Walking the E-walk
E-philanthropy is the new kid on the block with the bright new sneakers. But while numbers from the 2005 Kintera/Luth Nonprofit Trend Report show online giving going full-steam ahead, there are still key points to keep in mind when it comes to maximizing users’ Web experience. This was the topic addressed by Michael Schreiber, executive vice president for enterprise service at the United Way of America in his session at Fund Raising Day New York in June.
Among Schreiber’s points was the need to focus on the three main components that make online fundraising effective: the Welcome Experience, the Education Experience and the Transaction Experience
According to Schreiber, people give when they come to a site and like how it feels and want to learn more based on that initial experience. When they learn more, they develop a desire to give, and when they give they feel safe and secure doing so. Each experience, when done well, should lead to the next.
The Welcome Experience is what your site shares with visitors initially. Keeping the content on your site oriented in a way that is consistent with your mission and message is important at this stage. The welcome experience, Schreiber says, is the genesis of the creation of trust, comfort and understanding you establish with visitors. The Welcome Experience reinforces “the trust level [of your organization] and the knowledge that you as an organization understand what [visitors] are looking to see,” he explains.
The Education Experience is not an onslaught of information but an opportunity you provide visitors to go where they want to go and find out what they want to find out, Schreiber says. The desired outcome of this experience is that visitors get closer to understanding your organization and your mission and are drawn, then, to give. Education Experiences that talk about programs in a visitor’s community and that trigger an action spur a higher donation and participation rate.