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
Yesterday we looked at reasons most nonprofits aren’t as “awesome” as charity:water. Here’s more about charity:water from the Duarte Blog, a presentation design blog: How charity:water is Changing the World.
They point out three things they like about charity:water…
- The 100% model. 100% of public donations go directly to water projects.
- Relentless transparency. You are given precise information, including the exact GPS coordinates of where your money is being spent.
- Good design. They have cultivated a beautiful brand and provide well-designed and effective tools to help you spread the good word.
This is useful information because it’s not what a fundraising professional thinks, but a donor point of view. Let’s take a look at each of these things:
- Fundraisers often pooh-pooh the “100% model” because from our vantage it’s just a financial shell game. But donors, a lot of them, really love it. Unfortunately, donors tend to see overhead spending as a lesser thing that they aren’t interested in supporting. Sure, they’re wrong about that, but would you rather win an argument or raise more funds? Maybe you should figure out a way to put the “100% model” to work for your organization.
- We also tend to dislike “relentless transparency.” Don’t those donors know that all that information sharing takes time and money? But do you ever wonder what the ROI of that sharing might be?
- It’s interesting that a design firm makes no distinction between the way things look and the way they work. The main characteristic of good design is that it delivers an effortless, unconfusing, crystal-clear experience. As for beauty, it’s in the eye of the beholder — the donor. The charity:water donor is probably younger than your donor. But whoever your donor is, design for her, not for yourself.
Email marketers are a good source of handy information for us fundraisers. They’re always testing and studying with their huge email files. That’s where this post, 5 New Email Marketing Tips Based on Recent Studies, from Totally Uncorked on Marketing gets some handy new tidbits:
- Send your e-mail marketing at the beginning of the week when open rates are higher.
- Test personalizing your e-mails — it may have a negative effect on open and click rates.
- Email more frequently than once a month. (Emailing infrequently is the likely path to shrinking your list.)
- Keep email subject lines between 28-39 characters.
- If a large part of your recipient list uses mobile devices, try keeping email messages in the 50KB range to ensure they load quickly.
There’s backup behind each of these. Check them out.
If you’re looking for quick, easy, and cheap improvements to your direct mail packages, check out this post at the Direct Creative Blog: 12 fast direct mail tests for cheapskates.
- Change your outer envelope.
- Test a new letter.
- Remove your brochure.
- Include a stand-alone reply form.
- Insert a lift note.
- Strengthen your offer.
- Offer something free.
- Add a time limit.
- Highlight your guarantee.
- Build a package around your self-mailer.
- Mail your print ad.
- Try the two-step.
Think of them as cheap tests. Or just as good ideas.
Here’s more about telling stories so they support your fundraising, from Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing blog: 3 ways to make the story of your cause impossible to ignore.
- If we’re not feeling, we’re not conscious. (Emotion is the normal state for all people, all the time.)
- The story is in the specifics. (Details, details, details.)
- Zero in on your point. (Don’t let your wonderful story get in the way of your call to action.)