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003 – Increase donations and fundraising through your website

Audio recording

In this episode David discusses how non-profits can increase donations and fundraising through their websites.

Some quick highlights:

  • A quick look at how 2020 affected fundraising
  • Data from the United States of America, Canada, Great Britain/United Kingdom
  • Millenials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers
  • A bit more stats
  • 5 reasons why non-profits should be ready to take advantage of trends in online donations
  • 4 ways how your online platform can improve your fundraising for your non-profit
  • One-time vs monthly donations
  • Using analytics to determine where you should be asking for donations
    and more…
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Listen through to the end as there’s a special surprise waiting for you! How would you like to increase your donations by up to 20%?

Find out how to get the details!

Episode Transcription

In today’s episode, I’m going to be talking to you about how you can increase your donations and fundraising through your website. It’s not just about having a donate button or a foundation landing page. There’s more to it, so listen up and stay tuned right through to the end, we have a special ebook offer for you where you’ll learn some simple words that you can use in your marketing to increase your donations by upwards of 20%.

Welcome, you are listening to the Non-profit Digital Success Podcast. I’m your host David, from Wow Digital.

Last year brought huge challenges for all Industries worldwide, nonprofit organizations also had to find new and innovative ways to raise funds without depending on their conventional action plans. One of the key reasons is that traditional methods of fundraising for nonprofits were typically in-person events, getting media coverage, using print collateral, or flyers, direct mail, or newsletters. Sound familiar? Is this what you’re doing?

These types of mediums are not bringing in the numbers that they should and that they typically have in the past, although they lead to touchpoint and engagement with different donors, there is often overlap between them. This leads to lapses in communication and a lack of personalization, and that very often leads to a negative donor experience.

Before we get into discussing why you need to have online donations as part of your website and your marketing, let’s take a look at the data. What does that tell us? And how can that help us make informed decisions about spending the time and effort to invest in what’s needed to bring online donations to fruition for your organization? And if you already have online donations, why you should consider putting more effort and time into working that system.

Statistics show according to a nonprofit source, that 54% of donors worldwide prefer to give online, and giving online is growing each year. Americans are by far the most generous nation. The annual private philanthropy in the United States represents about 1.4% of the country’s GDP, it’s almost twice as high as the 0.77% recorded in Canada. Over 50% of Britons have donated money to charities in the past 12 months. UK donations stats show that approximately 60% of people have donated money in the past year and the average monthly charity giving among British people is £44.

It’s interesting to note that online charitable giving in the UK increased by 17% in 2018. In Canada, about 84% of Canadians have donated money to charities and that works out to be about 10.6 billion dollars. That’s huge! The average annual contribution among Canadians is roughly $446, and each person in Canada who donates money supports 3.8 charities and non-profits on average, according to global charitable statistics.

So let’s take a look at three different groups of people: Millennial donors worldwide, Gen-X donors worldwide, and baby boomer donors worldwide. Millennials prefer to give online at 55%, in cash at 14%, and they are most inspired by what they see on social media at 39%, and what they get via email at 23%.

Gen-X prefer online donations as the main way to make a donation at 55%, and bank or wire transfer at 12%, and they are most inspired as well at 33% for social media, and 26% for email.

Baby Boomers prefer to donate online with 54%, followed by direct mail and post by 19% in they’re most inspired to give by what they receive via email.

Online giving is increasing about 17% year-over-year, where overall giving, in general, is only growing at 6%. The rate of growth from 2018 to 2019 data shows that 33% is done via mobile and 25% is done from desktop computers. However, going from 2006 to 2016, Canadians who give to charities have decreased, participation in giving has dropped 25% of Canadians in 2006 to 20% in 2016.

Canadians 45 and older have seen the largest decline in donation rate. The younger age groups, so under 25, has declined about 1.1%, the group from 25 to 34 has declined 4.9%, 35 to 44 4.6%, and then from 45 to basically 75 and up it seems to be about on average 6.5% that has decreased. What this data explains is that even though fewer people are donating, seems to be about 5% on average that’s decreasing. When we look at the complete spectrum of ages, what they’re giving is more and that’s a key thing to understand.

One time donations are increasing at 24%, whereas monthly donations are increasing at 27%, it’s growing at a faster rate, and monthly giving represents approximately 17% of donation revenue for nonprofit organizations.

So now that we understand some of the data behind why people give, and the reasons they give, and how they find out about the organizations that they want to give to, what does this mean? How can you use this information for your own nonprofit organization?

So I’m going to give you five reasons why nonprofits should be ready to take advantage of the online donation trend that’s happening and that has been happening for at least the last decade.

Number one: Online fundraising saves time and money, you can automate, you can streamline, and you can make the process easy for both your organization and the donor. You can have an automated tax receipt system that’s built into your platform that will automatically send emails. You no longer need people to manage that process.

Number two: It gives access to better data and reporting with real-time tracking of incoming funds, and you can run reports to get a clear idea of the returns of your fundraising efforts while reducing human error. Because it’s all running through a platform, data is data, and unless somebody’s been manipulating the data in some kind of negative way, when it transfers the information across to your platform or you log in to see the amount of money that you’ve been fundraising and how the efforts have paid off, the data will give you all the clear indication that you need as to what parts of your effort you should be focussing more on because they are turning more increased fundraising into your organization.

Number three: With automated communication like a thank you letter and a tax receipt as I mentioned before, you can start your relationship building on a good note between your organization and your donor, and you can start that path to turning them into longtime donors.

Number four: Online fundraising expands the reach of your nonprofit where you’re no longer limited to geographic borders. It allows anyone anywhere in the world with internet access the opportunity to provide to your mission and to help you expand your donor base.

