Pop Art dislike

5 Common Mistakes That Can Trip Up Your Digital Fundraising

View all posts
No Comments

Here are some extremely common and costly errors nonprofits make in their online fundraising.

I’m bringing them up not to call anyone out, but to point out these common traps. They happen to a lot of fundraisers because they’re easy to do, maybe counterintuitive, and it’s hard to keep up with the ever-shifting digital world. These things can sneak up on you!

Not enough email fundraising

If you send emails to your supporters just a couple of times a year to ask them for donations, you are making a big mistake. Worse yet, if your email fundraising consists of just a single email sent out only one time, you almost might as well not bother. You’re barely giving donors the chance to notice your messages, much less click-through and give.

Email is a repetition game. It’s so easy for donors to miss you in their crowded inboxes. Sending one fundraising email is almost the same as sending none. Reaching out only quarterly … you stay pretty much invisible.

Email fundraising should happen regularly. Probably somewhere between weekly and monthly. And every campaign should have several impacts: three at least, maybe more.

(There’s a related mistake that some fundraisers make: Too much email fundraising. It’s rare, though. Far more of us are not doing enough.)

Hiding the ask on your website

Look at your website. Then look at other organizations’ websites.

How often do you have to hunt around to find something to click so you can donate, like a DONATE button?

Usually they’re hard to find.

Even when that DONATE button is at the top of the page, it’s often small, crowded by other elements, and in a nice, tasteful color that blends in with the palette, hiding like a hunter in a camouflage blind.

If your donors can’t find your donate page, they can’t give. And not many are willing to go on the journeys of exploration it might take to find it.

Make sure you provide clear, obvious, interesting paths to your donate pages.

Too much on your giving page

Imagine you’re a donor, looking for a way to make the world a better place. You find a nonprofit that really looks good, and you decide to donate to it.

You click a DONATE button and end up on their giving page. So far, so good.

But … there’s a link to a video that looks like it might be interesting. And something about gifts of stocks, which you’ve been wondering about. In fact, you see links to dozens of places to go, some of them interesting, some confusing, some just noise.

The chance that you are going to complete that donation that you came here to make has dropped way down. You may click away from the page. You may just decide to go somewhere else less confusing.

The most effective giving pages are obsessed with helping donors do what they came there to do: GIVE.

Not mobile optimized

A meaningful percentage of your donors interact with you online on their phones. That seems weird to me, but how it seems to me (or you) doesn’t matter. The statistics bear it out.

If your website is not optimized for use with mobile phones, you will raise a lot less money. Period.

Taking the last week of the year off

It’s a long, hard year. The last couple of months can be grueling. You really deserve some time off.

Just don’t take off the week between December 25 and January 1.

That week is, by a lot, the best online giving time of year. If something goes wrong (and things do go wrong, as you know!), it could cost you a lot in lost revenue – revenue you won’t make up elsewhere.

Be good to yourself and take some time off. Just not then.

But there’s good news…

These things can be upsetting when we realize we’ve been unknowingly doing them.

Want more up-to-the-moment help for digital fundraising? Take our all-new and completely FREE online workshop, 3 Email Fundraising Mistakes That Cost You Tons of Donations. Featuring digital Fundraisingologist James Herlihy, this single session will help you leap forward in your online fundraising mastery. Sessions are coming up soon! More information here. 

Related Blog Posts:

Previous Post
How to Succeed in Digital Fundraising: 7 Universal Laws
Next Post
New Digital Workshop Is Taking People to New Places

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.