Five Ways to Increase Online Donations
Nonprofits rely on a variety of funding sources to drive their initiatives. In some cases, it’s from foundation or government grants. In others, it’s individual donations and major gifts. For those that depend on the latter, deliberate digital fundraising strategies can help increase donations and expand support.
Fact: people who are passionate about a cause are more and more likely to donate online. How can you effectively leverage this passion to create a successful digital fundraising campaign? Here are five tips that can help optimize your online fundraising strategies.
1. Know your donors.
The first step is to know who your target audience is. If you aren’t 100% sure, then take some time to see who maps to your mission. A good place to start is with those who’ve supported you already. From there, take some time to learn about them: their goals, motivations, pain points, needs and behaviors. This will help you to personalize and customize your messaging and outreach.
2. Simplify the donation experience.
Your donors want to give, so make it easy for them to do so. Requesting too much information can potentially decrease the chances that they complete the form. Provide your donors with a straight-forward experience by only requesting the most necessary information, such as first name, last name, email address and preferred method of payment. If you can, include a recurring donation option as well to save time if they donate again in the future.
3. Use the power of your brand.
Make sure your donation page is simple, clean and branded. A branded donation page helps convey a positive impression to your audience, which in turns makes them trust that their transaction is secure. Include a short quote or image that helps remind and strengthen them of this positive impression as they step through the donation process.
4. Promote your donation pages.
Increase visibility with paid ads: Your content is only as good as it is searchable and visible. Create targeted ad campaigns, such as Google AdWords (or Google Ad Grants if you are a registered nonprofit) or Facebook Ads to help promote your cause and bring new visitors to your site.
Leverage the power of social sharing: Making it easy for your supporters to share your donation page can help increase the rate of positive referrals. If someone see that a close contact has shared your page or encouraged their friends to support your work, they may be more likely to see you as a trusted and impactful organization. To this end, make sure that the act of sharing is easy (e.g., create a dedicated share button on the donation confirmation page), and that your donation page gives a clear introduction to your overall mission, your individual initiatives, and the impact you aim to achieve.
5. Take a mobile-first design approach.
According to the Blackbaud Institute, 17% of online transactions in 2016 were made using a mobile device and that trend is only going to increase. Keep an eye on your analytics data to know which devices are most frequently used by your audience and learn which pages have the most visits by mobile users. This will allow you to further optimize the donation experience.
Above all, remember that your supporters believe in your mission and want to help. Once a first donation is processed, your relationship has only just begun. Continue to provide them with the information and tools they need to stay abreast of your initiatives, as well as additional opportunities to give a helping hand in the future.
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