With a rise in digital fundraising and younger generations favoring online communication, building a strong digital foundation is crucial. Nonprofit organizations must keep up with the changing times and connect with donors where they are most active.
In my previous blog post, I discussed three elements that animal welfare organizations must consider when enhancing their digital presence to effectively meet their donors’ needs. These include a robust tech stack, an up-to-date website and tailored donation experiences.
In this post, I want to highlight three animal welfare organizations that are putting this into action and seeing amazing results.
Humane Society of Utah invests in a comprehensive tech stack
Nonprofit organizations must invest in high-quality platforms that align with their specific needs as they plan for long-term growth.
Humane Society of Utah worked with us last year to switch their email marketing platform. During this transition, we conducted some email list hygiene with them – purging poor-quality addresses, ranking by engagement and leveraging CRM behavior to stack rank and tag segments with higher rates of conversion and connection. This, combined with warming up a new IP address, helped address deliverability issues and lead to more revenue.
With a new platform, a new IP address and this email hygiene, Humane Society of Utah’s engagement increased tremendously. They surpassed their 2022 email revenue total within the first six months of 2023 and saw a 28.6% increase in average gift. Their campaigns and donor strategy remained the same; the only thing that changed was some email hygiene, guidance on deliverability best practices and investing in a comprehensive tech stack.
Now, this is a lot easier said than done.
Moving systems can be time consuming and challenging, with the potential of losing monthly donors and having to rebuild your entire sustainer program. This happens, and it happened to Humane Society of Utah. But within one year of switching their program, they recovered 80% of their recurring sustainer revenue.
Switching programs isn’t right for every organization. Don’t break what isn’t broken. But making sure your tech stack is working with your organization’s wants and needs is critical for your success in the digital space.
SPCA of Texas’ website prioritizes user experience
Your website is most likely the first point of contact for potential online donors. Therefore, it must be up-to-date and easy to use.
Design is a huge part of a website’s success. SPCA of Texas does an excellent job at making their website straightforward and aesthetically pleasing, consistently using their organization’s colors and having a legible font.
Visitors know exactly what everything means and can navigate the site with ease. Images of volunteers with cats and dogs are consistently used on every page, which engages their online audience and keeps them on the site longer.
Another example of user experience-centric design on SPCA of Texas’ site is with their monthly giving program, Faithful Friends. On their dropdown menu, monthly giving is simply labeled as “Monthly Giving.” This small detail allows for more people to quickly understand where to find monthly giving—without having to know the name of the program.
You have very little time to make an impression with donors on your site, so you want things to be as streamlined and straightforward as possible.
In addition, it’s important that your organization’s site is mobile-friendly. Most people browse the internet on their phones, so making it accessible from every device is crucial. Responsive Viewer, a free Chrome extension, allows you to see how all of your web content looks on mobile and tablet devices, ensuring a seamless donation process across any device and a smooth experience for your users.
American Humane focuses on donation form experience
A clear and consistent donation form is paramount to digital success. When a donor reaches your site from an email, social post or organic search, they need to have quick and easy access to your donation page.
Limiting the click-path to get to a donation form is really important. American Humane does a great job providing their donors with an easy donation form experience by having a pop-up module greet them immediately when the site loads. This grabs their audience's attention as soon as they reach the site.
Providing donation options also streamlines the giving process.
American Humane has pre-set donation amounts but also lets the donor easily choose how much they want to give. One-time or monthly donation options are also available, giving the donor a chance to set up monthly giving payments rather than returning to the site.
Lots of donation processing platforms allow for this, but what do you do next? How do you know your chosen gift array is the RIGHT one, the most impactful one and the one that results in the best conversion rate? Answer – test it. Or invest in a platform that allows for a dynamic gift array, one that is tailored to prior giving history, if applicable, or based on analytical findings that look at the most desirable entry level for maximum Long-Term Net (LTN).
As with all digital fundraising, device optimization is crucial. Donors should be able to access a donation form from their mobile phone, tablet, desktop or any device and still have a streamlined process―one that is designed for a mobile experience: larger font size, larger buttons & fields (for those fat fingers!), fewer required fields, etc.
Animal welfare organizations must optimize their digital fundraising efforts in order to meet donors’ needs. While these suggestions may not have directly attributable revenue (like an email or a direct mail piece would), they are critical investments to ensure your organization grows as digital fundraising grows. A tech stack that will mature as you do, a website UX optimized for fundraising conversion and a donation processing platform with robust customization and analytics – these are the crucial pieces that support your outbound efforts and ensure your donors get the best possible experience with your organization.
The future is digital, and we must be too.