1 HOUR 2 MINS
Maximizing Your Online Donations
Categories: Expert Webcast, Tips + Templates
Maximizing Your Online Donations TranscriptPrint Transcript
All right. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for attending our expert webcast today, maximizing your online donations. We weren’t nearly started a couple minutes after the hour, but we have a lot to get through. So we’re going to start right on Read More
All right. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for attending our expert webcast today, maximizing your online donations. We weren’t nearly started a couple minutes after the hour, but we have a lot to get through. So we’re going to start right on time, I’d like to just thank everyone, for joining us today. My name is Sam Stuart’s and I’ll be moderating today’s webinar. So before we get started, I just want to go over a few housekeeping items, just let you know how you can participate in today’s webinar. First, the session today will be recorded, we’ll be emailing out the video and slides to all registrants. So keep an eye out for that in the next few days. And the content will also be available in the nonprofit newsroom on the DonorPerfect website as well as in the DonorPerfect client knowledge base. Next, feel free to submit any questions you have throughout the webinar using the question box in your GoToWebinar panel. Darien is going to be taking questions throughout the presentation. And also if you’re having any audio or visual trouble, you can submit those in the question box too. And I’ll do my best to help you out there. So with that said, I’d like to just introduce our presenter today. Darian Rodriguez him on. He’s currently the Executive Director at the new meat Foundation and the author of the best selling book nonprofit fundraising 101. So with that said, I’m going to hand it over to Darien to get. Thanks so much. And thanks to all of you for joining us, we’ve got hundreds of nonprofit leaders and fundraisers on the line. And I’m really excited and honored to be with all of you today. My commitment to each and every one of you, as we move into this next hour, is making sure that you’re really leaving this talk not only inspired, but inspired to action, meaning what can you do differently when you leave this talk, this webinar that’s going to put you in a better position to raise more money for your cause. And really to leverage technology to do that. There are huge opportunities when it comes to online fundraising. And what I want to do is really demystify it provide some really concrete and straightforward tips and tools, do this don’t do that kind of insights that will really helped you bring more money in the door immediately. So let’s dive into it. And as Sam mentioned, to the extent you have any questions over the course of the next hour, feel free to ask them as they arise. There’s anything I say is unclear if you’re curious about how it applies to your organization, just let me know. Before we get started just a little bit about my background. I’ve been working in the nonprofit and social impact world for about 20 years now. And really where I discovered my life’s work, which is helping people help working with nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs just like yourselves and helping them be more impactful by connecting them to best practices, helpful resources, and each other is when I was the executive director of Krebs Lewis foundation for five years. While there I started something called nonprofit bootcamp, and really again discovered my work around helping people help the work with the boot camp live in my first best selling book, nonprofit management 101. really intending to cover all different aspects of how to how to run a successful nonprofit. When that came out, I helped co found Social Media for Nonprofits, which is to this day still the world’s only conference series devoted to social media for social good. So I’ve been working in the mine arena for quite some time. And then extended mentioned. Currently, I have decided to put the jersey back on and become a part time Executive Director again, and those of us that are tea drinkers may be familiar with numi organic tea, and I run their corporate foundation with a focus on providing clean drinking water to our farming communities around the world, as well as a variety of curriculum organic gardening and the arts and other topics here in our home base of Oakland, California. So the ideas I’m going to share today are not just concepts that are abstract and academic. They’re things I’ve actually put to use for raising money for new money and for other causes. The majority of the tips that I’m going to share today are really lifted from my most recent books, nonprofit fundraising, one on one, also bestseller and really the idea behind this book was and then looked at the landscape. There wasn’t one book that captured all of the different fundraising disciplines, from online to individual donors to direct mail, to getting your board to fundraise to volunteer based fundraising, earned income, etc. So what I did was I interviewed over 50 experts across all All of these really important areas and distill their insights into this really easy to understand concise book. Each chapter is only about 20 or 30 minutes to read, there’s always a resource for you to dive deeper. And what I’m looking to do in this webinar is kind of lifting out some of the tips from an entire section of the book dedicated to online fundraising, which includes social media, and mobile and fundraising through your website and email, and taking some tips from each of those chapters, and putting them into one, one presentation and really integrated. So what are we going to cover today? Well, I’m going to spend a very short amount of time just answering the question, why is online fundraising a big deal, I’m not going to spend too much time there. Because I’m guessing the fact that you’re on the webinar with us, means you already understand that this is a huge opportunity. And as a result, I don’t need to convince you. So I’m just going to underscore a couple quick points that may help you make the case to your board or your executive director, that’s important. We’re really going to focus our time today, however, is on the tips and tricks, the tools that you need to succeed. So tips for success will be the lion’s share of where we focus our time today. And again, these will be things that are not intended to add to your plate and create a lot of homework and take a lot of time for things you can easily implement with a minimal amount of time and see immediate results, we’re going to end with two very quick frameworks that I think are really, really critical. One is a three part experiment that I will promise you, if you go through this three part experiment, within two months, you will at least double your online fundraising results. So I’m going to walk you through that. I’m also going to walk you through what an ideal online giving process should look like. So it really kind of helps you understand the flow when somebody clicks the donate. And then finally, as I like to deal with all my presentations and keynotes webinars, as well as my books, I like to end with a resource review so that if you want to dive deeper into any of these topics, you’ll know where to go. Alright. Excellent. Let’s get started.
