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July 27, 2018

3 Questions Donors Ask Before Making an Online Gift

3 Donor Questions

Digital campaigns have many components that must work well in tandem, guiding the donor to her ultimate destination: making a gift online. First, the creative must capture her heart and make her feel that her contribution is meaningful. Second, and equally as important, the online user experience must make her path to donation effortless, making the act of giving as delightful as possible. When it all works well, she’ll feel like the true hero she is — empowered by her giving.

Here are three questions your donor will ask before making an online gift:

  1. Do I want to do this?
    How are you motivating your donors? A strong fundraising offer that resonates emotionally will be most effective. An offer that is too generalized will tend to be less inspiring. If you have the ability to segment your audience, you can tailor your offer for improved relevancy and actionability.
  2. Can I do this?
    Is the usability of your digital channels a frictionless experience? If the donor clicks the “Donate Now” button, she is obviously expecting to make a donation. If that action leads to a donation form that starts with a video, she may be confused as to what you want her to do and abandon making a gift. Another example is when an online gift form doesn’t follow best practices for usability. Don’t overwhelm the donor with too many fields (or use a stepped process). Include a relevant ask string and social proofs. And the form must be mobile friendly. The path to donation must be clear and simple.
  3. Should I do this?
    Trust. It’s hard to earn and, sometimes, harder to keep. What are you doing to develop and maintain this trust with your donors? Affirmation messaging is an essential part of any fundraising campaign and goes a long way toward assuring donors their gifts are being put to good use. Consider earning industry designations from organizations like Charity Navigator, the Better Business Bureau, and others. Use their logos throughout your digital communications if you earn the designations, which will let donors know that the charity has been vetted by third parties and can be trusted to use their hard-earned money responsibly.

Thinking through the donors’ experience is a helpful exercise when developing a digital fundraising campaign. These are just a few of the many questions we ask when launching campaigns for our clients. A holistic approach to your digital campaigns can reap many rewards: brand awareness, new donor acquisition, and current donor retention and cultivation.

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