as an individual raising funds and as a board member of a charity. The ability to raise funds online through online giving and social media have changed the way money is being raised for many charities.

Solutions such as http://www.tilt.com, where you can easily setup an online profile to collect funds, have made it so that just about anyone can raise funds for a cause. Unfortunately, just setting up a profile does not guarantee you increase online giving.

Although online giving is easier than ever, I have learned is that the method used to raise funds will greatly impact the amount of funds raised. If you are going to take the time and effort to raise funds you want to make your efforts as effective as possible. So here are five ways I have learned to help you connect with more donor, improve your fundraising results, and ultimately increase online giving:

1. Your Friends Are Donating to Support You

Yes, your cause needs to be worthy, but some of your friends are donating because you asked them to and because it is something that is important to you. As a friend, they want to support you and what your passionate about. So when sending out emails, doing social media posts, and in your online giving profile, re-iterate why you are supporting a particular cause and why it is important to you. Your level of passion will drive more donations.

2.  Create a Sense of Urgency

Having a financial goal and a time frame by which you would like to achieve it by helps urge people to donate. We are all busy and it is easy to put something aside with the intention of getting back to it later. Sometimes you have to ask multiple times and do posting on multiple mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email. If you send your profile out via email, there is a chance some of your potential donors did not even see the email due to the volume of emails people receive or due to spam filters.

3. Include Pictures

Online profiles with pictures have proven to generate more donations than text-based descriptions. The picture should describe to the purpose of the charity and should clearly communicate why it is important to donate to the charity. For example, an kind individual setup an online profile recently raised over 250k in Ferguson after she saw images of woman and her bakery that had been looted during rioting resulting from the Michael Brown shooting were aired on television.

4. Tell A Story

Oftentimes, it is hard to understand or relate to a particular cause so telling the story of one of the individuals you are helping will increase online giving. In the example above, Natalie DuBose, a 32-year-old mother of two, told her story of how baking and cake decorating have always been a passion, but they didn’t become a full-time job until earlier this year, when she finally saved enough to open her store while working two jobs. Many people were able to relate to her struggle and donated to help her recover from a tragedy she did not cause or ask for.

5. Make It Concise and Clear

Many individuals are looking at information on mobile devices. An online profile that is equivalent to the emancipation proclamation is not going to work. What you’re asking for needs to be tailored to the medium it is being posted on. For example, if being posted on twitter, a clear urgent call to action is needed. You can then include a link to an online giving profile that includes more information but realize that even the online giving profile may be read on a mobile device. When posting pictures make sure they are optimized for being viewed on the web and mobile devices.

Just a little extra effort will greatly improve the results you achieve when raising funds online. Apply these five principles to your online fundraising strategy to make it easier for donors support your cause and increase online giving.

About the Author

Joe Berti, is and entrepreneur and most recently Founder of Sweti, LLC (www.swetiservies.com), a company focused on helping businesses in the fitness industry through creative marketing services delivering email marketing, social media services, websites, promotional materials, and public relations services. He is Chairman of the Board of an Austin based charity Champions for Children http://www.cc4c.org that helps kids with rare and undiagnosed disorders and is supporting http://backonmyfeet.org as a volunteer. Backonmyfeet.org is a running club for the homeless. Joe is coaching the organizations first team to run a marathon (they are currently training to run in the 2015 Austin Marathon).