So again, starting really quickly with just you know, a couple quick points about why is online fundraising a big deal? Well, first off, you know, some people might be confused by the fact that online fundraising is less than 10% of overall fundraising. So why are we so focused on a small piece of the pie? Well, the reason in short, is because that piece of the pie is growing exponentially compared to overall fundraising. Whereas overall fundraising is, you know, over $300 billion a year in the US alone. It’s growing by about one or 2% a year, online giving this up almost 10% a year. And the number of donors is even higher than that. And that’s because you have folks like millennials who maybe aren’t donating as much, but they’re contributing to your it’s an eight enabling nonprofits to build out their donor database and communicate with a younger generation of supporters. But this is not just for the kids anymore. So we’ve got huge growth in online giving. It’s far outpacing traditional giving. And you know, I mentioned the millennials, but what’s important to note is that as far back as 2013, baby boomers were just as likely to give online as they were through direct mail. So this is not just the kids anymore, this is everyone. And you know, it’s simple fact, is looking at the fact that Facebook is now the equivalent of the world’s largest country with over 2 billion people that have logged on in the last 30 days. But what most people don’t know is that the fastest growing audience on Facebook are women over the age of 45. So again, not just the kids anymore, this is really a new opportunity and platform and channel to reach everyone. And ultimately, if I had to kind of distill down to its essence, the big opportunity when it comes to online giving especially when you integrate social media, and we’ll talk more about this over the course of this presentation, is really the opportunity represented by turning your donors into fundraisers, turning your donors into fundraisers, you know, and it’s one thing to get a gift from someone. It’s another thing after they give for them to shout it from the mountaintops and tell their friends. Hey, I just donated to support the good work of mimiko negation, you should to click here to join. That is one of the best ways to raise money. You know, one of the things that we professional fundraisers like to say is the most powerful form of ask is a peer asked, I just gave, and you should do, please follow my link here so late, that the best way to raise money is part of why it’s so critical our board members give. And online giving represents a transformative opportunity when it comes to socializing, giving, and turn your donors into fundraisers. Again, we’ll talk more about that. Let’s take a quick look at the numbers before we dive in, there will be a tiny bit of math here. But basically, you know, the average online gift across all nonprofits at this point, for a one time gift is $82. Right? So that is like there might be some issues with the balm. So I’m going to take off my headset, hopefully that’s better. But in any case, the idea is that the average online gift for a one time gift is $82. Right, so just under 100 bucks. What’s interesting though, is if you look at the numbers, the average online gift for someone who signs up as a sustaining member, as a monthly donor is $22. Right? So as you might imagine, within four months, you’re making more money from that monthly donor than that one time donor. But the story is actually much more significant than that, because on average, only about 35% of your one time donors are going to donate again next year, as opposed to that 87% of your monthly donors are going to be sticking around and donating next year. So now if you start to look at the numbers in the math, you’ll see why we’re going to talk quite a bit today about the importance of promoting recurring giving, that is a really critical component to maximizing your online revenue. It also creates a more stable base of income for your organization, and a broader base of supporters. So something to keep in mind, again, we’re going to talk more about that, you know, on average, just to give you a benchmark, hopefully, if you did 1% of the people coming to your website or donating, you’re actually ahead of the curve, that the industry average is point 8%. So ultimately, the more traffic you get to your website, if you’re doing a good job, the more money you’re going to bring in as you might imagine, we’re also going to share some tips for getting a lot more traffic to your website with a minimal amount of money and energy on your end. And just to put all of that down to one play number for every 1000 people coming to your site, you should be raising about 600 bucks. So you know, quick point of reference as we dive into how to actually maximize those numbers, the traffic to your site, the amount of online donations, and the amount of people signing up to support you on a regular basis. Now, the first tip that I want to share, and this is a screenshot from my friends at Charity Water that I interviewed for one of the online fundraising chapters of the book, what you see when you go to charity waters website, and this is their homepage. I mean, they don’t even really talk about what they do. Most nonprofits don’t have that, you know, are not in a position to be able to do that, because they do need to educate people on their work. But once you have a broad enough appeal and an understanding of your work, you can go right to the ask. But the key thing here, whether you have to educate people or not, is that it’s an Ask singular, you’re not asking people to do 20 different things, right? The old saying is that if you say 10 things, you say nothing. And so keep it simple, stupid kiss. And remember that when you’re thinking about online fundraising, if that is the objective, then you really want to keep people focused on that singular call to action. Today, if you look at the numbers, odds are about a third of the traffic coming to your website is coming from a small screen from a mobile device from a tablet. And those people don’t have the physical space and capacity to be able to look at join our newsletter, sign up petition, Joanie, etc. You know, sign up to volunteer, it’s just too overwhelming and you’re going to lose people. So keep it simple. And if it’s about making an ask then make it now along these lines The idea of keeping it simple also applies to the actual donation process. And one of the pieces of homework, that only should take you five or 10 minutes that I would like to encourage each and every one of you to do later today is to go to your own website, and go to every page in your site, and try to donate. And here’s the key. If it ever takes you more than three clicks to donate, you need to revamp your website, you need to streamline it, because basically, you’re getting in your own way. And all too often when I see is somebody clicks donate or I click donate on a website, because I like the organization. And for whatever reason, even though I’ve raised my hand and said, I want to give you money, the nonprofit feels somehow obligated to educate me even more, well, no, I click donate, I already know what I need to know. And I want to support you. So give me the Donate form. And the idea is, if you look at the data, if you look at the numbers, using a free tool like Google Analytics, what you will see almost always is for every time you require someone to click after they hit donate, you’re probably going to lose about 10 to 20% of those people’s, right because they just can’t be bothered. And once you get this is the key once you ask them to click more than three or four times, you’re going to lose about a third of those people at every clip. Now this is essentially the equivalent of someone walking into your store, filling up their shopping cart, getting to the front and seeing that the line is too long and saying and forget it, and then they walk out. Right? You do not want that to happen. So get out of your own way. Make sure you streamline the process. And in no case, should it ever take more than three clicks to actually contribute.
