December 03, 2021
The Blackbaud Institute research shows that online donations increased by 21% in 2020. If there was ever a time to make this a priority, it is now. We have some tips to make sure the digital donations are rolling in!
The Call to Action
One of the most important parts of any website is your call to action. Your CTA should guide your donors to the donate button and should be visible within seconds of being on your website. The best way to lose a donor is to confuse them. The donation link should be prominently placed, in bold colors, so that it can’t be missed. Place this important link at the top of every single one of your pages for maximum visibility.
Here are some examples (other than Donate Now) of a great CTA:
- Give to our cause!
- Make a difference!
- Sustain our mission!
- Complete your gift!
- Support ____ (insert non-profit name)!
Simplify the Form
When donors click on your donate button, they are whisked to your donation form. As a fundraising executive, you would love to collect as much information as you can about them by using that form, but take our advice and keep it short and sweet. Think about the times you have been asked to fill out multiple-page, overly detailed online forms. Frustrating, right? There is very little information you must have in order to get in touch with someone. A simple email address will be enough. I like to ask for their name, phone number and email, but I only make the email address an actual requirement. The rest of the questions are optional. People like to feel as though they have a choice in what personal information they provide and how they want to be contacted. To ensure you haven’t inadvertently made your form more complex than it should be, invite a number of people to test it for you. Ask them to tell you about any problems they encountered, then iron out those issues. Simplicity works.
Express Genuine Appreciation
Donors want to be sure that their online donations went through, so a reassuring message is important. But why settle for sending them an automated “thank you for your gift” message? Use the opportunity to tell your donor more about your organization. Create a short video where donors can see how their donations will impact your cause. It will humanize your organization and potentially stir emotions which can lead to people feeling a call to help by donating. You could also highlight an award received or show a photo from a recent charity event. Stories of successes assure donors that their contributions are important and valuable. This is also a great time to invite them to sign up for a newsletter or other publications. Use the thank you as a way to start a continuing correspondence with your supporters.
If you want to go a step further, send them a welcome package. This can be as simple as a thank you letter and a small token such as a sticker or bookmark. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.
The Magic of Social Media
Social media has given nonprofits an opportunity to reach more people than ever before. Especially as the pandemic continues. Platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter are some of the most powerful places to reach donors.
Video rules when it comes to social media. Sharing Facebook and Instagram stories (short videos that are available for 24 hours) and live streaming are both terrific, easy ways to connect with donors. Tiktok is a video-only social media app with over a billion users. This is an audience that you don’t want to miss out on! TikTok also creates campaigns that raise awareness about particular causes. They call this TikTok for Good.
With social media, you can keep current donors up to date with what your non-profit is doing, while also attracting new donors. It’s a simple way to share your mission with a large audience and have fun while doing so. And don’t forget the best part – it’s FREE!
As more and more donors move to online giving, don’t get left behind. If your current strategy needs to be refreshed, try one, or all, of these tips. We’d love to hear about it, so leave us a comment below!
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