Charitable giving made easier online
Development Services went live on Dec. 8 with a user-friendly donor site for each faculty’s homepage that offers more donation options while streamlining the information-gathering process, the conclusion of which results in an instant electronic charitable receipt.
“What we had previously was one site on the university’s homepage with seven pages of giving options,” said Jeff Wright, associate director of Development Services. “The new concept involves integration with all faculty initiatives.
“Every faculty has relationships with its alumni and donors. Now each of them has its own online giving solution.”
As an example, visitors to the School of Business homepage will be able to click on the “Make a Gift” button that redirects to an online gift page. There, donors are met with an easy-to-navigate information collection process that outlines the faculty’s funding priorities and allows donors and alumni to seamlessly make a gift towards whatever priority that they see fit. Wright says the best part is, visitors can see the whole site.
“The previous site required a user to go through four steps, then receive a receipt in the mail two weeks later. This was inefficient,” he said. “The new system will ensure more donors complete the form, and complete it faster.”
Ultimately, Wright says each faculty is left with the option to design its own site with the common denominator being efficiency.
“We wanted to make an upgrade on customer service, security and simplicity,” said Wright. “Providing the electronic receipt instantly is a twofold advantage in that we save a lot of money on postage and we are providing a new level of customer service by putting the receipt right in their hand immediately.”
And while the same ironclad security is brought forward from the old system, Wright says the speed and efficiency of this new online giving tool will give donors even more piece of mind. Wright would know; he’s pulled out his own credit card to test many of the sites.
“I feel more confident with the system if we are testing with real gifts,” he said. “We’ve witnessed no downtime on this, because this is so simple. It’s one page; you fill it out and click send,” said Wright. “Everybody is really excited about the online receipt. While the security of the previous site was airtight, this one seems more secure because it is so quick and easy.”
Development Services is currently in the midst of sending a holiday greeting card to all U of A alumni and past supporters that will encourage people to visit the new online giving page, in addition to the happy holiday giving site that will offer an e-card service.
“If we have their address or email address, we’re sending a card,” said Wright.