What’s also interesting is this also applies this concept of making it easy of streamlining of getting out of your own way also applies to the actual donation form itself. My friends at commit change did a study. And what they discovered is for every field that you delete, from the donation process, your conversion rate will increase by 2%. Right? So yes, maybe you’d like to know what their birthday or their favorite color is. But you don’t need that information to get them to donate. Right. So follow up with him after the fact. Because for every field you add, you’re gonna lose 2% of your doughnuts. And that’s money on the table. Not to mention the fact that one of the things that came up across every single chapter with all 50 experts that I interviewed for the book is that no one wants to be treated like an ATM, whether it’s corporations or foundations or people, they don’t only want to hear from you when you need money. And so, you know, the best practice is to try to communicate six or seven times between asks. And that’s not to say that your newsletter or what have you won’t have a donate link. But it’s not the focal point. It’s not the primary call to action, right. And so the idea is, you need to find some things to do to communicate with them multiple times, before you ask again. And one of the things you can do is follow up and say, Hey, what’s your birthday, or what’s your favorite color, whatever the case may be. So that information you’re looking to collect, you can do through what I call progressive profiling, as opposed to trying to get it all upfront. Wait for later, get only what you need in order to donate, which is especially critical when people give through mobile devices. And then say thank you. And we’re going to say a little bit more about what thanks, thank you looks like in just a second. The next tip for success where I want to share is the critical critical importance. And if you remember that math that I was sharing just a little bit ago, but we really want to promote recurring giving. That should either be the default, when someone clicks donate, you should automatically assume that they’re going to be a monthly sustaining member because hey, your work isn’t going to stop next month. Why should their support, right? And they could of course, always opt to just make a one time gift. Or, you know, you can sort of do it the more traditional way, which is the default is making a one time gift. And then in this example, you see the checkbox where they could say, actually I want to become a monthly sustaining donor. But this is really critical and this needs to be it integrated right upfront into your donation form. It’s, in fact, probably the first thing that you want to ask is, are you comfortable with becoming a monthly sustaining member, because we need your ongoing support, as we saw earlier, 22 bucks a month, eclipses $82 within just four months. And odds are because people are lazy, they don’t like to call and cancel that monthly donation, they’re not going to do it. So now, after a year, after two years, you’re getting a lot more money, right. And they’re 87% more likely to continue giving versus 35%. For the people that just give one time. And then again, because people are lazy, when you try to follow up and get them to donate again, it’s only going to happen about a third of the time. Next tip I want to share is getting a little creative when it comes to what is known as your donation string, your gift string, right. And this is the default donation amounts, when someone clicks donate, you definitely want to have a gift string, you want to give them a sense of how much to contribute. I’m going to share some tips later for optimizing this. But the idea is, most nonprofits will do sort of round numbers 50 100 to 5500. Other, and that’s fine. Again, we’ll talk more about that in a second. But every chance you get to underscore your mission, you want to take it. So for example, on the donation page, instead of 50 102 50. Other, maybe you offer them 29 Because there’s 29 million people living with diabetes, or, you know, 554, the 550 million that the American Diabetes Association has donated and invested in research, right? These are underscoring your mission and your impact. So really something to keep in mind. And also just in general, let me just say the reason why a gift string and a donation string is so important, is because it really helps people meet her and sort of set the expectation of what’s expected of them. From a contribution standpoint. If you ever call in to NPR during one of their telephones, odds are what the person on the other end of the phone is going to say is Oh, thanks so much for calling the last woman to call agreed to contribute $200 to our annual campaign. Does that feel comfortable for you? Or would you rather give 300? Right, something like that, because it kind of gives us a gauge that it’s there’s a really interesting study that was done in in Minneapolis at an art museum, where they had one of those Lucite cube, you know, the cubes that you can see through, and it was just saying, you know, donate to support the museum. And what they did in a psychology study is at first, the cube was empty. And interestingly, people just kind of walked by it, nobody gave, then they put change in the cube. And people gave change. They put singles in the cube, and people gave singles, they put fives in there and people get fives, they put 20s in there, and people just kept walking. Right. So the idea is every organization has its own kind of Beltre. And so you want to try to experiment and we’ll talk more about that later. And figure out what your bell curve is, and where, you know, what’s your average gift is and how to maximize that how to bring it up over time. And we’ll share more about that. But this is the idea of seeding the tip jar. Anytime you go into a Starbucks or cafe, you’re not going to see an empty tip jar, because then nobody