Number five: A social media engagement strategy that links back to your nonprofit’s website has also shown effective results, 55% of people who engage with nonprofits on social media end up taking some sort of action for your organization.

So now I’m going to give you four ways through which your online platform can help improve fundraising for your nonprofit.

Number one – Customisation of your donation form: A simple donation form that matches your brand and shows up more engagement with data showing that custom branded donation pages can raise up to six times more money. Can you imagine how just changing the design and making it more simple can increase your donations by 6 times? Having a donation form that automatically suggests giving levels makes it easier for users to fill in the form while reducing the number of steps it would take.

Some customizations that are great items to consider are: Branding it with your name and logo and colors, pictures and videos that speak to the cause or mission, displaying your mission statement, customizing giving tiers or options for payment amounts, and having a call to action button that is prominent, large, easy to find, even found on every page of the website will make it more convenient for donors to go ahead with payments. Not everybody that comes to your website is going to land on your homepage, you need to understand that Google, which is the main search engine, is going to drive people deep into your site onto the pages that are most relevant to whatever their search was.

Number two – Mobile optimization: Half of the nonprofit website traffic comes from mobile and tablet users, where mobile accounted for 40% of all visitors and tablets for 10%, making it really important for websites to be mobile-friendly. On top of that, Google provides a better ranking for sites that are mobile-optimized. With 81% of Americans owning smartphones, text fundraising and other mobile-based engagement will continue to grow in popularity.

Some features of a mobile-optimized website are: the pages don’t have to be resized after it loads, that is the user does not have to zoom in or zoom out to see the page clearly, it just fits from the first time it loads. Data fields and buttons are large, clearly seen, and easy to click with a finger. Images and texts are aligned vertically.

Number three – Have an option for recurring giving: So that donors don’t have to remember to send in a monthly or yearly payment. Even if the recurring donations are just a few dollars, it can add up over time. Having a recurring donation model will increase your donations as the ask is easier. Imagine asking somebody for $10 a month versus $120 for a year, the net amount is the same but if you break it down and explain that it’s only $0.33 a day, it’s easier to sell the idea.

Number four – You need to have a versatile platform: Along with technology updates, a platform that is flexible enough to incorporate different types of funding campaigns also assures more avenues for donor engagement. You could have crowdfunding campaigns, peer-to-peer fundraising, matching gifts, auction events, all these are really great opportunities to raise money for your mission at the nonprofit, as well as engage supporters, so it’s really compelling to do that. And there’s plenty of compelling statistics that show that people give out of genuine philanthropic interest and that leads to an increase in charitable giving.

With Covid-19 disrupting Industries in the global economy, nonprofit organizations also need to pivot their existing models, programs, or fundraising events to survive and thrive in this new normal. Taking advantage of new platforms and software online to engage with donors and supporters is absolutely critical.

Ask for donations on your homepage, ask for donations on your programs and services pages, ask for donations on any page where you’re really proud of the amazing work that your organization does. Further to that, make sure that you’re heading out onto your social channels, if you don’t have a social channel for your organization, set one up today. Get out there, start promoting what you’re doing, get some free stock photos, real photos of people that are using your services, your staff, your employees, start using them on your social channels.

Social is by far one of the most important places that you need to go to push your message out to make people aware of the wonderful work that your organization does, the communities that you serve, and how you help society.

A donation is a decision and decisions are based on emotion. In 2014 there’s a Harvard University study that basically came out and said, in summary, that emotions are a dominant driver of the majority of the decisions that we make as people. So be clear on how your organization affects the feelings of the people who are making donations. One of the great ways to this is through impact stories, which are essentially testimonials but a little bit longer.

Another area that you should consider is your website analytics. If you don’t have analytics on your website, make sure that you set them up right away so that you can start reviewing the pages of your website that people are visiting and how long they’re on the page. The top pages in your website, make sure that you’ve got donation functionality on there even if it’s just a call to action button that people click to go to a donation form.

And the last piece I’m going to talk about is making sure that your website is on trend, looks trustworthy, is attractive, and is easy to navigate. In addition to just looking great and having an ease of navigability, you need to make sure that the donation process – as I mentioned earlier – is smooth, efficient, and is quick for somebody to take action.

If you’re struggling to convert your website traffic into online donations, I highly recommend that you reach out to a reputable, trustworthy, digital agency that focuses on nonprofit websites.

Well, that’s a wrap for this episode about how to use your website to get donations, and I hope I didn’t get too far in-depth and it was a good amount of information for you, and that you’ve been able to learn something from this. I really hope you’re able to implement some of the strategies and techniques that I’ve spoken about and that you can turn your organization’s website into a machine that will start driving revenue for your donation and your foundations that you have.

Right at the start of the podcast, I promised if you listened right to the end that you get information on three words that you can use to increase your donations by up to 20%. That’s huge, it will be amazing and transformative for your organization. Head over to wowdigital.com/ebook, where you can get your hands on this book. All you have to do is drop in your email, you’ll get a copy of it almost right away and these words are so easy to implement in all of your marketing materials, make sure you implement it on your website, it’ll definitely help with increasing donations through there.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode and I’m looking forward to having you listen to the next ones that we’ve got coming up. If you’ve enjoyed this episode please leave feedback on iTunes or wherever you listen to this podcast, I’d love to hear your feedback and it would also help others find the show.

Be sure to check out the show notes for the episode, head over to wowdigital.com, click on podcast, and search for this episode number and you’ll find all the links, details, and other information that has been discussed in this episode.

Are there any other topics that you would like to hear about? Just send an email to [email protected]. Thanks for listening to the Non-profit Digital Success Podcast!

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