In 2008 email fundraising response rates were .13%, and email advocacy response rates were 4%. Online fundraising grew overall by 4.5% between 2008 and 2009. For those of us trying to ramp up our online fundraising, those numbers are nothing to write home about. But in these hard times, we’ll take what we can get. To help capture a slice of this fundraising action, Frogloop has put together a useful list of tips. Here it is:
Create Killer Landing Pages: Tell people what you want them to do quickly. Be clear how their donation will make a difference. One tactic that has been successful for the nonprofit CARE is to provide their donors with two simple pie charts that illustrate how funds raised are allocated below the credit card donation form. Also give people several options to contribute money – one time giving, monthly giving, etc.
Cut The Wonk: You nonprofit will raise more money by telling compelling stories that resonate with real people. Donors are human beings (not ATM machines) and they need to feel connected to your organization and to your story. Save your press releases for the media, and your “talking points” for policy makers.
Build A Great List: You need invested people on your list to fundraise. There are two main ways nonprofits can build lists: 1) Organic Cultivation: via your own website, events, social networking sites, direct mail, etc; 2) Paid Acquisition: Online acquisition Google Ad Words, email appends, chaperoned emails, etc.
Cross Promote: The best way to reach your donors is to connect with them wherever they are – which means everywhere. Make sure you cross promote your fundraising campaigns across multiple channels such as your website, email appeals, social networks, direct mail, telemarketing, etc. Also be sure that the content is edited for each channel since each one has its own unique tone and voice.
Segment: Querying and segmenting your online membership may not be a ton of fun, but it’s vital to the success of your online fundraising program. You need this information to tailor appeals to different segments of your list. Why would you send members of your list who have never donated to your organization the same exact appeal to members who have donated $250 3x in the past 12 months? These two audiences are connected to your nonprofit very differently and therefore should receive different appeals that match their level of engagement.
Close The Loop: Don’t forget to thank your donors and tell them if you met your goals. This simple strategy has proven to help build better relationships with donors. Also make sure you include any compelling stories, successes, or photos so donors feel that their donation made a difference.
Measure The Results: There are myriad amounts of ways your nonprofit can measure the success of your online fundraising campaigns. Here are a few key ones:
• Open Rates: What percentage of people opened up an online fundraising appeal.
• Unique Web Visits: How many unique visits to the landing page.
• Conversions: What percentage of people who clicked on the donate link, donated money.
• Click-Through Rates: How many people clicked on a donation link.