gets. So the same reason why that barista is putting $1 in the bin is why we want to give people an idea of what they should contribute. And I know Kelly asked a question about, you know, the research on giving and how to maximize that, again, we’re going to talk about that in just a little bit. And in terms of should the amounts go up or down? I’ve heard differing opinions on that. Should it be 2950 to 110 In this example, or should it be 1005 50 to 90, etc. The bottom line is everyone’s results are going to vary. So you should test that out. And that’s a sneak peek of what we’re going to talk about later. So let me let me get back to that in just a minute. As well as Melissa’s question about the pre selected amount. So we’re going to cover all of that in the course of the next 45 minutes or so here. Alright, so integration, this is something that’s going to be really important, because what the data shows is, you know, just kind of think about it in the real world, you go into a store, you pick out a shirt that you like, you go up to go pay for it, and they send you to a different store to pay for it. Probably, it’s a little weird, right? And there’s a decent chance you’re gonna say, Oh, forget it. The same thing is true online. Right? If someone’s on your website, and they click donate, and all of a sudden, they’re transported to PayPal, and it doesn’t look anything like your website, the colors are different, the fonts, the aesthetic, you know, the, there’s a much higher likelihood that they’re going to bail. So of course, I would recommend that you use a third party donation platform, like DonorPerfect. But whatever platform you use, you want to make sure that it seamlessly integrates with your website, so that it feels like people are supporting you. And what you see on here is about six different donation level examples to Kelly’s point, what’s the optimal number that you should include, I typically recommend five, and then other, you always want to include other, because you never know someone might write in $10,000. But from what I’ve seen, usually five is kind of the magic number in terms of how many different donation levels there are.
All right, this is probably one of the single most important sort of functionalities and applications that your third party donation processing engine needs to offer. Because in and of itself, this one piece of functionality will at least double your online giving. It’s really that simple. And this is what I was talking about when I talked about the idea of turning your donors into fundraisers. And the functionality that I’m getting at here is that when someone makes an online gift through your website, more than just saying thank you, you want to say thanks for giving, click here to share on Facebook, click here to share on Twitter. And when they do click up pops a pre populated message like this one, that they can just click Send or if they want to customize it, they can. But it basically says I just gave to support the good work of NUMMI Foundation and the Clean Water Project. Won’t you join me? Boom, here’s a link. When you do that, you are doubling your online fundraising results. And almost more importantly, if your goal just like many nonprofits, is diversifying your revenue base and expanding your donor database, the people that you’re going to be raising this extra money from are not in your database, they’re not in your network, they are friends of your supporters. So all of a sudden, now you are getting a lot more supporters into the mix. Really, really critical that after someone gives, you immediately offer them, click here to share on Facebook and on Twitter. And you’ll make that as easy as possible with a pre populated message. All right, emails, this is something that is hugely critical. And when we talk about online fundraising, we can’t leave email out, because it actually accounts for 1/3 of all money raised online. So it’s critical that whatever platform you use integrates with email management platforms, like Constant Contact or Vertical Response, or MailChimp, so that you can send emails out to your donors, to your prospects to your volunteers, your contacts, anyone that’s in your network in your world, you want to be able to communicate with them. And what’s interesting is if you look at the numbers from a return on investment standpoint, on average for every $1 that nonprofits spend on email marketing, they bring $40 back into the organization. So we’re talking about tremendous ROI. And you can, you know, certainly use social media and other opportunities to reach out to people to promote campaigns, but ultimately, when it comes to driving people to action, and getting them to donate, especially right away, email is a critical component. All right. We talked about mobile and the fact that on average, today, if you look at the numbers using a tool like Google’s mobile performance report, which you can do for free, on average, about 30 to 40% of your website traffic is coming to your site through a mobile device. Now one of the things that I do a whole presentation workshop on how to optimize your online presence for mobile, but you know, probably the single most important tip that I want to share. And this does impact, you know which platform you’re using, because you want to make sure that it’s mobile friendly. But you want to make sure that your website, and especially your donate page and your homepage are responsive. And what responsive means is, it’s basically just a technical term. And it means that under the hood of your site, in the lines of code and programming, that there is this functionality that can distinguish what size screen someone is looking at your website through, right. And if it’s a small screen, like a mobile device, it will automatically resize your website, your donate page, your homepage, etc. So that it looks right on that screen, right. Because if it doesn’t do that, and all of a sudden, you’re