5 Ways to Optimize Your Tech to Reduce Donor Abandonment

Donor abandonment occurs when your interested supporters are ready to give a gift to your organization, but back out at the last minute for one reason or another. It’s an issue that many nonprofit organizations run into on their donation pages.

Generally, this abandonment has nothing to do with a donor’s change of heart about the organization itself. Many times, donor abandonment stems from technological issues and unoptimized web content.

Is your technology holding you back from receiving as many donations as you’d like?

These 5 tips will help you optimize your technology in order to reduce your organization’s donor abandonment, which can increase your number of donations. These tips include:

  1. Including buttons on web pages.
  2. Providing various options to donate.
  3. Speeding up the donation process.
  4. Using high quality images whenever possible.
  5. Ensuring navigation is intuitive for donors.

If you’re afraid there might be a deeper problem at play between your donors and your organization, we recommend asking them about it to get to the bottom of the issue. However, these technology tips will likely solve your donor abandonment issues. Now, let’s dive into the first tech strategy!

1. Include Buttons on Web Pages

Buttons are a great engagement tool to use online. These handy little tools act as a call-to-action for your reader, making them the perfect tool to reduce donor abandonment.

Buttons rarely include a lot of text, but they are eye-catching for your reader. Therefore, they can be used at a couple different points in the donation process. Try including a button:

  • As a link from another page to your donation page. On the other pages of your website, a button linking you to a donation page is a great way to get people to the page in the first place. This button will capture the attention of your donors as they are already engaged in your website.
  • As the final submission on your donation page. Because this element is so eye-catching for your reader, it is a great way to encourage people to take that last submission step necessary to complete a donation. It discourages donors from getting cold feet at the last minute! Be sure your online donation platform provider enables customization options to include this button.

Conduct plenty of research before designing your web pages and donation pages to include elements like buttons. Start with researching the right provider who offers plenty of options to customize and personalize your page for necessary functionality.

Next, choose themes and customization options to reflect the brand of your organization. Note that you may need to install plugins, themes, or other external web resources to make sure button functionality is available to you. However, many providers will include this optimization feature.

2. Provide Various Options to Donate

One of the best ways to reduce donor abandonment is to ensure you are appealing to multiple groups of donors. Different people have different comfort levels with the various available donation processes.

For instance, younger audiences may be more comfortable giving to a crowdfunding campaign they find on their Facebook feed. But an older audience might be more apt to give directly on your donation page.

Providing multiple platforms for giving extends your targeted appeals to a broader audience. Everyone knows about the necessity of a classic donation page on your website, but some of the more unique platforms of giving include:

  • Mobile pledge fundraisers. Mobile pledges helps you target supporters who may not have the immediate capacity for giving. They can pledge a donation right from their smartphone to be paid out at a later date. For tips about how to handle cashing in that pledge, take a glance at Snowball’s article for collecting pledges.
  • Text-to-give fundraisers. Text-to-give services are a great resource for those who want to give directly from their smartphones. They can send a message with the donation amount to a given number. This will link the supporter to the donation page, connect them to an email authenticating the gift, or add the donation to the cell phone bill at the end of the month.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising. This platform is a great method of fundraising when your supporters are active on their social media platforms. Supporters will create their own fundraising pages, then raise money on behalf of your organization. While it is not necessary to use social media for this strategy, it is one of the most popular ways to get the word out.
  • Merchandise fundraising. You can easily use this fundraising idea to raise money for a great cause like cancer research. You can always create a t-shirt that accurately and creatively represents your cause to sell both online at at your next fundraising event.

When your supporters can choose how they want to give to your organization, they are more likely to pick the donation platform that is most appealing to them, drastically reducing donor abandonment for your organization.

3. Speed Up the Donation Process

When donors get slowed down in their donation process, they are much more likely to leave the donation page. Therefore, one of the best ways to ensure your donors don’t get lost in the process of donating to your nonprofit is to make the donation page as fast as possible.

There are a couple ways to look at this. The first is to minimize the work the donor needs to put in to complete the donation. The second is to make sure the page loading time is as fast as it can be when donors give.

