What to Do When Your Monthly Donors Click and Leave?
This problem doesn’t just occur with monthly donors, but with all donors. That last step, finishing the donation, is the key. But often, the donor clicks through. They’re ready to make a gift, but for some mysterious reason, they leave. They never finish the donation.
What can you do? Should you just let that donor go?
I say, not necessarily so. I say, use that opportunity to get feedback from your donor to help you improve future donor giving. As fundraisers, we are often learning together. And it’s okay to involve your donor in that process.
Every giving system is different. That means that every online donation form looks and feels differently.
You may or may not have some control over it. If you’re the one designing the donation and monthly giving forms, you can make tweaks. You may be able to move some of the fields around.
I always recommend testing your own pages before you go live, if at all possible. But nothing beats feedback from a donor who came to your site ready to donate, but did not finish. That donor can help you make your form easier to complete, so that more donors will be able to finish the gift in future.
And, as you’re looking to grow your number of monthly donors, because they are so valuable, (right now, worth some $252 on average annually), it’s even more important to ensure they complete the donation and payment information and hit that “Give Monthly” button.
If you use forms through a CRM or a PayPal button, there’s not much room but feedback from your donors could help in make some customization or perhaps even put pressure on the form providers.
So, here’s what I recommend. In your next email, check the number of click throughs to the donation page and see how many people completed the donation/monthly gift. That’s your percentage completed.
Then look in your email provider report and see which people clicked through to the donate page, and you can typically see the email address. You’ll know which ones donated and which ones didn’t. Then, create a very simple and very friendly email and send that as a follow up.
It could read something like this:
Thank you so much for your interest in [organization name]. I’d like to ask you a huge favor.
It seems that you were trying to make a donation or monthly gift on our web site the other day but then stopped. As we recently started using this new online form, I’d love to find out why you didn’t continue your donation?
Would you be able to give me some feedback, so we can improve on your donation experience?
As I’m sure you can imagine your support and that of other friends is tremendously important to the [short mission/clients you serve], so it’s important that the online giving process is the easiest it can be.
Thank you so much for comments you’d like to share. And thank you for your support!
Sincerely, Gratefully, your typical friendliest greeting goes here.
Commercial folks call this the Abandoned cart email. Let’s call this the abandoned donation email. The more personal you can make it, the better off you are. You want to make absolutely certain that the donor knows is comes from your organization.
What do you have to lose by sending this? It’s an easy way to learn how you can make your donor’s giving experience better and thus help generate more donations for your organization.
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.