trying to look at two point fonts, and you go to click the hyperlink and you feel like your fingers back because you hit the links next to it. And, you know, it just looks horrible. And it’s very difficult to navigate. If somebody sees that with an email or with the website, and they’re accessing it from a mobile device, odds are, they are going to close it right away. And they’re never coming back. So you don’t want to you don’t want to let that happen. And the good news is when you do ensure that your site is responsive, people are much more likely to give odds are whatever content management system you’re using for your website. And whatever third party donation processing engine like DonorPerfect you’re using is already doing this. But it’s certainly worth checking out. And before you send out that next email appeal, before you start promoting your new website, pull out your phone, your smartphone and start just taking a look to make sure everything looks good. All right. And I know I’m seeing a couple of questions still related to the gift in the donation string. Again, we’re gonna get back to that with the three part experiment. So Susan, your question about impact and Kelly’s question about the number of levels and how to structure those, we’re going to talk about that in just a little bit. And in terms of promoting monthly giving, and how easy it is to set up. That really depends is a question for Laura from Lori, that really depends on the platform you’re using. So using something like DonorPerfect, you can easily you know, integrate those options so that when people are giving, you can invite them to contribute monthly. All right. Now, the next trip, the next tip that I want to share is related to getting more traffic to your website. And remember, we said that on average, for every 1000 People use at your website, you’re going to see another $612 of income. And on average, a little under 1% of the people that come to your site are going to contribute. Well, let’s get a few 1000 more people to your website every month, so that you can bring in that much more money. And the way that I want to suggest you do this really, really easily. And from what I’ve seen, it’s probably one of the best kept secrets in the nonprofit space is Google Grants. Now what you can do is you can sign firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash grants for $10,000 a month of free advertising on Google, right? Any nonprofit can do this, you can’t be fiscally sponsored, you do not have to be USPS. They operate this program in over 60 countries. But basically you just sign up for this program, it takes about an hour or two, they will give you $10,000 a month to spend on Google. It’s not actual cash that you can take to the bank and use for other things. It’s only for advertising on Google. And in particular, it’s for advertising through Google AdWords. So that’s the platform that you know how when you go search on Google, you see the first few results up top are sponsored links. Well, those sponsored links are essentially bid on in an auction format through Google AdWords. And what Google will do is give you 10 grand a month to bid on different key words and phrases. There are some limitations. You know, you can’t bid more than $2 per click, which is the you know, that’s the primary barrier. And then pivoter is going to limit your options. And what that means for you as a nonprofit advertiser on Google, is you’re not going to get the word homeless, right? You’re going to have to come up with what are known as long tail keywords. So instead of homeless and might be homeless shelters in Wisconsin, right. And so you’re gonna have to get a little bit more specific, you’ll have to invest an hour or two to apply for the Google grant, you’ll probably have to invest two or three hours to get your campaign set up. And the biggest component of that is going to be organizing a brainstorm within your organization, where you come up with a long list of two or 300 keywords and phrases, being as specific as you can, that’s going to deliver more targeted traffic, and it’s much more likely you’ll be able to come up at the top with your bid. And then you’re also going to want to budget probably another two or three hours once a quarter. So to keep your presence optimized, but what you can do and when I was running Craigslist Foundation, we maxed out, we used all $10,000 a month from our Google grants. And what they do in that case is they give you up to $50,000 a month, and for the additional above 10k, they just charge you five cents on the dollar. Well, that was creating a huge amount of traffic to our website, which directly translates your donations and other actions like signing petitions, etc. So Google Grants is really a phenomenal opportunity that I want to encourage each and every one of you to look at if you haven’t already.
All right, I’ve got a short video that I want to share here, because the next tip that I want to share is about the importance of saying thank you. And remember, we talked about the fact that no one wants to be treated like an ATM. And at the same time, that excuse me, that that it’s important to try to communicate six to seven times between between asks. So one of the immediate things you can do after someone gives, that also encourages them to share on social media and turn from a donor into a fundraiser is to just say thank you. And what I would actually encourage you to do is instead of saying thank you, yourself, let the people that you are serving, say thank you for you. Let the homeless people let the elders let the children that you’re serving, say thank you. And I’ve got a really short 32nd video that I think does a great job of doing that multiple people console. And ultimately, because it’s the show because it’s so powerful and really underscores your organization. Let’s take a look
at grabbing some minor technical difficulties Hold on one sec. Oh, my baby. Here we go.
