The most painful number in online fundraising is the gap between the number of people who arrive on a giving page and the number who actually complete the process of giving. Those people presumably intended to give, but something went awry.
You should do everything possible to make sure that whatever went wrong wasn’t your fault. Here are some ideas from npEngage on ways to keep donors on your donation page until they’ve donated (You have been abandoned):
- Include as few fields as possible
- Avoid a “review & confirm” step in the donation process
- Include a prominent security badge
- Remove captchas
- Include a short but compelling message on the form
- Use single-page forms
- Make sure your forms display well on mobile devices
Is your online giving process like this?
(Or watch it here on YouTube.
Don’t flinch. Watch it carefully. There’s a good chance you’re putting donors (or would-be donors) through this kind of thing.
If this is at all like what you’re putting out there, you need to fire the people who are making it that way right now — and get it done right!
Here’s my Fundraising Ninja column in this month’s FundRaising Success magazine, Are Your Online and Offline Efforts in Sync?.
Teaser: “Many organizations today have falling direct-mail response rates and little or no increase in online giving. Those are the Great Compromise organizations.
Others have stable (even improving) direct-mail results — and skyrocketing online giving. Those are the ones not shackled by the Compromise.”
More evidence that your donors are moving online, this from the Pew Internet Project: Older adults and internet use. Key findings:
- 53% of Americans age 65 and older use the internet or email
- But of those 76 and older, internet adoption is only 34%
It’s likely your 65-and-up donors are even more online than these figures show. Donors as a group index high for income, education, and technology use. If anyone is telling you there’s no need to pay attention to your website’s ability to process gifts or your ability to email your supporters, they’re more wrong about that every day.
Thanks to Clairification for the tip.
If you’re serious about raising funds online, solid email appeals, a strong and easy-to-use website, and both of them integrated with what you’re doing in direct mail are what you need to focus on.
As About Nonprofit Charitable Orgs notes, at More than Half of Older Americans Use the Internet and Email, older people, the real donors that drive fundraising growth, are increasingly interacting with charities and giving online:
If you’re still thinking that older people are only fishing your fundraising letters out of their mailboxes or are missing out on your email newsletters, think again. It’s really the older crowd that constitutes a big share of multichannel donors….
That’s right. Getting your act together online is a matter of keeping up with where your donors are.