13 Tips for Optimizing Digital Donations
You’re already collecting donations through your organization’s digital channels, including your website, emails and social media. But, is the donation experience smooth and seamless? Secure and trustworthy? Easy to complete? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you may be leaving money on the table.
Data shows that most online donations are small to midsize gifts, and you should cater your online donation experience to what you know about your donors in that giving category. However, optimizing your digital channels is not only beneficial for securing more gifts online. It will also improve your brand perception and the sense of trust a donor has when visiting your website, no matter their giving level.
If you’re ready to make your digital channels work for you, bring in more online revenue, and save yourself some time, here are my top tips.
How to Optimize Donations With Email
- Segment to increase relevance. Don’t send the same emails to everyone on your email list. Layer segments to get even more targeted with your communications.
- Automate to save time. Create automated email sequences in your email marketing platform that are triggered by a patron transaction. For example, consider creating an email onboarding sequence for brand new donors. This way, you are working toward retaining donors without adding more tasks to your to-do list.
- Make your email content easy to read and quickly scan. Make use of headings, bullet points, and images to make it as easy as possible to read. Keep in mind that most users will probably view it on their mobile devices, so long blocks of text will require lots of scrolling.
- Include a clear call to action. Ask your readers to click on a link, respond to a question or take some sort of action (and it shouldn’t always be to donate).
- Link to your website. Include links that go directly to a page on your website for the actions you want them to take instead of to a third-party platform. This gets them on your website, where you can further engage them, and allows you to collect data on your users.
How to Optimize Donations on Social Media Platforms
- Use compelling images. Bonus points for using pictures that include faces, which are statistically proven to get more engagement. Whenever possible, avoid using stock photography, which will appear inauthentic.
- Include clear calls to action. Just like email, every post should invite your audiences to click on a link, add a comment or take some other sort of action.
- Use in-platform fundraising tools sparingly. I recommend using your website to complete donations whenever possible, but social media can be a quick way to capture a high volume of small donations, such as giving days and peer-to-peer campaigns. Remember that you will not have access to the data on donors who give directly through social media platforms.
How to Optimize Donations on Your Website
- Make your website the center of your digital donation ecosystem. Email and social media channels should capture your readers, but your website is where they should complete any transactions. This allows you to capture data in one centralized place to craft future fundraising campaigns.
- Balance transactions and storytelling. A great website not only shares the story of your organization’s impact, but also makes it easy for website visitors to find the information they need. Your website should not be overly transactional or overly emotional. Aim to strike the perfect balance.
- Make a case for support throughout your site, not just the donate page. Infuse impact stories, statistics, and testimonials on other pages on your site as a constant reminder of how your visitors can help, no matter what page they are on.
- Retain and use your data. Take stock of all of the places where website visitors are giving you information. This may include donation pages, event registrations, email sign-up forms, volunteer inquiries and online shops. Cross-reference data to learn even more insights about your patrons.
- Make it accessible and mobile responsive. You’re alienating a huge segment of potential supporters if your website doesn’t meet basic accessibility guidelines and cannot be easily viewed on mobile devices and tablets.
Link your direct mail to your digital ecosystem. There are many ways to connect your non-digital communications to your digital ecosystem, such as QR codes or unique campaign links. This can be a great way to measure the ROI of your direct mail campaigns, and reach even more supporters.
The preceding blog was provided by an individual unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO.
Rachel Kribbs has more than a decade of experience working in the nonprofit sector. As director of new business at FORM, she uses her background to understand the needs and concerns of mission-driven organizations. Combined with her skills in communications, fundraising and program management, Rachel is uniquely adept at identifying ways in which FORM can help nonprofits increase revenue, reach more patrons and amplify their missions.
She holds degrees from the Catholic University of America and Cleveland Institute of Music, and, in 2018, the Cleveland 20/30 Club awarded her the Northeast Ohio Mover & Shaker Award. She is a former member of the NTEN Accessibility Committee, an active volunteer with LakewoodAlive and board president for Documentary Songwriters. She lives in northeast Ohio with her husband and two children.