Top ten fundraising optimizations you can try today

Review our top ten fundraising optimizations and spend some time testing and improving your fundraising.

Crises like the coronavirus impact us in ways we’d never imagine. Many organisations are setting up appeals to support those directly impacted by the pandemic. At the same time, others are running emergency appeals to make up for lost income. Times are tough and we know you’re working hard to optimize donation funnels.

Here are our top ten tips to help you optimize your fundraising today

1 – Try our blueprint templates

Do you want a donation page that has bold imagery? Maybe you want to remove the navigation from the page to minimize people leaving? Are you after a clean and simple layout? If so, why not try one of our blueprint templates? Test this against your existing donation forms by using our built-in split test feature so you can see which page design or layout performs better.

2 – Give your supporters less to do by pre-populating form fields

Prepopulate your forms to save your supporters time and effort.

When you email your supporters from Engaging Networks and send them to an Engaging Networks landing page your form fields will be pre-filled. Learn how to display supporter details in form fields. Then all your supporters need do is add payment and submit the page. As long as the supporter has the relevant fields populated in their account, this works on campaign pages and thank you pages as well!

3 – Personalize the amount you ask supporters to give

How much should the prompts on the donation pages be £5, £20, £50, £100? Should it be rounded numbers? What’s the optimum mix? The truth is, there is no one size fits all solution. How about looking at a supporter’s highest previous contribution? Then, use that to offer a dynamic display of ‘Next Suggested Gifts’ ranges on a donation page. Don’t forget, you can test this against a form with standard ask amounts using the split test feature we mentioned in #1.

4 – Test your content approach

Have you ever had the conversation in your office about what approach to take on factual versus emotional content? What’s going to grab someone’s attention and arouse their curiosity? What happens to conversion rates if you simply have factual content? What happens if you use purely emotional content? What happens if you combine the two? Constantly test your content to determine what will work for your audiences.

5 – Add PayPal as a donation option

We’ve heard from a lot of organizations that a common request from supporters is whether they can donate via PayPal. Did you know you can set up a donation page that submits to a standard credit card gateway by default but will submit to PayPal if the donor selects PayPal as their payment method? Why not try adding PayPal and seeing how your supporters respond. For example, do you get more donations? Does it change the average value of the donations you receive?

6 – Ensure there is reciprocity

One of the key principles of persuasion design is reciprocity. Reciprocity is the idea that people respond to positive action with positivity in return. Think about the ways you can include reciprocity on your page. Action on Hearing Loss recently incorporated a timeline. This highlighted that Action on Hearing Loss was involved in the research that led to the first implant in the UK. People were then invited to “help push through the next life-changing scientific breakthrough to transform more lives like Jenson’s”. Additionally, they included details on how the money would be used to support the organization’s work. They saw an increase in unsolicited donations of 79%.

7 – Consider your copy

Will long-form or short form work best? Is it the same for first-time donors and people who have given before? How do I convince a first time donor to give again? How can I recognize the loyalty of our existing donors? Conditional Content is a powerful tool where you can display different content to different supporters based on which profile they are in. For example, you could show different images depending on supporters’ campaign preference, explain the campaign in more detail if the supporter hasn’t taken action on it before or link to a donation page if they haven’t given before.

8 – Reduce your form fields

Just because you can add as many fields as you wish on a donation form it doesn’t mean you should. Less is truly more on donation forms. Try to take the minimum amount of information required to process your donations. Take a look at your forms and consider what you could remove today. And remember you can split test this to get a true understanding of the impact it has on your conversion rates.

9 – Try different donation button colors

Try a new button style see if supporters respond differently.

Our instinct is to make sure our pages look like our organizations but is this always the best approach? What happens to conversion rates if you try a donation button that has a high contrast? Or a drop-shadow to make it look more like a button? Comic Relief, known for its bold red brand, uses a green donate button. Small things can make a significant difference but remember this may be a test you need to run again once the novelty has worn off.

10 – Set goals for what comes after the donation

Someone gave a single donation for the first time. Do you want them to give again? Tell their friends? Sign up to give a regular gift? Not having a clear goal for the thank you page will have an impact. Why not test a few different options and see what resonates most with your supporters.

What have you included in your testing program and what have you learned? We’d love to know if there’s anything else you’d add to the list above?

And, if you are up for sharing details of the tests you are running and the results you are seeing we’d love to feature your organization in our case study and webinar series. Do email me directly to discuss.

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