2 New Must-Do Steps for Taking Your Fundraising to the Next Level
Optimize online fundraising
The data is irrefutable: When it comes to attracting and retaining high-value donors, all channels must be strong and online channels must be super strong.
- Increase — don’t just maintain or, worse, reduce — your investment in online channels, even if you have not yet achieved the results you envisioned. You’ve honed your direct-mail programs over decades, but your online programs are less mature. Keep growing and refining them.
- Establish a clear goal for your landing and donation pages. Is it to get the most gifts at the highest amount, maximize the number of new donors at any gift level to get their e-mail addresses for future marketing, verify the effectiveness of your communication program or something else?
- Provide a superior donor experience to prevent website abandonment. Take this simple 20-question, self-scored survey to identify potential problems with your donation processes. If needed, implement simple changes to improve Web traffic, conversions and average gift size. Then perform regular A/B testing, optimize again and repeat the cycle.
Adopt an omnichannel fundraising strategy
Go beyond the transactional, multichannel model to attract the highest-value donors and build the deeper donor relationships that lead to continuous giving, lifetime loyalty and bequests.
- Enable donors to experience your brand seamlessly across all channels. Conduct campaigns that drive offline donors to go online and vice versa to spur ongoing interaction and engagement with your organization. Remember that you’re competing heavily with other nonprofits for donors’ attention and dollars, so it’s critical to maintain a strong presence in their lives.
- Make sure that all interactions communicate with impact to donors about how your organization is using their contributions to make a difference. This is key for strengthening the donor relationship and engendering even more passion for your nonprofit and its mission.
- Fully leverage and benefit from the multiplying effect of new media — integrated, of course, with traditional channels. Incorporate social-media, online, peer-to-peer and team fundraising components into your campaigns. Optimize your website’s landing pages and donation forms for mobile devices, and instead of costly text-to-give campaigns, which also are burdensome to donors, implement more effective and less onerous text-to-pledge campaigns.
With more channels to manage, higher donor attrition rates, and greater competition for new donors and those precious donor dollars, a lot has changed over the past few years. Along with the five steps recommended in 2010, now there are two more that nonprofits should add to the list: optimization of online fundraising and adoption of an omnichannel fundraising strategy. Yes, it’s more to do, but the return on investment will be high while the cost of ignoring these steps will be even higher.