In order to minimize the work of the donor to make a donation, follow these best practices:

  • Don’t force your members to remember a login password to make a donation. If your online giving provider is set up like a shopping cart or a similar mechanism that requires a username and password, you might want to consider switching to a vendor, like Swoop, that makes it easier for the donor to enter their payment information quickly.
  • Minimize the amount of information you require from your donors. While you may want to gain access to as much information as possible to store in your CRM, resist the temptation to ask your donors a ton of questions about themselves. Faster questionnaires with only the necessities help those donations get completed.
  • Resist the urge to tell your life’s work. While you should be proud of everything your nonprofit has accomplished, you don’t need to tell your donors absolutely everything on the donation page. Give the donors a snapshot of your work with a summary of your mission or a heartfelt testimony. But don’t make them read paragraphs upon paragraphs before they can make their donation.

After you’ve made sure your donation process is simple and quick, be sure your page is optimized to also have quick loading time for your donors. So many donations are lost to nonprofits because the donor became impatient with a slow-loading donation page; don’t let that be you!

In order to speed up your website page, be sure to keep a couple best practices in mind. These practices include:

  • Compress and optimize images
  • Minimize the use of JavaScript
  • Minify CSS formatting
  • Leverage browser caching

Your donors should never leave your site based on impatience with loading time. Be sure their entire donation process, from the time the page loads to the time they click “submit,” is as fast as possible.

Google offers a free page speed analyzer called PageSpeed Insights that you can use by clicking the link here.

4. Use High Quality Images

We talked in the last section about compressing your images before uploading them to your donation page. However, don’t compress them so much that they become blurry.

High quality images are one of the major resources that pull your donor into your page and make them feel connected to your organization.

Your extensive donor database measurements can help you decide what high quality images to use to best appeal to your target donor. This will keep them engaged in your website and help reduce the rates of abandonment from the page. For instance, you may choose to use images such as:

  • The people your nonprofit helps in the community.
  • Your team members hard at work.
  • Animals (if that’s what your mission is related to).
  • A photo of your headquarters.

No matter what image you choose to put on your donation page, be sure it’s the best image for the audience you want to engage on the donation page.

5. Ensure Intuitive Navigation

One of the most unfortunate reasons for donor abandonment is when the donor has trouble finding your donation page from your website. This means that your website does not have easy-to-use navigation options, and it could lead to even more issues.

Unintuitive navigation makes it more difficult for your supporters to find the donation page, but also to find other information that might give them more insight into your organization.

Picture it this way: Someone runs across your marketing material and clicks through to your website to read more about your organization. However, they can’t find the information they’re looking for, so they leave your website forever.

However, if your website had proper navigation tools, the situation may have gone something more like this: The same person follows a link to your website to read more about your organization. They find out that their interests align perfectly with your mission, and decide to help you make a difference. So they click on your easy-to-find donation page and become a new donor.

To check your navigation of your site, you should:

  • Test the navigation yourself to make sure your website is functioning the way you want it to. Sometimes pages get added or removed without fully knowing the impact it can have on existing navigation menu options.
  • Conduct user-testing analyses and ask others what they think about your website and its navigation. You may even ask them to look for particular elements on your site and time them to see how long it takes.
  • Check out other top nonprofit websites. Get ideas from other popular nonprofit websites to see how they conduct their navigation strategy. You can then emulate this strategy on your own site with confidence.

Intuitive navigation is a great way to capture the attention of potential donors. It creates a positive reputation for your site. So even if the potential donor does not give right away, they are more likely to in the future than if they had a negative site experience.

In a world filled with technology, there is so much room for engagement with your donors, but also so much opportunity for error, causing donor abandonment. Don’t let these common errors increase your donor abandonment and decrease your support pool.

These 5 tips will set your organization straight and help you optimize your technology resources in order to get the most from them, and the most from your donors.

John Killoran
John Killoran is CEO of Snowball, an exciting new fundraising technology that makes it easy for people to donate in two clicks from text, email, web and social media sites. John pioneered SMTP payments and has been a major innovator in the mobile payments space for the past 5 years. When he is not running a company, he is cooking food for his family and telling his dogs to stop barking.
John Killoran
By |2018-10-26T07:17:42-05:00October 26th, 2018|Donor Retention|

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