So you see, super simple example. Doesn’t have to be complicated. But it does a really great exam, it does a really great job of communicating your impact as an organization
does a great job of communicating your impact. It says thank you. And it creates another point of connection between you and your donors. So simply saying thank you and ideally, empowering the community that you serve, just say thank you on your behalf in a viral video can be a great tip. And that’s something that you don’t need a huge Hollywood production budget to do. You saw that thing was only about 3045 seconds and it wasn’t edited. And you know, in Hollywood, this is something that most organizations can do very easily. So with that said, let’s, you know, let’s look at this. These two frameworks I talked about one is about maximizing and really the ideal online giving process. But before we get into that I Want to take you through this three part experiment that is designed to double. if not triple your online fundraising within two months, I will promise you as I promised 1000s of leaders all around the world, that if you take the time to do these three things over about two months, sometimes even less than you will at least double your online fundraising results. If you don’t, I’m going to be providing my personal email, you’ve got my Twitter handle here, you can reach out to me I’m happy to do some pro bono work and and figure out what the issues are a petition is a really tried and true method that is also going to speak to a lot of the questions that people had around the gift string, there were quite a few questions coming in around the gift or the donation string, those different default donation levels, the impact associated with each, etc. And so let’s get into that. And then hopefully, they’ll answer some of those questions. All right. So the first tip that I want to share is around optimizing your donate but and what is fascinating to me, some of you might be familiar with Network for Good, that kind of like a shopping mall for nonprofits. But the important thing is that they have collected over $1 billion in online donations for nonprofits. And they actually, as I was interviewing them for the online fundraising chapter of the book, they ran a little experiment that they shared. And what’s fascinating is, all they did in this experiment, is they turned their donate button from gray to red, and boom, in one instance, they got 30%, more online donations, we’re talking about 10s, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, just because they went from greater red. And the idea here is, I don’t know if red is your color. But this is the first experiment. And all three of these experiments are what are known as A B splits, the idea being, you’re going to sort of just test one variable, you’re just going to change one little thing. And then you’re going to compare the original control group as it was before, in this case, the gray donate buttons to hey, let’s just make it red. And let’s see what happens. And you’re optimizing against one metric. So the idea here is, when we’re dealing with an online environment, you have direct access to the data. And instead of embracing your gut, and what you think, is going to work or look right, or what have you look at the numbers, embrace the data. So in this case, for the first experiment, we’re going to play around with our donate button. And for a few days, let’s try red. And then let’s go to green, let’s go to blue and purple, right. And then once we figure out which color works, then we’re going to play around with the fonts and the shape and the size. And the only metric we’re going to be looking looking at, the only metric we’re going to focus on is what percentage of people that come to your website are clicking on that donate button. And you can use a free tool like Google Analytics, or something like Web Trends to look at this number. But what we care about, the only thing we care about in this experiment is getting the absolute highest number of people to click the donate button. Hopefully, that number should be over 1%. If we start to get into the two to 3% range, now we’re really cooking with gas. The other thing that I want to recommend, aside from just changing colors and shapes, sizes, is don’t be afraid to get creative with your donate button. I’ve seen groups that work in animal conservation, where their donate button is like, you know, a tiger’s paw, because they were doing Tiger conservation. So again, it was one more way for them to tell their story about their impact. So don’t be afraid to get creative. But this is really the first experiment. Because just by optimizing your donate button, you can get up to 50% more people to click through and get to the donate page of your site. All right, the second tip and now we’re getting into the gift string or their donation string. And there’s a second and a third tip here in fact, and these both speak to the gift string. And I think these are going to answer a lot of the questions that have been coming through since we initially talked about that in the webinar. The idea here remember we talked about that Lucite cube in the in the museum and what When you put 20 bucks up, people got freaked out and just kept walking because it was too rich for their blood. But when it was empty, they just walked bots. So we’re looking to identify that sweet spot. And we’re looking to maximize how much money we get once people click through to Joel. So in the second, and the third experiment, the only metric we’re going to be optimizing against is average online gift. Okay, and to keep it simple, let’s just talk about one time gifts. But again, we certainly want to promote monthly recurring giving. But remember, when we talk about the average online gift across all nonprofits, it’s $82. For a one time gift, your number may be a little bit different, but just for the sake of discussion, and for this example, let’s say you’re a standard average nonprofit, right? Your average online gift is $82. Well, when it comes to the second experiment, what we’re looking to do is to optimize the default donation levels, the gift string, or the donation string. Now, what most people don’t realize is, human nature is actually pretty predictable. And almost always the most popular giving level on your website will be the second from the bottom to second lowest level. Why? Because people don’t want to feel cheap, they don’t want to give it the lowest level. So most people will give at the second lowest level, in this case, $100. Right. So that second level, and again, this is all sort of industry averages and industry norms, and your mileage will most definitely vary, which is part of why we’re going to run an experiment and test this adult. But I you know, but typically, the most popular giving level will be the second lowest. And what you want to do given that our goal here is to maximize your average online gift is you want to look at that number, your average online gift, let’s say it’s $82, which is the industry average. And you want to bump it up by about 20 25%. So as a starting point, and again, we can get creative with the numbers to tell permission, we’re certainly going to want to experiment. But as a starting point, what you see here 5100 to 5500, other is a great starting point, because the second lowest amount is 100, which is about 25% higher than your average online gift of $82. Today, right? So now we’re gonna get more people to give 100 bucks, and we’re going to move up our average online gift. But then let’s experiment. Let’s try 525 50 100. Other, let’s try 102 50 500,000. Other, you know, and try a series of different
