I just received Network for Good's eNewsletter and the information is so good and timely about year end giving online that I decided to post on the subject. An excellent article by Mark Rovner reveals this interesting statistic: Network for Good processes 40% of online donations for nonprofits in December.
Network for Good's Secrets of Holiday Fundraising Online are:
1. Inspire your donors. Re-connect them with the passion and vision that inspired them to give in the first place.
2. Blaze trails to your donate page. Make it easy for donors to give by making it easy to find your site and your Donate button.
3. Optimize your donate form. Make it short, simple, easy, safe and inspiring.
4. Test drive your online donation process. Sit down a few friends and watch them try to give. Learn. Fix problems.
5. Create a “Why Donate” page that makes a case for why someone should care - and explains what happens when someone gives. Endorsements and ratings are good.
6. Thank your donor at least three times - when they complete a donation, when they get your email receipt and when they get your full thank-you via email a few days later.
7. Provide a warm welcome - an orientation email is a nice idea!
8. Launch a cultivation plan. Re-inspire your donors monthly and listen to what they say. Build a relationship through conversation, not appeals.
9. Measure and test throughout the year.
10. Avoid procrastinating next year! Have a plan. (Yeah, right.)
I've written in detail about some of these recommendations over the last two years and if you click on the technology topics you'll find more detail.
One that I haven't covered in the past that I want to strongly recommend right now if you do nothing else - #4 Test drive your online donation process. Sit down a few friends and watch them try to give. Learn. Fix problems. I can't tell you how important this is. The fixes can be super easy but a small problem can keep a donation from flowing through or a donor from being treated the way you want them to be treated. Make sure you follow the process to the donation being received so that you know that the whole process works and how long it takes. Marc Pitman at his blog, The Fundraising Coach, has an excellent post about his own experience that is worth checking out.
Marc Pitman's Blog - The Fundraising Coach
My favorite one on this list is #7 - Provide a warm welcome - an orientation email is a nice idea! This is a great idea for beginning to build a relationship - more than just a thank you. Yes - I've admitted in the past that I think the emphasis on saying thank you is overdone but that just has to do with my personal needs. I am, however, an information junkie so I really like the idea of an "orientation email."
In a bonus tips article Network for Good recommendations include: People want vivid examples of how their donations will be used and Emotion motivates. My recent posts about re-igniting a passion for your mission dovetail well with these ideas.
If you have some time before the end of the year, look over this list and do some tweaking to your online fundraising efforts. Visit Network for Good's fundraising resources website and sign up for their regular eNewsletter and webinars.
Network for Good's Fundraising 123 web site
Marion Conway Consulting