Should You Have a Donor Account for Monthly Gifts?
I love Next After and its tremendous research and experiments. Focused on online giving, donation pages and emails, Next After provides a lot to learn.
If you know that the typical number of people who finish a gift is only 21%, that means 79% do not give, even though they go to your organization’s page to donate. Yet, you can do something about it, or, should I say, prevent that outcome.
Recently, Next After — in collaboration with Fundraise Up — did a study on donation-page friction called, “The Donation Page Friction Study: A Look at How Friction is Impacting the Online Giving Experience of 643 Nonprofits.”
What’s preventing donors from making the gift? Is it something you do? Can you stop doing it?
This study is fascinating and, while not necessarily focused on monthly giving, the issue of donor accounts often comes up. According to the research, only 4% required an account, but I’m starting to see it more often.
Many nonprofits think it’s the cat’s meow because it makes them feel like they’re giving the donors control over their giving.
To be honest, as someone who’s now over 60, having to create a donor account, log in and remember even one more password, especially for just one (monthly) donation, is driving me close to insane.
And I’m sure other baby boomers are in that same boat.
Yes, I have PayPal and I use that often enough that I remember the login. (Fortunately, my computer makes it even easier.) Yes, I will set up an account if I must absolutely do so, but I’d rather not.
I can see why it’s creating donation page friction as it makes donors think twice or perhaps even three times before they create that monthly gift.
So, if you don’t absolutely have to create yet another donor account for monthly gifts, it will help you generate more monthly gifts. If you’re in the process of considering a new donation page provider, think about your donors.
Who are they? What’s their age? Would they be comfortable creating a donor account for a donation to your organization? What’s the benefit? What’s the downside?
Make it easy for the donor up front and take away any friction. You want more donations, right?
I urge you to scan through this wonderful research and identify any hurdles for donating. Take a look at the abandonment rates, and you’ll see what I mean. Because once they leave, it’s really hard to make donors come back for more.
I’d love to know: Are you using a donor account for gifts and monthly gifts? If so, how’s that working for you? How many donors click on your donation link but then leave? Then decide, should you have a donor account for monthly gifts? Yes, or no? I know what I’d vote for!
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals. She authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving — in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and a cat, Mientje.