“Raising funds online is not about technology, any more than raising funds through the mail is about paper” -- NFG Online Giving StudyGiving – whether online or offline – is about relationships
And that doesn’t start in Dec or Nov or even Oct. You make the most of December starting in January – with year-round engagement and cultivation So, Depending on donor relations work so far this year, you’ve either got a lot of catching up to do or you’ve already started laying the groundwork for a strong EOY campaign
Even if you haven’t started getting ready for EOY fundraising push, you’ve still got time to prepare. But you’ve got to start now!Because it takes months of list building, donor relations, testing, and evaluating your results to make the most of your year-end fundraising push.So the earlier you start, the better. And if there are recommendations in this webinar that you aren’t able to implement this year, think about making them part of your plan for next year.
When we talk about online giving, we’re talking about more than online transactions. We’re talking about everything you do online that results in people giving (or not giving) – whether they end up giving that gift by mail, phone, online, whatever... So, all these strategies have a ripple effect on the rest of your fundraising -- whether you’re donors are online, offline or both
People who write checks will still go to your website beforehand
And people who get something in the mail will go online to give
Integration is ultimate goal – must be clear to donors that everyone is singing the same song. Even if different people or depts coordinate functions. To your donors, it’s all the same organization and so it needs to look like part of a broader whole.
The Importance of December-- prepare for attack of the statistics
33% of all online donations are made in December
10-20% are made just in the last two days of December
On Dec 31st, online giving peak is 10-6pm in all time zones
December is not only when most gifts are given, but also larger gifts
Donors who give their 1st gift in Dec give 52% more over the following three years than those who give their first gifts at any other point in the year
HOW TO MAKE MOST OF DECEMBER
Acquisition is expensive & online communication is cheapCosts up to 10X more…
Make sure supporters aren’t only hearing from you when you want something
Thank your supporters for past gifts throughout the year….. esp before EOY push beginsTell them the difference their past gifts have madeIf you’re going to be trying to bring volunteers and activists over as donors, thank them too for all they’ve done.
Don’t forget about personal calls and notesThis is still the gold standard for saying TY
Welcome new supporters who give between now and when end-of-year campaign begins – recent donors are more likely to give again than someone who hasn’t given in almost a year
Building your list, expanding your network, broadening your circle
Have 2-3 collection tools on your home page like on this websiteGet updates, breaking news, etcFeatured action to takeQuizzes, polls, surveysFeature a way to sign up on every page – above the fold!
Splash screen for home page urging people to join some latest, greatest effortCan also use this as a way to promote giving as year-end campaign enters last week (more on that later)
Promote on social networks – offer compelling reasons to sign up
Always give Forward to Friend option, and make it easy to share
Add sign-up link to your email signature
Give offline donors a reason to give you their email addressAnyone who calls – ask for email address to keep in touchPromote in print newsletters and in direct mailPromote at eventsBut have something to offer – exclusive online content, being first to know something, etc.
Prominent DONATE button –or give or contribute (BUT not “support”)Big, colorful and above the foldOn every page, not just home page
Can I understand what you do and why I should care in 2-3 seconds?
Clear where money goes and that donations are critical to success
Photos and stories that connect with visitors emotionally
Convey impact, track record of success
Multiple links to donate
Navigation -- clean, simple, easy to use
One clear ask/call to actionBrief, compelling reminder on donation form emphasizing urgent, critical need
Have a “Why Donate” page you can link to the Donation pageSuggestion for improving this one --- Remove all other navigation options from donate page except link back to home page and to why donate page
Make sure it’s clear that it’s a form, some of fields must be above the fold
Only one-page forms!This is obviously too small to see but I wanted to give you a sense of the length. It’s short and all on one page.Don’t ask for any info you don’t need right away – the more info requested, the higher the abandon rate. So ask them about why they’re giving, what issues they care about, etc, LATER.
Don’t require creation of an account
Include your mailing address, phone and email on donation pageThird party endorsementsSecurity seal
Test your donation formsDo they all work? Test all ways to give – your website, FB, any giving portals like guidestar, etc.
Test drive errors too. What happens if a required field is left blank?Make sure all info doesn’t have to be re-entered.
Test different versions of your form over the next couple of months to see if gift completion rates increase or decrease based on change – only test one change at time!Include gift string or open-ended fieldHigh to low or low to high gift stringVertical or horizontal?Sustainer ask on form? ………………………
2 columns vs oneLength of time for testing each will depend on site traffic
Branded vs generic giving pagesGiving is stronger and donors are more loyal when online gifts are given through a charity-branded sitesAnd here’s one example of how a branded giving page could look
People giving on branded site – and here is another example –Give larger gifts to startandIncrease their gifts by 38% more over two years
This – on the other hand – is an example of a generic giving page. One that isn’t branded. It just has the contact info for the organization. It looks totally different from their own website. Breaks connection with cause, take visitors away from your site, and some supporters could think they’re in the wrong place.Loyalty for donors acquired through generic giving pages is 66.7% lower than charity-branded sitesIt can cost more to set up a branded site but it’s worth it. The investment will pay for itself.
Let’s move on to talking about what happens after people push SEND on their donation page.
Personal auto-responders – make them special
Offer next steps on donation confirmation page that pops up after the gift is submittedTake actionTell your friendsShare on FB, etc
Send another thank you a day or two laterPersonal, no Dear SupporterSigned by someone at organizationSpecific to appeal, reinforce what gift is forWelcome email for 1st time supporters
Report back in few months on impact of donation (before next ask!)Give your donors credit for what you achieved – it’s not about you/your org
Let volunteers, beneficiaries of your services, program staff, other donors, etc, thank supporters too
Find three people who aren’t familiar with your siteAsk them each to (not all at the same time, separately):Go to your siteTake an action/sign-up for enewsMake a gift
Have them each walk you through their train of thought as they’re navigating your site, why are they doing what they’re doing
Video tape or have someone else take detailed notesAsk for feedback, suggested changesThis should identify vast majority of issues
Learn from Current Behavior
Where are people going? What pages?What are they clicking, reading?How much time are they spending on certain pages?Are they taking some kind of action – giving, signing up, etc?Through what pages are they getting to Donate button/page?Are they finishing donation process?
How are people finding your site? Who or what is driving your traffic? Focus on these!
Develop plan for full EOY push – all components, channels, piecesInclude communications that aren’t asks -- send updates on progress, etc
Decide on segmentation and different messages for each – current, recent, lapsed, volunteers who have never given, etc, etc.
Start backwards and put everything on timeline starting with what will happen on Dec 31stBuild in testing time
For each component, figure out:Launch dateTheme/storySignerAction desiredSegmentationEsp filtering out those who already gave if needed
Coordination with social media
Coordination with offline communications
Here’s an idea of how the timeline of a campaign like this could look…
Capitalize on End of Year Giving: Strategies to End 2011 on a High Note
Fundraising solutions Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Pages and Event Registration Donor Analytics and Market Research Online Donations Personal Support for your nonprofit, donors, and fundraisers Easy, tested, and secure transaction processes for the donor
“Raising funds online is not about technology any more than raising funds through the mail is about paper.” ~ Online Giving Study, Network for Good