Optimize Your Year-End Online Fundraising

Year-end giving is right around the corner, are you prepared?

The final months of the year are a crucial time for nonprofits to raise funds, and the popularity of online giving continues to grow. We asked the Co-Founders of RaiseDonors, Stephen Boudreau and Chris Mechsner, to give us their top tips for making the most of technology and optimizing online fundraising at year-end. 


Top Takeaways

What Is Optimization?

Optimization is a process. You’ll never reach a perfect finished product, whether it’s your email campaigns, your donation page, or your online fundraising strategy. Instead, you’ll experiment, iterate, and try new things, refining as you go. 

When we talk about optimizing your online fundraising, what we’re really talking about is optimizing thought processes within the mind of the donor. More than just getting all your technology in order and making sure you can process credit cards, online fundraising is about taking the donor on a journey. Optimizing is about making that journey as smooth as possible. 

Which Metrics Matter?

As our partners at NextAfter have aptly said, there are three levers to grow online fundraising:

Traffic: More people go to your donation form

Conversion rate: More people who are on your donation form actually make a gift

Average gift: The people who are giving to you give more

This year-end, consider how you want to approach growing your online fundraising. Will you try to get more people to your donation form, or do you want to convert more of the traffic you’re already getting? Will you focus on growing gift size, or bringing in more new donors? Laser-focusing on what you’re trying to improve will help you get better results.

Online Giving Playbook, Optimizing at Year-End. A free guide to year-end online fundraising.

Get your comprehensive guide to year-end online giving, The Online Giving Playbook. Learn about the small changes you can make to your website, emails, and donation forms to make big changes. 

Why Don’t Donors Give?

According to the NextAfter Institute, up to 83% of people who visit a nonprofit donation page leave without making a gift. This becomes particularly relevant with year-end online fundraising, when nonprofits are counting on the generosity of their supporters.

So why do so many people abandon donation pages?

Here are some of the top reasons:

We force them to make too many decisions

Want to give stock? Donate a car? Leave a bequest? Make a donation? If you put all of the possible options on one donation page, you’re likely to overwhelm people. 

We make it too difficult to give

Too many fields, layouts that seem like a lot of work, confusing options, or too many choices can all increase the perceived cost of filling out the form (in time, hassle, etc) seem like too much.

We talk like marketers instead of real people

Is your donation form full of jargon? Does it seem like you’re a robot or used car salesman trying to convince people to give? Read your copy out loud and ask for an outside eye.

Our value propositions aren’t clear and compelling

Why should they give to you? What makes your organization the right choice?

We’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a donor

Look at your donation form with fresh eyes. What are you asking for? What value are you offering? Does the perceived value of giving exceed the perceived value of filling out the form?

Optimize The Process

Help donors complete their gifts and help your organization grow giving, by making it easy to say yes.

1. Reduce decisions.

Make it very clear what you want them to do. Don’t give many options.

2. Remove friction and anxiety from the donation process.

Streamline to the smallest number of steps possible between clicking the “donate” button and making the gift.

3. Talk like a real person.

Be warm, human, and jargon-free.

4. Develop and test a clear, compelling value proposition.

Show why they should give to you, among all the possible options.

5. Remember what it’s like to be a donor.

What is the experience you want them to have? How do you want them to feel?

Technology Can Help You

Whether it’s offering smart gift arrays, creating effective donation forms, or using automation to streamline your communications, Virtuous is here to help you get more out of online giving at year-end and year-round. Schedule a demo today

What you should do now

Below are three ways we can help you begin your journey to building more personalized fundraising with responsive technology.

Take a self-guided tour of Virtuous, where you can explore the platform at your own pace and see if Virtuous is right for you. 

Download our free Responsive Maturity Model and learn the 5 steps to more personalized donor experiences.

If you know another nonprofit pro who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via Email, Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook.

The Responsive Maturity Model
5 Steps to More Personalized Donor Experiences
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