The following is an excerpt from The Ultimate Guide to Donation Pages, the latest eBook from Fundlio.
No matter how great your donation landing pages look and how effective calls-to-actions are, if nobody knows about your page, your conversion rates will remain low. How can yous start generating traffic to your donation pages?
Here are a few effective ways to promote your donation page
Use social media’s potential to the maximum
Social networking accounts are the easiest way to spread the word: include the link to your donation page into your social media updates, send direct messages, encourage followers to re-tweet your fundraiser, and ask bloggers to feature your appeal.
Allow and encourage fans to post on your Facebook page, as this will expose your campaign to their friends and increase traffic on your donation page. Allow direct messages during fundraising campaigns – the idea is making it easier for people to contact your charity during these busy events.
Emailing your address book and subscriber lists are the next steps you need to take; for maximum impact, check our email subject suggestions.
Don’t trust the common belief that email is a lost cause:
“Most of our inboxes are flooded with junk mail— and emails we can’t remember why we’re even receiving— on a daily basis. I get it. But, email is still a great marketing tool. It’s quick, can be tracked, produces immediate results and can be personalized to the recipient.
Executed properly, email is extremely effective at maintaining your donor base and engaging people who’ve expressed interest in your nonprofit. Email people to let them know about events, fundraising campaigns, new developments in your field and with your nonprofit – the list of possibilities extends far beyond ‘thanks for donating.’”
Don’t forget about print either
If your nonprofit organization uses flyers or posters, include in these materials a QR code redirecting people to your nonprofit donation page.
Don’t ask just for donations
Encourage donors to spread the word as well; what you want is to attract as many visitors as possible on your donation page. You can attain this objective by including effective calls-to-action in your donation pages and featuring social media buttons.
Thank your donors!
Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective promotion methods, but your donors will not spread the word with their families, friends, and networks if you don’t express your gratitude for their contribution. Moreover, they won’t donate again either. Thank donors promptly (in less than 48 hours) and make sure that you provide them with an easy method of sharing your donation page.
But how can you make sure you always follow the 48-hours rule? Claire Axelrad, nonprofit fundraising coach, reveals the one biggest secret to saying “Thank You” promptly:
“Everyone in Your Organization Must Buy in to the 48-Hour Rule
Donor etiquette is not wedding etiquette. You don’t have a year to send the thank you note. You have 48 hours. No kidding. This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to sustain donor relationships. But if anyone doesn’t take this seriously, it won’t happen. And if you can’t make this happen, you’re going to leave money on the table. You’re going to lose donors. Period.”
Fundraising tips and ideas to promote your donation page more efficiently
Engaging supporters and determining prospects to donate online requires a bit of inventiveness and lots of practice. Here are some simple fundraising ideas and tips to make your donation website truly powerful:
There are two areas where you need to focus on – disclosing what percentage of financial resources are allocated to programs (the most successful charities state that around 90% of revenues go to supporting the cause) and showing donors the impact of gifts.
You can attain both goals on your donation page – remember how Save the Children featured a pie chart on its donation page to provide financial information, and you can also tell supporters what actions you will take using the amount of money they donate.
These good practices are not just an option – most donors stop contributing because they are not informed on how donated funds are allocated.
Use the right calls-to-action
Supporters need constant reminders in order to stay engaged and donate, but neither should you be too insistent and ask for money all the time; other calls-to-action you can use, besides making donation appeals, are encouraging people to visit your website or view your videos.
Be a good listener!
You cannot generate supporter engagement if you don’t allow your audiences to communicate with you; accepting feedback and advice also helps you find out what may prevent supporters from contributing. Aside from responding to all comments and questions on social networks, you can also ask users what they think about your donation website and nonprofit donation page – you may get extremely valuable advice.
Your supporters want to have fun!
While your cause may be extremely serious, this doesn’t mean your tone of voice should be grave all the time. One of the latest trends in social media fundraising is offering nonprofit mobile apps and social games helping you to collect contributions.
Give the entire credit to your donors!
Your organization’s achievements should be its donors’ achievements:
“Don’t spend your communications trumpeting your successes. Celebrate what your donors have accomplished through you. Give them the credit.
Because you really don’t need credit. You need gifts.
Engage your supporters even more with user-generated content
You don’t need to be the only one talking about your nonprofit organization and your cause! Encourage fans to promote your donation page along with their own content and to use hashtags when sharing your page link on social media.
Here is a very helpful resource containing popular nonprofit hashtags, from Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog: Hashtags for Every Day of the Week (Nonprofit Edition).
Furthermore, enabling donors to personalize your donation page will increase the amount of donations you’ll collect, so allow people to include their personal stories, videos, photos and messages in your donation website.
Try the following creative fundraising ideas
Understand your donors’ needs – people love to be entertained, to be offered a reward for their efforts, and to have their merits recognized. The following simple fundraising ideas will get more people completing the donation form on your nonprofit website and hitting the “Donate Now” button:
- Nonprofit contests – check our post on how to use contests to build a community around your nonprofit. Contest example – ask supporters to submit funny photos related to your cause and require a $5 donation to enter the contest.
- Matching gifts – this fundraising idea implies starting a partnership with a sponsor; when a donor offers a certain amount of money, the sponsor will donate the same amount too. Promote the matching gift idea intensively, including on your donation page.
But who offers matching gifts?
“65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs, but corporate giving isn’t just for the big boys. Companies of all sizes, industries, and locations donate through matching gifts. American corporations, Canadian employers, and international companies all offer corporate giving programs.”
- Silly punishments – motivate supporters to donate by inflicting a silly punishment on your organization leader when a certain donation threshold is attained. Who wouldn’t laugh at images of your president inside a dog house or wearing pajamas at work?
- Offering a branded gift in exchange – T-shirts, silicone bracelets, bags, etc. – your supporters will be happier to go through the entire donation process when a small reward is in sight. If popular endorsers are seen wearing the item in public, the small token will become even more desirable.
- Voting – this creative fundraising idea works because people like to feel in control and able to make a decision. For instance, you can ask organization members or local celebrities to provide childhood photos and you’ll allow supporters to vote for the cutest baby on condition that they donate a certain amount of money for your cause.
Which of these creative fundraising ideas match your organization better?
You will be able to download the entire Ultimate Guide to Donation Pages eBook soon. The complete version will also include:
- Why You Need an Optimized Donation Page as Part of Your Fundraising Campaigns
- Key Elements of a Donation Page Design
- What Are Calls-to-Action (CTAs) & Why I Need Them
- 3 Real World Examples of Highly Effective Donation Pages
- Additional resources:
- How to Create a Marketing Plan to Promote My Nonprofit
- Top 10 Fundraising Nonprofit Blogs You Should Follow [Checklist]
- About Fundlio