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If vision is the steering wheel, funding is the engine that drives nonprofit organizations.
Although donors represent an important piece of the funding puzzle, donation levels are a constant source of concern for most nonprofits. But here’s the good news: technology has created new opportunities to connect with donors and a new 2014 M+R Benchmarks Study shows that a stronger online presence is the key to increasing donor funding.
How important is your organization’s digital presence? According to the M+R study, nonprofits typically receive 60 cents in donations for every website visit.
So, if you’re a typical nonprofit and you want to raise an additional $60,000 in donations, you’ll need an additional 100,000 site visitors, right? Let’s say you want to raise an additional $600,000 in funding. Does that mean you need to attract an additional 1,000,000 site visitors to get the job done?
Every nonprofit is different, so while it’s helpful to look at industry benchmarks, it’s more important to track your own statistics. You may experience a very different donation per visit metric, based on the type of nonprofit you run, the competitiveness of your space, the quality of your website, and your organization’s reputation with both new and existing donors.
If you are averaging only 30 cents for every website visit, that’s fine. But it may be time to devise a strategy to ramp it up to 40 cents per visit. If you hit 40 cents, shoot for 50 cents a visit. It’s all about having a plan, executing it, measuring your progress and continuing to improve.
When you develop a plan to improve your donations per site visit metric, here are a few best practices to keep in mind:
There you have it. The biggest mistakes that nonprofits make include underinvesting in their websites and failing to continually ask for donations throughout the year. If you are only fundraising in December, you are missing out on a ton of donations!
Last but not least, make sure your messaging resonates with potential donors. Small things like subtle changes in wording or sharing stories regarding the people you are helping can result in a big uptick in donations. There are some good online tools out there that allow you to test the impact of these small changes and they are relatively inexpensive.
In our experience, a good plan coupled with good execution can work miracles for a nonprofit. Every nonprofit is different, so it’s tough to promise a specific ROI. But it’s not unusual for us to help a nonprofit achieve a very significant improvement in their results.
If you have questions about how to improve your nonprofit website or increase your fundraising proceeds, let us know. Our Digital team’s nonprofit marketing consultants serve a variety of industries, but we have a special place in our heart for folks like you who are committed to doing good each and every day.