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Getting visitors to your nonprofit's online fundraising site isn't as easy as it sounds, and then trying to convert those visitors into donors is even harder.
The M+R Benchmark Study found that, on average, only 1.1 percent of website visitors made a donation to a nonprofit. Couple that with the fact that for every 1,000 website visitors, a nonprofit raises $612, and you can see that the nonprofit sector is struggling with conversion.
Nonprofits need to start capitalizing on presence of the visitors they already have. By converting those visitors into donors, your nonprofit is bound to increase your donor base and income.
There are a number of reasons why visitors to your website don't donate. Let's discuss four of them in detail.
Donors are motivated by emotion. A well-written story, image, video, or even statistic can do wonders in inspiring and engaging a potential donor. In fact, a study by Yale University found that data doesn't necessarily result in donations, but stories do! Unfortunately, many nonprofits fail to get visitors emotionally invested in their work.
Give your visitors a good reason to donate by providing them with a story that explains your work and its necessity. You could highlight someone whose life was changed.
Here are three ways to inspire your website visitors.
Prove to your donors that you're worth their time and resources by showing them your impact.
Nonprofits cannot afford to be vague when it comes to finances because donors today expect full transparency. Millennials, in particular, place a high value on nonprofit transparency when deciding whether to remain engaged with an organization. Just keep in mind that earning a donor's trust requires you to show them that you can help people and be fiscally responsible at the same time.
Prove to your website visitors that you have a plan for their money by trying the following:
Your donors must get the impression that their donation is going to an organization that handles finances responsibly.
Oftentimes, the biggest problem a nonprofit has in converting visitors into donors isn't transparency or good storytelling. It's simply a matter of not asking for a donation, or asking for a donation but not making it easy to follow through.
The M+R Benchmark Study found that the conversion rate averaged 15 percent for a nonprofit's main donation page. That means nonprofits were drawing people to their primary donation page and failing to "hook" 85 percent of visitors. That's a lot of wasted opportunity!
Here are three easy ways to start converting those visitors:
Make it easy for your visitors to give in order to convert them into donors.
Even if you try every technique under the sun, you still might not be able to convert every visitor into a donor. Sometimes, visitors just aren't ready to take the leap.
But don't let this stop you from putting all the pieces in place for that donor. Now may not be the right time, but tomorrow may be. So, prepare your visitors with all the information that they will need to make an informed decision to donate down the road.
You can do this by providing them with the opportunity to stay in touch through email or connect on social media. Place them at the start of your donor engagement cycle.
A small but meaningful introduction today may be the beginning of a long-term relationship down the road.
Noah Barnett is the growth marketing lead at CauseVox and host of the Rally & Engage podcast. Prior to CauseVox, Noah spent six and half years in fundraising and marketing leadership roles at World Help and The Adventure Project. He knows firsthand the challenges nonprofits face, and is passionate about equipping them with the resources and insights they need to rally people around their cause. Find CauseVox on Twitter @CauseVox.
Image 1: Startup Stock Photos / CC0
Images 2, 3, 4, and 5: Noah Barnett
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.