4 Online Giving Best Practices From a Giving Tuesday Campaign
I have exactly eight seconds to get your attention. That is the average attention span of today's online donor.
For nonprofits, the declining time spent per page means that online giving campaigns need to be eye-catching with clear and concise calls to action. The University of Cincinnati Foundation recently implemented a 24-hour Giving Tuesday campaign that successfully catered to the online giver.
In fact, we were able to nearly double the number of gifts we received over last year, with nearly 850 gifts totaling more than $61,000. So how did we do it? By simply keeping in mind a number of online giving best practices.
Incorporate multichannel messaging
We not only communicated with potential donors on social media, but we sent emails, created a branded landing page, implemented telefund messaging and purchased advertisements. According to Artez Interactive, Facebook refers nearly 30 percent of traffic to donation pages on Giving Tuesday, so we purchased an advertisement to run that day only and received more than 300 clicks to our giving form.
Offer an incentive
Nearly 60 percent of donors to the University of Cincinnati are alumni, so we created an incentive that would appeal to their university affinity. Those who gave $10 or more on Dec. 2 received the official 2014 UC ornament, an animated metal Bearcat that is the first in a series planned over the next few years. We aligned our campaign copy to center around this ornament with emails titled, "Tis the season for giving ... and receiving" and a simple call to action, "Give to get!"
Seventeen percent of all donations processed by Blackbaud on Giving Tuesday were made on mobile devices. Our team recognized the need to cater to the mobile donor and used a responsive design template and giving form. According to DonorDrive, nonprofits with responsive websites double their giving on mobile devices.
It's no secret that peer-to-peer fundraising can pay huge dividends. Nonprofits that incorporate peer-to-peer fundraising on their donation pages see a 15 percent increase in gifts, according to the Digital Giving Index. We asked communicators across UC's 14 colleges to help spread the word and sent them tool kits to help guide their messaging. The campaign was promoted in the university's e-news system and even gained a coveted spot on its homepage, uc.edu.
In summary, the four takeaways for any nonprofit looking to increase its online giving include: using multiple channels, offering relevant incentives, ensuring a seamless online experience from desktop to mobile and enlisting supporters to share their messages.
Judy See is the senior director of annual giving at the University of Cincinnati Foundation.