April 24, 2019

5 Tips to Drive Digital Donations

Fundraisers are always a struggle. It doesn’t matter if your goals are big or small, it takes serious elbow grease to push the red thermometer line higher.

But perhaps not as much as you’re used to giving.

The better the foundation your fundraisers rest on, the more you’ll get out of every ounce of energy you give to grow donations. Incorporate even a few of the simple marketing tactics below, and enjoy more donations by relying on time-tested principles guaranteed to boost the impact of your effort:

1. Segment Your Audiences

Fundraisers big and small can benefit from the principle of audience segmentation.

The idea is a simple one. Take a look at the group of people you’re broadcasting your fundraiser to, and consider how you can organize them into into sub-groups.

Maybe you’ve got a mix of high-profile corporate donors, as well as smaller but more numerous individual contributors. The donations they give are different, as are the reasons they donate. If you’re offering same donation options, and broadcasting the same messaging, to both of these groups – you’re missing out on a lot of potential donations.

On the other hand, if you’ve developed distinct campaigns for each of these groups, you’re doing a far better job of tailoring your fundraiser to the unique needs, wants, and expectations of your donors. Segmentation empowers you to be a lot more precise in not only your messaging, but helps you get more value from each donation by offering options more appropriate to each group!

Consider some of creative ways that you can segment your fundraiser audience into audiences. Almost any criteria can be used to organize your audience, but it’s up to you to choose the ones that are most relevant and useful for your fundraiser!

2. Create Multiple Landing Pages

Once you’ve segmented your audiences, it’s important to ensure that each segment is presented an experience of your fundraiser that is tailored to them.

This means that, among other things, it’s worth taking a look at your fundraiser’s landing page, and ensuring that it speaks to each of your segments. Different donors make different donations for different reasons. Each of your landing pages should contain messaging that speak to the reasons a user wants to donate, and offers denominations that offer donation options approachable to them.

Tailored messaging ensures that members want to donate, while tailored denominations ensure that they can!

Having one landing page to serve your entire audience undermines the success of your fundraiser by leaving potential donations on the table. One-size-fits all language persuades nobody! Taking the time to focus your landing pages to the audiences you’d like to present them to optimizes the impact of every effort you make to drive fundraiser success.

3. Be Strategic About Donation Denominations

Most fundraisers offer donor’s a linear scale of denominations. Buttons offering the choice between $5, $10, $15, $20 donations are intuitive, but being strategic about the denominations you offer can have a big impact on the success of your fundraiser.

Next time you’re at an expensive restaurant, take a look at the menu and scan for the highest priced item. If you’re at a classy, fine-dining spot, chances are your menu will be small, and on it you’ll find one item (likely at the bottom) that has a significantly higher price than everything else.

This item is on the menu, but the restaurant doesn’t actually expect you to buy it. They put it there because it’s price is enormous, and by comparison, it makes the rest of the menu feel more affordable.

This practice is known as anchoring, and it takes advantage of a quirk of human psychology. We are more sensitive to the differences in price than the price themselves when we buy things. Even if every item on the menu is expensive, they feel more affordable because the high-priced item is priced so much higher.

By presenting your donation options in the same manner that restaurants offer meal options, you can boost the impact of your fundraisers by simply adjusting a few values on landing pages. By having one option significantly higher than others, you anchor the expectations of your audience, and make other (lower) values seem more accessible – even if they were higher than they were originally!

4. Consider Automated Recurring Billing

Would you rather pay a $300 lump sum donation, or $25 a month for a year?

If you’re like most people, you’d go for the $25 a month option. This reality is especially important to recognize when it comes to digital fundraisers.

When potential donors land on your fundraisers landing page, large values are going to scare off a good portion of them, and prevent many of those who stick around from ever donating.

Automated recurring billing allows you to capture these otherwise lost donations by allowing your organization to automatically charge donor credit cards on an ongoing basis. Because you can amortize donations, you can lower the values you present on your landing pages and ensure that a higher percentage of traffic actually ends up donating!

Even better than this, ARB offers the opportunity for each donor to continue donating after their full payment has been collected. After a year of regular $25 dollar payments, it’s not unusual for donors to get used to the monthly bill, and opt to continue paying it!

5. Track and Analyze Engagement

Perhaps the most important aspect of getting success out of digital fundraisers is having the tools and understanding to track, analyze, and optimize the impact of fundraisers.

You can try any (and all) of the tactics above, and more, but without a way to see what’s working and what isn’t, it’s impossible to have real confidence in the impact of your work!

That’s why its important to put real consideration into the tools you use to manage your fundraisers. Front-end tools like payment processing, landing pages, etc. are important – but real value comes from back-end data tracking and analysis. Your fundraiser tools should provide you comprehensive dashboards and data sets that offer insight into donor behaviour and the impact of each of your efforts to drive success.

If your software doesn’t give you the information you need, finding one that does is a fantastic opportunity to have a major impact on your next fundraiser. You ought to be able to tell how many people visit your page, where they come from, how many donate, how much they donate, how they donate, and more.

With this info, you can track and measure the objective impact of every one of your efforts to drive donations. Duplicate a landing page, make a change, and test it! By measuring changes in donor behaviour, and comparing them to the original page, you can objectively see what works and what doesn’t!

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