gift strings and donation strings to see based on the numbers based on the data. What combination of given levels maximizes your average online gift, maybe we can get it up to 150. Maybe we get it up to 300. All right. So that’s the second experiment. We’ve optimized our donate button. Now we’re optimizing our gift string in those default giving levels. And then the final thing that we’re going to optimize and this also came up in some of the questions is the impact associated with each of those levels of giving. This is especially critical for millennials, because all the research shows they’re inherently distrustful of organizations. And millennials really want to understand exactly what kind of impact their contributions are making possible. Right? The idea here is when I was interviewing Kay sprinkle grace on the major donor chapter for the book. She said that people don’t give to you, they give through you. Right? They don’t give to you. They give through you. She also said they don’t give to you because you have means they give to you because you meet me. So people are going to want to know especially millennials, if I give you 100 bucks, what does it make possible? I like to call this the Sally Struthers effect of fundraising because if you remember way back in the day, there were these commercials where Sally Struthers was saying for the price of a cup of coffee. This kid is gonna stay in school for a year. So it helps people understand the ROI. What does it cost? What is it unlocked from an impact standpoint? Now for the third and final experiment? We are essentially going to play around with different types of impact, right? And so you’re going to want to come up and this can happen in a in an organizational brainstorms with probably three different things that you can do with each of these different amounts of money. So you’re sitting in a room and you’re talking about, okay, let’s come up with three things we can do for 50 bucks. Well, we can provide 10, use textbooks, we could, you know, provide drinking water to a family for a week, we could be 10 homeless people. And if you are nonprofit, as many of us are not focused on sort of meeting basic needs, so it gets a lot more complicated to figure out, what could we do with 100 bucks, one of the simplest tips I would offer here is, think about it in terms of stack time. Well, for $100, that would cover five hours of staff time, we could mentor five children, we could double the likelihood that one child goes to college, right, whatever it might be. So you might have to get a little creative here. But the idea is, you’re going to want to come up with a couple of different examples of each of these giving levels. And then again, don’t embrace your gut, embrace the data, try them out. And see, once again, what optimizes our metric maximizes the average online gift. And so again, within two months, I promise you that if you go through these three experiments, and you optimize your donate, but you optimize your gift string and the default donation levels, and you optimize the impact associated with each, and you can also play around with related things like do we want the numbers to go from high to low or low to high. But we see based on the data, what gets us the best results within a short period of only two months, I promise you, you will at least double your online giving results. All right. As we get ready for the homestretch here, I want to share one final process that kind of synthesizes a lot of what we talked about, and really walk you through the art ideal online giving process. And yes, there was a question about including an option for other, every gift string should end with the option of others. So I would recommend having five options, the standard being 50 102 5500. Other right, so you’ve got five different giving levels, maybe four, probably would not recommend going more than five. But again, you could test it out and see what works for you. But four to five giving levels, and then others. But you always want to end with other end if it was Carol’s question. All right, so let’s get into the ideal online giving process. Cool. So step one, we talked quite a bit today about the importance of promoting recurring giving, when someone clicks donate, that should be the first thing that you are figuring out, are they going to become a monthly sustaining member, where they just given one time. And ideally, like you see here on charity waters page, when you donate, it’s assuming that they’re going to become a monthly giver, giver. And then down on the bottom, it says or donate once, right? You want to direct people to contributing monthly, that is absolutely a much better way to raise money in the short end and a lot. Step two, how much are they giving, whether it’s monthly, whether it’s one time, you know, in the case of Charity Water, they just have one donation option to keep it super clean and simple. And they’re assuming Hey, 60 bucks a month for an online for a monthly donor. And maybe their average is 40 bucks a month. So they’re trying to bump it up 45 bucks a month. So you could play with that. Or if you’re giving them lots of different donation options. Again, you still need to figure out that the gift string and maximize what is the amount they’re giving you one time or on a monthly basis. Step three, quite simply the personal information that you need, in order for them to actually contribute to be their name, you know, their address, etc. And then finally, the payment info. It’s that simple. You certainly want to confirm like you do see in this screen that, hey, you’re given 250 bucks on a monthly basis, right? So that they know what they’re giving when they’re filling out the credit card form. But again, remember as few fields as possible, every field you add is going to decrease your conversion rate by 2%.
