12 digital fundraising trends for 2012 #9 Back To Website Donation Basics

As I’ve been highlighting throughout this series, the wealth of developments in digital commerce and communications emerging at the moment offer a host of potential new opportunities for fundraisers. However, as mentioned in Monday’s post about Email fundraising, in a year when many supporters are likely to be under increasing financial pressure and all fundraisers should be looking for opportunities to increase their effectiveness, I think some of the biggest opportunities will actually come from focusing on getting the fundraising basics right.

When it comes to online fundraising, there’s nothing more basic than your website donation pages. Which makes the introduction to the Creating the perfect donation experience’ report released this week by User Experience Agency Nomensa rather shocking reading – highlighting as it does the stark fact that 47% of donors give-up before they have made the donation because the online journey is not intuitive and engaging.

That’s almost half of the people who make the effort to visit a charity website to donate giving-up because the site just makes it too difficult, or too boring, for them. In the light of this, no wonder research suggests that online giving made-up less than 4% of UK charitable donations in 2010. We’re leaving at least half of what donors want to give us on the table, thanks to a lack of focus on basic website journeys, fundraising messaging, and simple transaction pages.

The Nomensa report is based on research into the websites and social media presences of the three leading cancer charities in the UK, but their findings and very clear recommendations will be of use to online fundraisers in organisations of any size and any country. So, well worth clicking here to download the report and reading it as a spur to review your own website – and to see what can be done to ensure you’re helping far more than half of the potential donors visiting your site make it all the way through to actually giving you their money.

This is the ninth of twelve posts that I’ll be publishing throughout January on trends I think will prove to be important for digital fundraising in 2012. You can find the previous trend post, on Contactless Payments, here.


2 thoughts on “12 digital fundraising trends for 2012 #9 Back To Website Donation Basics

  1. We read the ‘Creating The Perfect Donation Experience’ report today and really enjoyed it. There was lots of good stuff to take away, particularly for charities who may have smaller budgets, but will still be able to make some tangible changes if they follow the advice in the report. It focused mainly on cancer and health charities but you could live it and apply the best principles to make your current donation process better. Charities find it hard to get the donation process right and tend to follow each other to sniff out what looks like may be best practice as few of them will have the resource in house or budget to do extensive testing on what works with split tests so it’s arguably natural for smaller charities to look to the bigger ones to see what conclusions they’ve arrived at. Things can always be further tweaked of course and you could become very sophisticated in your delivery of donation forms depending on the route in / audience. Considering a suite of pages where you can donate online is a good thing to trial – you will have the main site’s donate page, a page for users reaching you through natural and paid search, a page for existing donors, and even pages tailored to content that reflects the area of the site they were on. For example – a visitor on the Bullfighting pages of an animal cruelty charity website might be directed to a donation page with content related to bullfighting on it make the process as visually seamless as possible and maximise conversions. Things can always be improved though, so when you think you’ve reached your best, you should try to optimise further.

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