Posted by on Apr 16, 2015 Views: 5599

3 Tips for Getting More Online Donations

This blog post was written by JustGive.

Despite what we all really want, there’s no single magic bullet for raising more money online. It’s finding the right combination of what your organizations says and does to reach out, capture donors’ attention, and be persuasive. There are, however, several best practices for increasing online donations. Here are three of the most effective ones:

  1. Optimize your site and emails for mobile donations, and use responsive design.

Make it easy for donors to give when and wherever they are online. With the ever-increasing use of smart phones, tablets and iPads, you don’t want to miss out on any donations because it’s difficult or impossible to give from a mobile device.

In case you’re skeptical it’s that important, check out some recent Blackbaud studies and stats:

  • Donors were 34% more likely to make a gift after reaching a donation form when the website was responsive. Read details at npENGAGE.
  • After the 2014 Giving Season, a study of nearly 350 small and medium-sized nonprofits found 9.5% of donations came from mobile devices (on average). Results are even higher for emails, with 16.6% mobile giving from an email. The infographic below summarizes survey findings. (You can read more in this article by Brandon Granger.)

pic 4.15

Check your own Google Analytics stats for mobile transactions and see what you find. Your mobile giving could easily be higher than the stats quoted.

  1. Tell donors what their gift can do – communicate impact.

Donors want to know how you’ll use their money and what difference their gift makes. Several surveys, including Cygnus Research 2014 Burk Donor Survey and Money for Good II found that up to 70 percent of donors are looking for this information.

giftOn website pages where you describe programs and services, include results. Pull compelling photos, stats and stories from your annual report or year-end newsletter and weave them into content or graphics. Showcase results in an infographic. Talking about your accomplishments in multiple places on the site helps convince visitors that your organization puts money to good use: it builds your case for support before they reach your Donation Page.

On your Donation Page, list several programs and levels of giving, and be specific about what each donation can do. These impact statements can persuade donors to give more, knowing what a donation accomplishes. And don’t forget to carry that practice through on partner sites where your organization appears, like Great NonProfits.

Are you giving donors the option to automatically donate every month? If you’re not set up for this, it doesn’t take much to do. Providers like JustGive offer free Give Monthly buttons you can easily add to your site to generate a steady stream of support. (They can also process ongoing gifts cost-effectively.)

  1. Say thank you

Immediately sending an email donation receipt makes donors feel appreciated. That starts your relationship on a good foot, paving the way for more communication.

Use your reports and donor data (review what’s provided by any processing partner) for a second follow up. You can do this effectively with an email that talks about a recent/newsworthy accomplishment of your organization and, at the same time, reminds them again about the impact of their gift.

thanksFor donors who give large gifts, consider a handwritten note or call to personally connect – without making another appeal. Just acknowledge what they’ve done and say thanks again. This creates a positive vibe and can take them by surprise when you don’t ask for more money right away, making them more likely to donate again.

– Candy Culver, Director of Marketing for JustGive