A successful online giving program is often the lifeblood of a successful, modern nonprofit. But figuring out how to grow online giving can sometimes seem like black magic. It’s often difficult to figure out where your site traffic is coming from, what makes your traffic convert and how much your visitors are willing to donate.
A good online giving strategy requires a healthy mix of email optimization, search engine optimization and content marketing. When executed well, these three strategies can begin to drive the traffic and interest you need to be successful. Unfortunately, increased traffic doesn’t always produced increased donations. In order to convert your site visitors into happy, sustaining donors, you need an online giving page that: 1) connects donors directly to their impact on the world, and 2) makes giving frictionless and painless.
To help you maximize the power of your giving pages, we’ve identified 4 helpful tricks that can be the difference between a bounced site visitor and a long-time donor. When implemented together, these tricks will help increase your site’s conversion rate, average gift size, and propensity to become a recurring donor.
Donors want to see clear and specific impact. It may be tough to hear, but your site visitors care much more about their personal impact than they care about your organization. Be as specific as possible on the value you are providing. (e.g. “Every $50 you give will provide malaria nets for a child in Malawi for 1 year.”) There’s an old adage in fundraising that no one will donate to save 1 million children, but almost everybody will give to save one child. The more clear, personal, and specific your ask is, the better your giving page will perform. As a side note, this often means creating separate giving pages for each campaign or project instead of pushing every visitor through a singular giving experience.
Once you have a clear giving ask, use stories or quotes on the giving page to reinforce your impact. For example, if you are raising money for scholarships for students in Malawi, you might have a quote such as: “Because of the Human Fund, I was able to be the first member of my family to go to school. After graduating, I’ve returned my local community.” -Bree, Human Fund graduate. Be careful to make your quotes short, and don’t provide opportunities for your visitors to leave the giving page.
Gift Arrays have been proven to calibrate the donor to your needs and increase the average gift amount. When combined with a strong, recurring gift ask, your value per donor is guaranteed to rise. Try to associate each amount in your array with a specific deliverable ($50 for a 1-student scholarship, $150 for 3 student scholarships). Also, make sure you always provide a recurring ask that is obvious and tied to real sustaining value. Studies show that recurring donors can be worth 4-7 times more than standard donors.
It’s tempting to collect as much information as possible from each donor, but keeping the form simple removes friction and ensures your visitors complete the form. Only collect what you need to complete the donation. You can often use social media or other public data sources after the fact to fill in additional data points.
Traditional fundraising strategies no longer work. This blueprint explains why today's donor expects more, and how nonprofits are shifting to responsive fundraising.