iMIS is used everyday by thousands of organizations just like yours, helping them to reach their financial goals and better fulfill their strategic missions.We have customers in more than 20 countries including the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.
Measurement matters. Without it you don’t know how you’re doing, and what needs fixing.Our experience has shown us that when these work in harmony…a circle of continuous improvement is created.But first – let’s look at measurement….
So we’re now going to look at specific areas where improvements can be made.
This is from a blog posting by a frustrated would-be donor. She shared her experience of using donor websites – it’s one person’s opinion but it shows how important it is to be aware of the usability of your website.http://www.thematrixfiles.net/blog/examples-of-really-great-donation-pages/
These are two examples of websites that are generally considered to be the gold-standard when it comes to donor-friendly donation pages.The Charity Water example is clean, modern and makes it very clear what you’ve got to do next. It then expands according to your choice of payment method. Everything you need to know about where your money goes is there on the right hand side.The Oxfam example shows everything there on one long, tall page. Again, everything you need is there.In both cases, the call to action was clear on the home page – large, prominent Donate buttons that you can’t miss.
There are very good reasons for making your donation page easy to use.Donors who are acquired online – that is they make their first donation to you via your website, no matter how they got there – make bigger first time donations, and are likely to be younger than donors acquired offline. There are subsequent retention challenges, but we’ll get onto those in a few minutes.But did you know that giving money online is 7% harder than spending money on e-commerce sites?One reason is that sometimes it’s really hard to find out how to give. Even now it’s common to find sites which seem reluctant to take your donation. Hard to see how to give, instructions for downloading and printing off a donation form – it seems like they don’t want your money. If you can’t build one in your website there are plenty of online donation providers who will give you a donation page to put in your website, but with the appropriate commission charges of course.Choices – especially drop-down boxes for choice of fund for example – give donors a great reason to abandon the process and do something else instead. Clearly there are choices that have to be made, but it’s far better to have them make these before they get to the donation page. Create rich content and big buttons that lead the donor to a donation page where there are few decisions to be made apart from how much and how they’re going to pay for it.If you build your own website, or someone in your organization does, you should really take a look at Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox, and particularly the non-profit and charity website usability report.Let’s go a little deeper into what the report recommends...
This is the definitivestudy on non-profit and charity website usability, and it looks at how people actually behave on websites, as opposed to what they say they want a website to behave.It reveals a number of common shortcomings in websites – all of them are relatively simple to overcome – giving you some real opportunities to be exceptional.What donors want – a prominent explanation of an organization’s mission, goals and objectives was by far the most important driver for donations, but only 47% of websites in this study did this!, 2.6 times as the next most, which is the explanation of how the organization uses the donations – and only 5% did this. So the opportunity to be exceptional is clear – make your mission, goals and objectives clear and up-front, and offer clear explanations of how you put the donations to use.Long-term donor engagementDonation killers included simple things like poor design and confusing workflow – which can be simply avoided by following best practice guidelines. Amazingly on 13% of sites the usability testers could not even find out how to make a donation.Inconsistent local chapter sites – a major cause of frustration with websites was where users wanted information on the non-profit’s activities in their communities, but the experience of actually using local chapter websites was variable to say the least. Even elementary brand guidelines such as using the right colors were violated. So the opportunity here is to bring chapter websites into line with main site – even if it’s just creating a unified look and feel. And if you have the opportunity, it is better to control chapter websites by providing the chapter micro-site yourselves.Unclear language – users found it hard to work out what the organization does, why it does it, and therefore its trustworthiness. So a quick win would be to find someone to help you understand whether your site is at fault here too – maybe convene a usability panel of your own?
Social media represents a huge opportunity for non-profits in the sense that it gives you access, or reach – to use social media jargon – to a much wider constituency of people.But is it an effective tool for acquiring donors? Not in the sense many people had first thought it would. For example simply tweeting a link to your donation page will probably not bear much fruit on its own. That said, its potential to find you new donors, and for you to participate in the donor community with them, is huge.The best way to think about social media from a fundraising point of view is that it’s all about raising community. It’s not an e-commerce platform in itself, but it gives you the opportunity to build a community. Social fundraising then, is aboutusing public social media sites to build a community of like-minded constituents and giving them compelling opportunities to donate online via your website.Online donations don’t only come from social media of course – you will be getting the from email campaigns, banner ads and even search engine optimization, but social media is a growing influence on giving…
Now we’re going to look at improving donor retention.
30% This is the improvement you can expect in the rate of your newsletter being opened if you make your emails personal and targeted to the donor.First of all – targeting. By segmenting your database according to giving behavior, you can get a better rate of opening and click-through. This keeps the message focused on those donors, and as we can see…
Smaller audiences with more focused messages enjoy higher open and click-through rates.
Personalization is the other key to high success rates.An email that starts “Dear Friend” is unlikely to be as carefully read as one that starts with a personalized salutation. You can also use the data to control the content that gets sent to each recipient.For example, most email systems have the capability of dynamically including or excluding content based on information about the recipient. So if your donor’s birthday is coming up you could drop in a “happy birthday” message.
Here’s an example of how National Kidney Foundation did this using a simple email that thanked their volunteers for volunteering their time and talents to the cause, and added a simple invitation to give money too.So a simple thank you, reminding them how valuable they are as a volunteer.This is a great area to test, test out different requests – do A/B comparisons and see what gets the greatest response.In time it will also show you what the most successful entry point is to your organization. For example, recruiting volunteers may be a great way to get them into your cause, and converting them to donors may result in higher-value commitment, as the research suggests. So test it!
