We report frequently on this blog about the increasing growth and importance of online fundraising. We believe online will eventually become the primary giving channel for donors. That’s why it’s so important for nonprofits to embrace online giving today, and create a smooth transition for donors moving forward—rather than finding your organization behind the curve a few years down the line.
In today’s post, we’ll look at some insights from a new report that attempts to gauge where nonprofits are currently failing and succeeding at encouraging and facilitating online giving.
Are Nonprofits Effectively Working to Drive Online Donations?
Despite the increasing prominence of online giving, the numbers still estimate online donations make up less than 10% of all donations to nonprofits. Now 10% is no small number when you’re talking about billions, but you might expect it to be a bit higher at this point in the game.
A recent study from Dunham+Company and Next After “set out to determine if charities are inhibiting or facilitating this movement to fundraising online”. The study analyzed the online fundraising efforts of 151 different nonprofits over a period of 9 months and scored them on 46 different metrics. The results of the study were detailed in the report Online Fundraising Scorecard: A National Study Analyzing Online Fundraising Habits and Donor Experience.
It’s important to note that this particular report looked at four specific aspects of online fundraising:
- Email Registration – How easy it was to sign up to receive emails on a nonprofit website
- Email Communication – How the nonprofit engaged via email after registration
- Donation Experience – How easy it was to make a donation on the nonprofit’s website
- Gift Acknowledgement – How effectively the nonprofit thanked an online donor for giving
Stats Showing How Nonprofits Fare at Online Fundraising
Here are some key takeaways from the Online Fundraising Scorecard report your nonprofit can use to: (1) analyze your own efforts, and (2) see how you stack up against other nonprofits in terms of your current online fundraising progress.
76% of nonprofits provide an email sign-up form that can be found in less than 10 seconds
66% of email sign-up offers provide “little” to “no” appeal to potential donors (they don’t inspire people to sign up)
64% of nonprofit websites enable donors to sign up for emails in two clicks or less
37% of nonprofits did not send a single email to new subscribers within the first 30 days of signing up (yikes!)
56% of nonprofits did not send an email ask for a donation in the first 90 days (really?)
88% of nonprofits did not use a new email subscriber welcome series
Online Donation Experience
80% of nonprofits present a clear call to action on their donation landing pages
85% of nonprofits have a landing page design that matches the donation email they send (the look like they go together)
84% of nonprofit landing pages were NOT optimized for mobile viewing (Whhhhaaattttt?!?!)
Online Gift Acknowledgment
99% of nonprofits thank donors for online gifts (a great number unless you’re in that 1%)
63% of nonprofits did not offer donors next steps to take after making an online donation
73% of nonprofits did not ask donors to share the experience with their social networks after making an online donation
Key Areas for Nonprofit Improvement Based on Report Results
As you can see from these stats, there’s still a lot more nonprofit organizations can do to improve and promote the online giving experience. While there are areas where the majority of nonprofits are doing a fine job (like email landing page design and calls to action), there is significant room for collective improvement.
Some of the key areas that stuck out to us:
- Nonprofits are not doing a good enough job offering visitors incentive to sign up for emails. Content, videos, updates, tips, coupons, communities are all valuable assets—let people know what you have to offer.
- Nonprofits are not doing enough to quickly and effectively engage donors after they sign up for emails. If you have their interest (and you know you do because they signed up), don’t let it slip away.
- The number of nonprofit landing pages not optimized for mobile is astounding. These days, people are as likely to view your emails on a mobile device as a PC. Make sure your sites look good on mobile.
- Don’t let a single online donation be the end of the road. Give the donor more ways to get involved online—whether sharing info on their social networks, becoming an online volunteer or signing up for monthly giving.
Right now online fundraising is still a rocky road. It’s new to many donors so they are just beginning to discover the ease and convenience it offers. Facilitate the process for them. Make an effort to pave the way for online donations now and you will put your nonprofit in good position for online fundraising success moving into the future.
The stats above offer a quick glimpse at this detailed report on online fundraising. If you have not checked out the Online Fundraising Scorecard yet, we highly recommend you do so today.