Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Quest For Donation Dollars

Optimizing our donation campaign for Dream Catchers is proving to be a little more challenging than originally anticipated. After doing some research it seems that there are common characteristics of donors on the web from which information can be gleaned to build a more effective marketing campaign.

• Most donors on the web give small amounts.

Could be anywhere from one dollar to 20 but always less than 100.
Larger donors are looking to make a personal connection and make sure they get their tax receipt.

Donors on the web are motivated by an urgent need for action.

• The funnel must facilitate ease and convenience.

Donors on the web want the process to be fast or they will exit before completing a donation.

Convenience is essential for success; too many steps in the funnel will cause users to exit.

The ability to react quickly to some urgent need to donate meaning clear communication from the non-profit that online donations are accepted as well as an easy and convenient method to do so.

Multiple donation methods. Sites that can only accept credit cards will probably be fine but adding an ancillary method such as through Paypal or Western Union may help increase the opportunity for people to donate. On the other hand only having Paypal as a method excludes people who do not have a Paypal account.

Miscellaneous statistics from the Kintera Luth Non-Profit Trend Report. The publication is a bit old (from 2005) but is sheds light on some very interesting quantitative data about online giving habits of consumers. The trend report is a project undertaken by Kintera, Inc. (NASDAQ :KNTA) and Luth Research which is an online market research firm.

• More than 8.6 million U.S. households donated over $3 billion
online in 2004.

• More than 8.6 million U.S. households donated over $3 billion
online in 2004.

• On average, online givers donate in total (both online and
offline) more than 50% more than those donors who do not
give online. (perhaps because of the convenience).

• More than 75% of donors who go online before making a
donation noted that going online made some impact on
their decision whether or not to give, and more than 25%
said the impact was significant.

This last stat is very interesting because if an NPO’s site does not look reputable, that could kill the entire start of the donation funnel before it ever begins. Non-profits that are driving traffic to their sites via PPC advertising are wasting funds if the site itself is not user friendly and professional. Regardless of whether the NPO is legitimate or not, if visitors do not feel confident they will exit.

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