Research in the UK says that the biggest online donations come from people who have justwatched a video and clicked the Donate button after.Maybe that’s not so surprising, as video is a great way to get a message across with maximum impact.But it’s not just limited to directing donors to your YouTube channel. You can embed video in email, your website or in your Facebook page – just give them a Play button – everyone loves to push play.Short videos are best 60-90 seconds – so give an indication of time if you want people to watch them.
This is a message I received where the sender had not taken care to fill in the “teaser” section of his template. So the email came to me – and everyone else I presume – with the help text where the teaser should be....Understand the tool and take care to use it properly!
iMIS is one system for managing all of your constituentsdonors/members, volunteers, advocates, events attendees, prospects and other constituents; online donations & e-commerce, peer-to-peer fundraising, online communities, and managing your website. Your staff can access iMIS anytime, anywhere via the web or a mobile device.
The iMIS system also includes social media capabilities so that you can extend the visibility of your organization by allowing your constituents to promote your cause and fundraising campaigns through their social media sites.
At ASI,our objective is to help your organization achieve its financial goals and fulfill your strategic mission by providing a solution that supports a full-cycle process of continuous performance improvement. Our best practice approach focuses on Recruitment, Engagement, Measurement, and Growth to help increase donor acquisition, donor engagement, and donor retention.
Thought leadership webinars achieving exceptional fundraising performance oct 2012 share
Achieving Exceptional Fundraising Performance Brian O’ Donnell Performance Improvement Specialist ASI
Who are we?• Advanced Solutions International (ASI)• We help non-profits improve organizational performance• Developers of iMIS: engagement management software• Offices in US, Canada, UK and Australia• c. 200 employees and 100 partners• Thousands of clients in more than 20 countries• Corporate policy – staff engagement in charitable activities
About Me• 7 years @ .org• Fundraising, Constituent Mgmt Solutions, Online / Social media• Nth East• Milton, MA• Soccer• email@example.com
opportunities and challengesAs Warren Buffet once said, “only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s beenswimming naked”…!
agenda“Achieving Exceptional Fundraising Performance”• What’s going on?• Measurement and benchmarking• Improved fundraising performance – tips, strategies and stories• How ASI and iMIS can play a part
2011 total giving – up 4%Corporate giving is down• Overall 2011 corporate giving down 0.1% (3.1% adjusted for inflation)• Greater focus – more money to fewer causes• Matched giving and volunteer programs• International giving is upIndividual giving is up• Individual giving is up 3.9% (0.8% adjusted for inflation)• Bequests up 8.8%• Up: education, human services, health, public society benefit, culture, international affairs, environmental and animals, gifts to individuals• Down: religion / faith-based, gifts to foundationsSources – Giving USA report 2012, Corporate Giving Standard Survey 2012
gains and losses+55.1% ($ value of new donors, upgrades, re-activations)-55% ($ value of reduced gifts, lapsed donors)Net growth: +0.1%(growth of volume of donors was -3.6%)Improved performance = maximize thegains, minimize the lossesImprove donor retentionSource – AFP Fundraising Effectiveness Project 2012
measure what matters• “What gets measured gets attention” – Only measure the things that ultimately contribute to the organization’s mission – Don’t collect and report data just because you can! People will focus on the wrong thing
what are the metrics that matter?• Basic fundraising metrics – Retention – Lifetime value – Response rates (on acquisition and renewals / upgrades) – Average donor value (or count by value band – pyramid) – Return on investment – Cost per $ raised• Depends on your organization – Simply financial?
what are the metrics that matter?• Website analytics• Email delivery / open / click-thru• Emerging metrics – Your social media influence – Your brand reputation
does your website invite donations? “Here’s what I want from a Donate page” • Why I should give • What my money supports • An easy way to make a donation, preferably without having to create a login • If using a third party payment gateway or network, make it really clear to me what I’m going to see on my credit card statement • A statement that you won’t rent or sell my information to other charitiesOptimize donor acquisition
tips for a fundraising website Giving money online: 7% harder than spending on e-commerce sites. So...* • Put a clear call to action on every page • Don’t give the would-be donor too many choices • http://www.useit.com/alertbox/nonprofit- donations.html * Source Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox, Feb 2011Optimize donor acquisition
website usability report* Gap Remedy Not showing what Show mission, goals, donors want to see objectives, use of gift Poor site design and Follow simple, best workflow practice design Inconsistent local Unified look and feel, chapter sites provide chapter sites Unclear language, Speak plainly, answer poor content key donor questions* Source – Nielsen-Norman non-profit and charity website usability report, 2011Optimize donor acquisition
acquiring donors via social mediaOptimize donor acquisition
retention: online vs offline* • Online-acquired donors are often reacting – e.g. Crisis • Higher value • Principle retention method: email newsletters – Well-liked – Persistent – 15% could not subscribe – 9% could not unsubscribe * donorCentrics report 2011Improve donor retention
add video • Video is compelling – donations that come from links in YouTube are worth more than Facebook referrals* • Link to YouTube, or better still embed in message * Justgiving, 2011Improve donor retention
some newsletter email tips • Make the call to action visible without scrolling • Personalize – use data to improve open/clickthru • Make your opt-out and unsubscribe easy to find • Test – creative, images, style of message • Don’t use “clever” technology – Flash, forms etc • Don’t rely on images – some people disable them • Keep your messages small – 100kb max • Use the tool properly…Improve donor retention
peer-to-peer best practice • Help your supporters / fundraisers understand just how the fundraising tools work • Always thank the top fundraisers publicly • A bit of friendly competition works • Encourage your fundraisers to set realistic goalsMaximize donor value
supporter journeys Volunteered Became committed giver Joined First Gift membership Pledged a bequest Volunteered Became committed giverAcquisition – retention - value