May 9, 2013
Increasing awareness of a cause and garnering new donations involves looking long and hard at current approaches. Whether they are working or not, charities should always try to find ways to understand online donation trends and donor interaction habits. The internet offers users a plethora of ways to engage with an organization and its cause, but harnessing those opportunities and working toward a more cohesive charity fundraising approach is key.
Know where the organization stands
Online donation requests can be a very useful and effective way to get in touch with people interested in giving a monetary gift and supporting the initiatives of the charity. However, it's important to know the facts. NP Engage ran a small study of online gift sizes, finding that people donated an average of $146 in 2012. This was an increase of $14 from 2011. Additionally, education institutions saw the largest average gift size at $629, and healthcare organizations have the smallest at $94. Donors typically give depending on the season, and December sees the largest amount of gifts by at least twice as much as other months. Examining these trends, charities may be able to gain some insight as to how their organization is faring and how aware the public is of their cause.
Make it easier to donate
Improving the fundraising process and working with credit card processing companies helps bring donors right to the cause and a donation form, but it may also be best to step back and make the process as easy as possible for people. The Nonprofit Hub stated that difficulties throughout donating experience can deter people and hinder the overall fundraising process. Because of this, charities need to reduce online donation friction and develop a smoother procedure for donors.
Nonprofit Hub listed extensive content, tiring steps, long forms and a poor website design as some of the main reasons people don't want to donate. They may also be having problems with the website, such as too many decisions to make or call to actions, broken links, error pages and slow downloads. This can deter them before they even reach the donation request form, and it's the charities' jobs to make sure they are making the experience as simple and hassle-free as possible. While it may not be possible to eliminate all road bumps, it may be worth it to try testing a couple of different website layouts, looking at Google Analytics to see how people are interacting with the website and working to develop the most successful strategy for online fundraising.