10 Secrets to Acquire Donors Online via Digital Technology
Given the relatively slow rebound from the economic downturn that began some six or seven years ago, there has been an emphasis on donor retention in the nonprofit fundraising sector over the past few years. It only makes sense. After all, retaining a donor costs much less than acquiring a new one, and donor retention is vital for any organization to survive.
However, without donor-acquisition efforts, it is impossible for any nonprofit to grow. In fact, it's impossible for any nonprofit to remain at its present standing without continually acquiring new donors, as current donors lapse due to numerous circumstances including financial changes, relocation and, yes, even passing away.
It's also no secret that online giving continues to rise. Yes, direct mail and other means are still workhorses for fundraising, but more and more donors are moving online. That presents a great opportunity for nonprofits to acquire donors via this channel, often in a relatively cost-effective way.
1. Digital integration requires drivers
"Just because you have a great website does not mean people are going to automatically show up," Jones said. "You have to drive people to your website. There's right ways to do it and wrong ways to do it."
Here is the integration superhighway, aka the drivers:
You have to use these drivers — social media, website, mobile, email, direct mail, paid search, organic search, radio, television and banner ads — to get potential donors to your site.
2. The high-performance website
"You have to make sure that website is fully optimized," Jones said.
What does that mean? It means:
- Focusing on user action
- Easy navigation
- Use of features, sub-features and news
- Functional utilities
- "Banner blindness"
- A simple, easy, predictable donation process
- Relevant content with rich media to tell stories
- Updated in real time
3. Test site optimization before you rebuild it
"Right now, the technology exists where you can, through a widget, build a mirror of your current site, and you can serve up hits to your website," Jones said. "And you can split them. Some go to your mirror site and some go to your real site."