Are You Turning Off Online Donors?
High donor attrition rates force nonprofits to constantly recruit new donors. According to the 2012 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the donor attrition rate is 58.5 percent. At the same time, fundraising economics have made online channels (Web, social, mobile) an important way to acquire and retain new donors across all demographic groups. So, most nonprofits are seeking ways to garner their share of the new funds moving online each year.
Just like direct mail, there are three simple ways, or key performance indicators (KPIs), to grow online donations:
- Website traffic — who sees your message.
- Donation conversion rate — what percentage of site visitors respond.
- Average gift size — how much they give.
But not everyone is achieving the results envisioned. Of these three KPIs, a below industry average conversion rate (No. 2) is the most frequent cause of disappointing online revenue. This article describes the causes of donor abandonment and how to reduce it. Included is a 20-question, self-scored survey to help nonprofits identify and locate problems in their donation processes. Based on the results, simple donation page design changes can be implemented in order to achieve the ultimate goal — increased donor acquisition and retention.
Even small, incremental improvements can greatly impact the number of donations received for your mission. For example, an improvement in conversion rate from 2 percent to 2.5 percent increases revenue by 25 percent.
Why are donations abandoned?
Often in their enthusiasm to communicate the good they do, organizations try to provide too much information or ask too many questions of donors who just want to fund their missions. A lengthy donation process or ineffective donation page design causes donors to abandon their donations — just as 71 percent of visitors to online retailers' sites abandon their shopping carts. Anything that causes psychological resistance to a given element in the online donation process is considered "friction," and friction reduces both your online revenue and the number of new donors you've identified and inspired. There are two main types of friction — length and difficulty.