This article was originally published by Sage Nonprofit Solutions.
Prepare Your Website for Year-End Giving
By Stacy Dyer
If your nonprofit is like most, you receive over half of your annual contributed income during your year-end campaign. Donors often procrastinate until the last minute to make tax-exempt donations to charitable organizations.
To be successful, nonprofits must be at the top of donors’ minds when the time is right. In order to be eligible for the current tax year, donations must be made before December 31. While that may sound like a long way into the future, it’s a crucial fundraising opportunity for which your infrastructure must be prepared.
Simplify Online Giving
One of the best ways to capitalize on the additional traffic — and increased number of highly motivated donors — is to make it easy for supporters to give via your website. Whether they have searched for you online, responded to an email, or visited your website directly because of a postcard or direct mail solicitation, donors should be offered both highly effective opportunities to give online and an easy, seamless transaction process.
Online giving is driven by opportunity and convenience; yet, many organizations have online giving forms that are separate from the content meant to inspire the donor to give. If your donation solution requires supporters to leave your website to complete their transaction, you could suffer from higher abandonment rates and fewer completed transactions.
Instead, ensure your fundraising forms are embedded directly on pages with motivating stories, images, and videos about how donations will be used. Focus on keeping traffic on your site, and eliminate barriers to completing a donation transaction.
Create Targeted Donation Forms
Generalized donation forms – which are usually long and contain unnecessary or irrelevant questions – may also cause donors to abandon their transaction. Retain donor interest and motivation by keeping forms as simple as possible.
If different programs within your organization require different information to be collected, customize donation forms for each cause, and only require donors to supply the answers relevant to the cause that motivated them to donate in the first place.
For example, if you are offering promotional gifts in exchange for qualifying donations, don’t provide a list of every available item. Only list the items that are relevant to the program to which they are donating.
Start Identifying Opportunities Early
But, this kind of customized strategy doesn’t happen overnight. Challenge your team to identify all the giving opportunities on your website, and then create content that will resonate with new donors around each opportunity.
And, remember that it’s important to start preparations early. A thoughtful web strategy and well-implemented plan can significantly contribute to your year-end success, as well as stimulate new donor acquisition throughout the coming year.