Evidence supporting the critical importance of investing in the donor experience has never been more apparent. Most NPOs, however, are not acting on what the data clearly tells us. Statistics on the performance of nonprofits inevitably become the baseline by which NPOs gauge how well they’re performing. But what standards are they comparing themselves to?
The hard work of changing how things are done can seem daunting for nonprofits. Creating a technology plan, scaling internal systems, collecting, managing and integrating data, retaining talent – all of these require a commitment to change that can be difficult to implement in the face of already limited resources.
But the data starkly illustrates the enormous benefits nonprofits can reap by investing in the donor experience and the technology that drives it. Consider this:
- Every $1 invested in the UX of a giving experience results in anywhere between $2 and $100 in donations. Small investments in the experience such as responsive web pages can yield 34% more than non-responsive web pages.
- A recurring donor will give 42% more in one year than the donor who gives that one-time gift.
- NPOs that are early to adopt technology are three times more likely to exceed their fundraising goals.
These are just a few of the many proof points that validate the exponential impact that investing in the donor can have for a nonprofit.
Creating a Great Donor Experience
Examples of how for-profit businesses succeed by embracing a customer-centric approach are all around us. In the consumer sector (which is where donors spend much of their time), the key is employing technology in the service of innovation.
Breaking through in a marketplace teeming with competitors and a myriad of distractions requires constant innovation in the form of persistent personalization, testing, experimenting, measuring, and re-testing. The same innovative approach that reinforces relevance and competitiveness in the consumer world can be used by NPOs to improve their overall fundraising results exponentially.
A great donor experience closely correlates with what donors are experiencing in other marketing interactions. In other words, carefully targeted, personalized marketing messages are instantly interpreted as relevant and worth their attention, even if just for a moment. The same criteria, the same approach, apply to NPOs.
Unfortunately, recent data indicates that 95% of nonprofits today are still creating high-friction giving experiences, which are proven to suppress conversion rates. Some 70% of NPOs require non-essential information (such as phone numbers and even birthdates) that deter donors from completing the donation process.
Why do nonprofit organizations continue to struggle to accelerate their digital transformation and grow new sources of revenue? A key roadblock that many face is an inability to attract and retain new donors such as millennials, owing to outdated systems that only support traditional fundraising techniques and static campaign-driven tactics that don’t effectively reach this generation.
Alternatively, personalized communications with donors engender a consistent dialog between NPOs and donors, potentially year-round. This is just one ingredient (and an important one) in re-imagining and deploying a great donor experience.
Drawing from countless examples from the consumer world, it’s clear that creating a great donor experience needs to start with the appropriate technology. Once armed with the right tools, NPOs can analyze the results of their fundraising, identify key variables and weak links in the process, and set in motion a transformed donor experience. One that replaces the time and resource-consuming task of hunting for new donors with a resilient, established platform that generates recurring donations, and sustainable growth.
A Platform that Puts the Donor First
None of this happens overnight. Transitioning from the status quo to a technology platform that can deliver on the promise of a highly relevant, personalized, dynamic donor experience that improves overall donor acquisition, conversion, and retention rates, is a process. Likewise cultivating a culture of data sharing and transparency takes time.
The solution you choose should be a robust digital platform that prioritizes donor-first optimization. It should also seamlessly integrate with incumbent products and systems that you otherwise rely on. It should enable you to do everything from point-and-click A/B testing, landing page optimization, automated recurring gift prompts to a host of other optimization tools.
A successful platform includes comprehensive customer support with dedicated account and implementation support, thorough onboarding and training, and a highly skilled technical support team. Not least of all, the administrative user interface should reflect a streamlined experience and easy-to-use tools to automate multi-channel fundraising campaigns.
Learning From Your Donors
NPOs will find that the best road to realizing a truly donor-centric environment occurs in steps both large and small. Once the right platform is in place, it should provide you with a laser focus fixed on uncovering what donors want, what they need, and how to do all this in a frictionless experience, leveraging user-experience testing and prompted feedback throughout.
The simple truth is that, over time, your investment will help you learn from the user what’s working, what isn’t, and what could be further optimized.
With businesses and social experiences becoming more digital than ever before, it’s time to assess your nonprofit’s performance and imagine how it could be exponentially transformed with the right strategy, the right technology, and the right culture.
iDonate’s Digital Fundraising Platform (DFP) was created from the ground up for the purpose of facilitating a great donor experience. Designed to support experimentation and innovation, DFP can enable you to strengthen ties with recurring donors, accelerate your conversion rates, and reach sustainability. Visit iDonate to learn more.