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55 ways to love your donors - The Digital Nonprofit with Benjamin Johnson


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Frontier has recently conducted a study of online fundraising practices among Canadian Christian Charities. They’ll present their findings, which lay out a series of best-practices that can be used to evaluate any charity website, as well as actionable steps to make some of the most critical changes.

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55 ways to love your donors - The Digital Nonprofit with Benjamin Johnson

  1. 1. 55 Ways to Love Your Donor Best practices for every charity.
  3. 3. members of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities (aka 4C’s). $10ish donations days of research donor experience best practices big take-aways (for today) 92 90 90ish 55 5
  4. 4. rubric Several common features of scoring rubrics: 1. focus on measuring a stated objective 2. use a range to rate performance 3. contain specific performance characteristics arranged in levels
  5. 5. 4 3 2 1 0 Provide suggested amounts/default amount Out of 4 Suggested donation buttons that auto-fill form when clicked, on the same page as the donation form. They're doing something slick Suggested donation buttons, but they have no auto-fill on the form or you're taken to a different page, or they're just radio buttons at the top Suggested donation amount(s) provided, but no buttons n/a No suggested amounts. A normal gift amount is a mystery rubric
  6. 6. of 100 of 70 scatter plot
  7. 7. pareto frontier
  8. 8. Don’t phone it in when it comes to mobile. 53 of 92 charities did not have responsive websites 200-400% mobile revenue growth, common among our clients When a site is responsive, giving on mobile devices doubles.
  9. 9. What to do when you’re expecting mobile: Use Google’s responsiveness test tool to see where your charity’s website stands: When making changes to your website, or hearing feedback from other staff, include your smartphone in the discussion. Fast hosting. 16% of mobile users give up if pages take too long. Break big tasks into smaller steps. Smaller forms allow the user to focus, and are a less intimidating experience. Reduce the Number of Taps. The fewer taps to get to checkout, the more likely a user is to complete the donation process.
  10. 10. Tell me how much to give. 68% of the charities we studied gave no suggested amount or any explanation of how funds are used (meals, shelter, support, etc). 45% made no attempt to describe how the donor’s gift would be spent (eg. on administration, programs, or fundraising, etc.).
  11. 11. Have your accountability documents ready. 74% of individuals and 71% of foundations indicated they’d like to see financial information prior to making a donation. 20 of the charities did not list their charity registration number on the website, and had no trustmark or any proven affiliation. 20 did have their charity number, with security badge and other affiliations on the footer of each page.
  12. 12. WHAT IS A TRUSTMARK? A badge, image or logo found on an electronic commerce Web site that indicates the Web site is a member of a professional organization or that the Web site has passed security tests. The trustmark shows approval branding of a well-known third company. Some common e-commerce trustmarks include those for SSL security, Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, hacker-free, and others. May also be written as trust mark. (via
  13. 13. We recommend the following: ü  Your latest annual report ü  Your latest and historical financial reports ü  A privacy policy including references to donors’ information ü  An ethical fundraising standards page
  14. 14. Looking good at Livestrong:
  15. 15. Tell me where to click. “Get the language right first (and the colors). Tech isn't going to fix your problem, communication is.” - Seth Godin
  16. 16. Easter fundraising at Frontier:
  17. 17. Minimize distractions on donate page and checkout. We looked for charities to do the following: ü  Under 20 ways to leave the donate page without making a donation ü  13 or fewer fields on a checkout page (excluding business & tribute) ü  A simplified header and/or footer on the donate and checkout page ü  A highly legible font on the donate form built for screen applications ü  A donate link that is human and familar, not 123abc.aspx or ü  Automatically generate city and province info based on the address
  18. 18. Give monthly Other ways to give Common Questions
  19. 19. To give is an emotional decision not a rational one. q  Do not “add to cart” q  Do not “submit” q  No more CAPTCHA q  Remove review and confirm step q  Don’t ask for money to pay for credit card fees q  Use or another friendly email address q  Personalize your thank you message
  20. 20. Hey Jude, don’t make it bad:
  21. 21. Five principles we’d like charities to take away: ü  Mobile should be a top priority of 2015 for any website ü  Giving is an emotional experience that anyone can cultivate ü  Ask specific amounts to get greater results ü  Show your documentation for the most particular donors ü  Lead users through colour, simplicity, and good design