Building awareness and getting people familiar with your organization and cause is important—but to stay afloat, increase online giving conversions on your website to increase your bottom line and allow you to create a larger impact.
Online giving is responsible for about 7% of total fundraising revenue per year and grows at a rate of about 8% per year (which doesn’t include grants).
Consider these steps to increase your online giving conversions.
Optimize for mobile
Last year 17% of online transactions were made using a mobile device, and shows about a 20% year-over-year growth. In the business world, experts are projecting that by 2018 e-commerce will reach well over $100 billion in revenue, 45% of which will come from mobile giving alone.
If nothing else, it’s worth noting that 60% of donors research your organization before giving, so making your mobile experience worthwhile is an awesome first step to generating more online giving conversions.
People are getting more and more comfortable making transactions not just on a desktop, but on their mobile phones as well. By optimizing your giving platforms for mobile, you make it that much easier for people to navigate your site, and ultimately contribute a donation.
Make sure all of the design and functionalities of your site and giving forms are compatible with a touch screen as well. If you can automatically populate some of the form fields, this will help the ease of donation.
Make it easy
I can’t stress this one enough. A visitor will leave your site if they can’t easily find what they want. A confusing site is frustrating and won’t engage those who land on your site. Half the battle is getting people to your site, so make sure once they get there, they’re not inclined to leave.
You can track this objectively by digging into your site metrics and finding what your bounce rate looks like. If it’s between 5-20%, you’re fine, but anything above that is a good sign that you need to make your site more attractive and intuitive.
Visitors to your site should be able to get to any given page in three clicks or fewer. I used to say two clicks, but there are some pages that you might want to hide on purpose if they’re more specific. Create easily accessible links for important pages like your “About” page, and you can even make a static button to “Donate Now.”
To keep things simple, only ask for the information you absolutely need to make the process as fast as possible—you can always ask for more later.
Quality over quantity
Smaller nonprofits and startups start to salivate and their eyes widen when they see their potential reach if they’re just starting with Facebook ads or anything similar. They want as broad of an audience as possible because “for $15 more per day, you’ll reach up to 10,000 more people.”
While getting a larger audience is good, it’s more important to reach the right people over reaching a huge quantity of people. Sometimes it’s better to reach one person over a thousand—you could reach 1,000 people, but if none of them are passionate about your cause or won’t be interested in giving then it’s a wash.
Keep your campaigns specific to platforms and websites where your target demographic is present. You can also create partnerships and join associations to partner and cross-promote with alike organizations.
Let’s get visual
Put effort into creating an experience for your site visitors. From the time they land on your page to the time they see a “thank-you” screen, they should be visually compelled. The caveat is to be sure the screens aren’t too cluttered.
Keep the file sizes appropriate to stay high resolution, but make sure they’re not too large. This will keep your site from loading slowly. Most images in “full size” are much too large for your website and will bog down the experience and slow down their transaction time.
Making the most of your online experience is a worthwhile investment because it will create more online giving conversions. Consumer data shows that e-commerce and mobile giving platforms are here to stay, so getting behind the curve early will ensure your success.
Originally posted 3.17.17 — Updated 2.20.18