By Christy Noel, Vice President of Digital Marketing Services at MobileCause – a company that pioneered text-to-donate and also offers an extensive suite of online, mobile and event fundraising solutions. She advises nonprofits to accelerate their fundraising and engagement efforts through giving and marketing strategies via digital technologies.
You’ve got your branding and nonprofit messaging down, your outreach is humming along, and your website is looking good. So why can’t you convert more of your web traffic into donors? In the process of coming up with a nice design and captivating storytelling to capture potential supporters, you may be overlooking a few fundamental and truly effective steps to boost conversions on your online donation page. Here are our 4 proven ways to improve your online giving page so you can bring in more donations.
1) Make Giving Simple
This may seem obvious, but it tops our list because so many nonprofits actually make online giving, well, complicated. According to NP Engage, nonprofits see abandonment rates of 50% – 70% on their donation pages. This is mainly due to unwieldy pages, extra (unnecessary) steps supporters must take to complete donations and/or a lack of mobile-friendly giving pages. Well, mobile-friendly is no longer an option for nonprofits of any size. Bypassing it can bring disheartening results and leave countless dollars on the table.
Online and Mobile-Friendly is Giving-Friendly
- 5% of 2018’s overall fundraising revenue was raised online, a record high 1
- 26% of funds raised were donated through a website 2
- 24% of online donations were made using a mobile device 1
- Average online donation amount is $139 2
Start building your most streamlined, mobile-friendly donor experience with these steps:
- Make your ‘Donate’ button on your website easy to find. Want donors to give, don’t make them work to figure out how. Ensure your ‘Donate” button jumps off the page. Think: big, bold and standalone – away from other button options. Be certain it looks this way on a mobile device and not just a desktop.
- Use a single-page donation form. Multi-pages on a desktop and phone are cumbersome, clunky, and according to studies, will result in a higher abandonment rate.3
Get mobile responsive, not just mobile-friendly. Responsive designs have dynamic content that changes based on the user and their device with condensed navigation and optimized images (to name a few). To maximize responsiveness and conversion, have only a few form fields and capture only the minimum information needed to eliminate the friction for donor completion.
2) Capture Mobile Numbers on Your Donation Form
Nonprofits are missing a big opportunity to stay more connected with their constituents by not capturing mobile phone numbers. Capturing mobile phone numbers enables you to not only send an immediate receipt and thank you for their gift, but to also continue future communications so you can steward donors into lifelong supporters.
Rest assured, collecting mobile numbers and using them for your nonprofit is a-OK. According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), as a nonprofit, if you have a donor’s phone number, or a donor supplies it, it is implied permission to text them any future messages. You can now confidently text message donors information about fundraising campaigns, events, notices, program updates, emergencies, volunteer opportunities, requests for information and much more.
Still not convinced mobile messaging is the way to reach your donors?
- 98% of text messages are read 2
- 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of being sent 2
- Only 24% of emails are being read at all (not to mention their 2.57% click-thru rate) 2
The evidence makes it clear that text messaging is a powerful, effective way to communicate with supporters, that nonprofits should not miss out on.
3) Provide a Text-to-Donate Option for All Campaigns
Adding a text-to-donate keyword and short code can help super power your online giving because it meets your donors where they are the most: on their phones. Instruct donors to text a keyword, branded clearly and strategically for your NPO or campaign, to a shortcode and they’ll instantly be sent a link to a secure donation form they can complete from their mobile device.
Leverage the power of keyword and shortcodes when promoting your fundraiser using video, radio, Facebook Live, television, direct mail, and in-person events. There’s no limit to the places you can use text-to-donate and it makes giving easy and accessible anytime, anywhere. Just remember, within social media posts and email, including a direct link to the giving form is always best and easiest.
Text-to-donate also provides another online giving option for supporters, with each option driving the other and building to more donors and donations. Perhaps not everyone will participate in text-do-donate, but those who do convert 2-3 times more than those who go to a website to donate. 2
4) Be Strategic with Suggested Donation Amounts
Most savvy nonprofits know it’s a good idea to offer suggested donation amounts on their online giving pages. But did you know there are tactical ways of choosing your suggested giving levels and showcasing them on your giving form that are surefire ways to boost donations and donation amounts?
Here are some key strategies to try when it comes to your giving levels:
- Include only 3 options for donors to select plus the option to add their own amount. You don’t want to offer donors too many options, but rather a curated group that makes donors feel more confident in giving.
- Suggest donation amounts that correspond with previous online giving levels. Start by setting your middle number a little higher than your average online donation amount and then set one lower and one higher from there. Let’s say your average online donation is $30, then $300 would likely be a real stretch. Try offering $10, $40 and $80. Donors are more likely to upgrade to $40 than downgrade to $10.
- Always order suggested donations highest to lowest. This not only “anchors” the first and highest amount, psychologically into the mind of your donor, but creates social influence where supporters won’t want to feel ungenerous by selecting the lowest level of giving.4
- Showcase impact metrics of what each giving level can accomplish. Supporters want to know that giving to your organization is making a difference. Yet only 4% of nonprofit websites explain how they use donations.5 Don’t miss the chance to highlight the good donations do at any level. For example: $25 provides one child with a backpack and supplies, $50 will provide 5 children transportation to school, $75 will provide one child with specialized one-on-one education.
- Set a default amount and do so wisely. Many of the nonprofits who use defaults set it at a lower amount. This can encourage more new donors into your NPO, which is a great thing. However, by setting your default to a higher giving level, you may bring in less donors but it may help you raise more money, especially with existing, loyal donors.6 So, think carefully and choose based on the goals of your nonprofit.
Some of these changes and ideas may feel new to you and it may be tempting to skip trying something different and just keep plugging along the way you have been. Don’t lose the chance to give donors a means of connecting with your nonprofit in ways that are both meaningful for them and embraces their way of life. Start testing these strategies for yourself. You’ll be surprised at how easy they are to put in place and the results that start coming your way in the form of new donors and more conversions, which means you can keep growing your mission.
MobileCause provides an innovative suite of digital fundraising software and donor engagement solutions that help nonprofits raise more to do more good. They are the pioneers of text-to-donate and offer online, mobile and event fundraising solutions with peer-to-peer campaigns, mobile messaging, robust reporting & analytics and CRM integration. Their dedicated team of expert Digital Fundraising Strategists work with you to provide campaign setup, strategy and promotional tools to help take your mission to the next level.