The annual M+R Benchmarks Study is out and there’s plenty of great nonprofit data to dive into. Over the past few weeks I’ve looked at online fundraising, email, text and social media data. Today I’m going to take a look at website fundraising and your nonprofit.

The Looking Glass

Your website is your window to the world. It’s usually the first exposure someone has to your organization and your mission. This means your website has to be easy on the eye (from a design perspective), easy to navigate and mobile responsive (meaning the site is mobile optimized and mobile users have the same site experience as those on a desktop).

When a friend wants to tell you about a business or organization, where do they send you to? The relevant website! You take some time, browse, skim, read, learn. Users will spend more time on a user friendly website.

When it’s too difficult to get around and read? They’ll bounce.

For nonprofits, a website has another purpose: Online fundraising. It’s not just the donate call-to-action button but also the online donation page. If that page is converting at a high rate, your organization will benefit greatly.

Website Data To learn From

Data: Half of all nonprofit online traffic came via mobile.

The takeaway: Is anyone surprised? Think how much time you spend on your phone. We use our phones all day. I assume this will pass 50% any day now, as more and more people use mobile phones to communicate and learn.

Why that’s important: Is your website mobile responsive??? If it’s not, 50% of your users aren’t even making it past the opening picture of your website! They immediately notice that the mobile experience will be unpleasant and they bounce.

Think about all the lost opportunities to convert new users into volunteers, advocates and donors. Quite a lot! A mobile friendly site is CRITICAL to your marketing and fundraising efforts.

Data: Users on desktop devices made up the majority of donation transactions (61%) and revenue (72%). The average online gift: Desktop- $80, mobile- $42.

The takeaway: People are viewing your site on their phones but they’re choosing to make online donations via desktop. That means that both desktop and mobile have to provide a positive user experience.

Why that’s important: Look at the average gifts. Website is a mess? Mobile site isn’t responsive? That’s a lot of money to be throwing away! The next section provides pointers on creating a donation page which converts.

online giving

Photo by on Unsplash

Data: Online donation page conversion rate is 21%.

The takeaway: Let’s say 1,000 people visited your online donation page. 210 of them will make a donation. Yay!

The other 790? Nada. That’s a LOT of potential relationships to be losing. When people donate, it’s not an end. It’s a beginning. An opportunity for your organization to connect and build a long-lasting relationship with the donor.

Why that’s important: In terms of dollars and cents, that non-converting 79% could fund a lot of programming and services for people in your community.

How can your donation page boost its conversion rate?

  • Place a great hero image at the top of the page. A picture which creates an emotional connection with the user.
  • Make sure to include a little information about your organization. Not everyone visiting your donation page has browsed your website, learned about your mission and wants to help the people in their community through your programs and services.

For example: Consider the friendraising crowd. Bob is walking a 5K and asks family and friends to donate to your organization for the 5K. Those one-time users know nothing about your organization and get to your online donation page via a link provided by Bob.

Why not provide them with some information that makes them consider more than just a one-time donation? You can build a relationship even with the one-timers.

Take a look at this great example from Malaria No More. Fantastic hero image which captures your attention. They overlay some simple text on the image. Immediately you understand what their mission is and what problem your donation will solve.

  • Your donation form should contain only the most necessary fields. Asking for title is unnecessary. People are pressed for time. Make it easy for them to donate!
  • Your various donation amounts should contain a brief explanation as to how that money amount will be used. Again, it’s about giving donors and potential donors what they need to make an informed decision.
  • Make sure to include an option for monthly-giving. Monthly donors have higher retention rates, higher lifetime value and provide a steady revenue stream for your organization. Provide them with choice!
  • Make sure to have an opt-in checkbox for subscribing to your enewsletter. A donation isn’t a single transaction. Use it to maintain a relationship with the donor. When they subscribe to your enewsletter, you are being provided an opportunity to strengthen that relationship.

Data tells a story. Use the data in Google Analytics to help your organization improve your website and make it a friendly user experience. More conversions means more relationships which means raising more money which means providing more services and programs for more people in your community.