And Catherine is asking a question, by the way about three part experiment with what platform would I recommend to make it easy to experiment, I would recommend Google Analytics. It’s free. You can just go to google.com forward slash nonprofits and use that for free. And that brings us to the resource review Where I will talk about Google and other resources. So as we wrap up, I want to point you to a few resources to learn more. Facebook has done a great job creating a Facebook for nonprofits section where they profiled different nonprofits that are doing a great job on Facebook. They also talk about sort of tips and tools for how to convert your followers into donors, how to get them to take social actions, like signing petitions, etc. And now that they’ve added the functionality for nonprofits to be able to accept donations, directly through Facebook, they talk a lot about how to do that. Google takes a very different approach with our Google for Nonprofits platform. And it’s basically a discount shopping mall where they profile all of the different tools and applications they make available to nonprofits, for free or at a steep discount. The two that we talked about today that I would highly recommend, are Google Grants to get $10,000 a month of free advertising on Google for your nonprofit and Google Analytics, which will help you figure out, you know, where are people coming to when they when they first get your website, where they coming from? How long do they stick around? Where do you lose them? And key data points like what percentage of them are clicking donate, and then you use a tool like DonorPerfect to figure out what’s our average on my gift. Heather Mansfield at nonprofit technology for good she’s an author, she is really active on social media. And her website and newsletter are phenomenal as it relates to online giving, in particular with a focus on social media and mobile. My friends that Network for Good had fundraising 123 dot org, really a key resource to look at mobile and online giving. Beth Kanter amazing author interviewed her for both of my books, really incredible thought leader, she’s written three amazing books, and also has a really helpful website, amazing newsletter, and very, very active on social media. So definitely encourage you to follow that social brain does a great job sharing tips and tools for Social Media for Nonprofits. TechSoup is the world’s largest provider of it to nonprofits. So that’s where you should be buying hardware and software for pennies on the dollar. They also have a very active and vibrant online community. Social Media for Nonprofits is that global conference series that I helped start focused on social media for social good. And then in 10, is the Nonprofit Technology Network. And they, they also produce an amazing nonprofit technology conference every year. That’s kind of the premier gathering for folks looking at a lot of the stuff that we talked about today. So with that, I’m going to probably have time to answer one or two more questions. But I do want to share my personal email, my personal mobile phone even, like I said, the work I do in the world is helping people help. So if I can be of service in any way, I’m happy to do a bunch of pro bono work if it’s just a quick question or connection that you’re looking for very active on LinkedIn and connecting people to funders and other supporters that way. And then I also professionally do quite a bit of keynotes and public speaking, as well as executive coaching and consulting with a focus on fundraising on social media and onboard development. So with that, let me look for one or two more questions. So Robin has a question about, you know, paying online credit card sees, I see that typically in platforms like Kiva or you know, Eventbrite where it’s more like events, or, you know, for profits that are doing something mission oriented, I would not recommend saying, hey, increase the size of my contribution by 3%, to cover the theta DonorPerfect, or what have you. So that 100% goes to the cause. I haven’t seen that work too well, with nonprofits. If you have the capacity to test it out, by all means. I would definitely look into it and see if that works. And then finally, one last question from Courtney, because she asked a really good question about the different default donation levels and how do you handle donation levels as it relates to restricted gifts. So what I would recommend there, you know, you say that for 50 bucks, we can provide food to a family for $100, we can etc, etc. I would actually recommend looking at Heifer International, H E. I s er International, they have done just a masterful job of laying out different default donation levels, talking about the kinds of impact that those levels make possible. But then including language that says, hey, just to be clear, this is just an illustration and an example of what’s possible. The money is actually going to general operating support So you don’t have to worry about keeping track of all these restricted gifts. Instead, you’re able to get the money into general operating support, which of course, is always everyone’s goal. So hope that’s helpful. Again, please feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn or Twitter, or get in touch if there’s anything that I can do to help. And in closing, I really just want to thank each and every one of you, not only on behalf of myself, and on behalf of our hosts, and DonorPerfect and software, that I want to thank you on behalf of the millions of people that you collectively serve. It’s really an honor to have been with you today. I hope you find this presentation helpful, and that you’re leaving not only inspired, but inspired to action. And with that, I’ll hand it over to Sam, and just offer all of you my thanks and gratitude. Great. Thanks very much, Darren. Yes, good luck there. So I just want to let everyone know, as a bonus, we’ve actually purchased a couple copies of Darien books, nonprofit, fundraising one on one and we’ll be randomly selecting a couple of attendees to receive that. So keep an eye out for a follow up email in case you’re one of the lucky winners. And also there were a number of questions that came in specific to DonorPerfect and, you know, regarding the donation forms and things like that, so we were able to answer a lot of them. But if any of them went unanswered, I’d like to just direct you to call our DonorPerfect support department or email in and they’ll be able to answer any questions you have. Just a final reminder that we’ll be emailing out the presentation recording and the slides to all the registrants. So if there’s something you missed or want to go back to or share, that will be sent out in the next couple of days. So just keep an eye out for that. And also, a brief plug. In two weeks we’ll be having another expert webcast focusing around text to give so we’ll be sending out a registration link or registration email for that coming up. So again, just something to keep an eye out for so thank you everyone for attending. We hope you found this helpful. Thank you, Darren especially. That was a very good presentation and have a good day everyone.Read Less
Recommended to watch next
Get a demo