4 Ways to Optimize Engaging Networks for Year-End Fundraising

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This post is provided courtesy of Brandon Fuller, Owner & Chief Strategist of Raise the Roots, an Engaging Networks Accredited Partner.

Watch our 2-Minute Takeaway video for a quick overview of trends going into the 2021 EOY Fundraising season.

The holiday season has arrived! In addition to unpacking those sweaters and jackets, you’re likely dusting off your year-end fundraising strategies. As organizations prepare for the season of giving, now is the time to ensure your Engaging Networks account is optimized for a smooth and successful year-end. 

We know from years of experience supporting Engaging Networks clients that organizations who plan ahead, configure their emails and pages proactively, and take steps to mitigate fraud and other security threats, run into fewer stressful situations during an already stressful time of the year. 

To help you prepare for the months ahead by making sure your Engaging Networks account is setup for fundraising success, we’re highlighting four ways to optimize Engaging Networks for year-end:

1. Next suggested gift donation form strategy

Most donation pages offer donors the same ask string regardless of their giving history. Next suggested gift (NSG) creates custom ask strings tied directly to a donor’s highest previous contribution (HPC). Tailoring ask strings to each donor’s giving potential increases average gifts so you leave less money on the table.

Configuring NSG in Engaging Networks is a four step process:

  1. In Account Settings, go to Highest Previous Contribution in the menu and enable HPC. You can set the HPC based on donations made on Engaging Networks donation pages or by importing an HPC value for your donors.
  2. In Pages > Components, go to Next Suggested Gift in the menu and create a New Gift Suggestion. You’ll create rules that guide Engaging Networks in configuring ask strings based on your donors’ giving history. Rules are mutually exclusive. Launch your gift suggestion.

Pro-Tip: If you’re struggling to set the ask string rules for each range of highest previous contributions, ask your direct mail vendor what rules they use in mailings. Next suggested gift has been used for years as a strategy in direct mail fundraising.

  1. On the donation page, click Edit on the form block where you’ve placed the Donation Amount field. Once inside the form block editor, click the Donation Amount field and check the box to turn on Suggested Gift. Choose your gift suggestion from the dropdown.
  2. In your emails, insert suggested gift amounts and links to the donation page with your next suggested gift ask string by clicking the icon in the blue bar of the WYSIWYG editor.

Pro-Tip: You cannot test next suggested gift by sending a test email to yourself or your colleagues. Create a fake email campaign and actually send it to a test group of people who have next suggested gift values in their Engaging Networks profile to properly test these tools.

2. Easy to use one-click pages

Make it as easy as possible for existing donors to give again by creating a one-click page in Engaging Networks. Once you’ve created a one-click page, you can assign it to any donation page you want. When you send a fundraising appeal to supporters, Engaging Networks will detect that the donor has given previously and will direct them to the one-click page where they can easily choose an amount and click the “Donate” button. Whatever payment type the donor used previously will be automatically used for the donation.

Configuring a one-click page in Engaging Networks is a two-step process:

  1. In Pages > Components choose Web Pages from the menu and create a New Webpage. Choose “One-click” from the type of page and use the blue WYSIWYG menu to configure the page.
  2. On the donation page, go to settings and choose Donation Settings from the menu. Select your one-click page from the drop down menu.

Pro-Tip: Engaging Networks will default to the last payment type a donor used to make a donation. If it’s been a long time since the donor gave, that credit card may have expired and the donation will fail. To reduce failed gifts, target recent donors with appeals that link to one click pages.

3. Targeted profiles and conditional content

During year-end, most organizations send dozens of fundraising appeals to supporters. Although we all know that personalized messaging generates the best results, it’s difficult to manage customization when sending so many emails. Conditional content in emails and on donation pages simplifies personalization.

Configuring conditional content using profiles in Engaging Networks is a three step process:

  1. Profiles: Consider the best type of email/page personalization for your donor base. It could be as simple as acknowledging that they’ve donated in the past. Or go deeper by customizing the messaging based on the issues they’ve previously supported. Once you’ve determined how you want to personalize your content, create profiles (Data & Reports > Profiles) that capture the appropriate audience for each custom message.
  2. Conditional Content in Pages: Once you’ve created your profiles, edit your donation page and in the toolbar menu select Conditional Content and tell Engaging Networks what profiles you’re applying to that page. In each of your text and form blocks, you’ll now see a dropdown menu that allows you to set custom text and fields for each profile.
  3. Conditional Content in Emails: Once you’ve created your profiles, create new email campaigns and select the Conditional Content option. In that single email campaign, you’ll be able to create multiple messages. Each message version is assigned to a profile. If someone in your email audience isn’t in a targeted profile, create a generic “Fallback” message option to ensure they still receive your email.

Pro-Tip: Set your profiles to run automatically every 24 hours to ensure they’re always up to date by turning on scheduling for each profile .

4. Preventing fraud and stolen credit cards

Donation pages are easy targets for fraudsters testing stolen credit cards. This is even more common during year-end when transaction volume is at its highest. Fraud can wreak havoc on your organization – potentially resulting in a total shutdown of your payment gateway account. 

Take these steps in Engaging Networks to prevent fraud and prevent the headaches fraudulent charges cause, especially on critical days like #GivingTuesday.

  1. Close and Redirect Old Donation Pages: Fewer live donation pages means fewer targets for fraud.
  2. Turn on Captcha for “High Risk” Countries: In any form block you can choose the “Enable Captcha” option and display captcha to all donors or only to donors in countries where credit card fraud is most common.
  3. Set Your “Allowed Domains”: If you use custom domains in Engaging Networks for your donation pages like “give.yourorganization.org” you can turn on “allowed domains” to prevent fraudsters from hacking donation page URLs to find your pages.
  4. Run Failed Transaction Reports: One tell-tale sign of credit card fraud is a spike in failed transactions. In Data & Reports > Finance Reports you can generate a report showing failed transactions during a set period of time. Run this report weekly to monitor activity.

Pro-Tip: Use the fraud/spam notification feature in Engaging Networks to alert you when your pages experience a high-level of failed transactions in a short period of time.


For more information and a detailed walkthrough of the configuration process for each of the features above, check out our Year-End Preparations webinar.

Raise the Roots is a premier, full service agency with the highest level of expertise in all-things digital. We’re proud to support organizations across the United States and Canada. We are especially proud to stand out as one of the top digital agencies supporting Engaging Networks clients.

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