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Nonprofit: How to improve online conversions

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How to raise money with a timed giving campaign
It’s no surprise the vast majority of nonprofits have a website. In fact, of those recently surveyed by Nonprofit Hub, only 3 percent are without an online presence. What is surprising is this: For every 1,000 website visitors, a mere $612 in donations is raised. That means only eight-tenths of one percent of website visitors make a donation when they go to a nonprofit’s website. What’s more, recent stats from SmartCause Digital show most visitors to nonprofit websites do not turn into repeat guests.

Of course, no two websites are alike, so it is impossible to generalize why people may bounce from your site, and worse yet, never return. But one thing’s for sure—there is likely room for improvement. Here are five tips, including some you can do today, to help improve your online conversions:

  • Use forms (and drive traffic to them): Nonprofits have one of the highest form-conversion rates among all industries. The average industry using forms converts at a rate of 11 percent. Nonprofits, however, average a 15 percent conversion rate. Drive traffic to forms by including quick response (QR) codes on printed literature and everyday promotional items, such as mousepads or magnets. Drive traffic from your social media outlets to web pages as well.

Choosing forms that bode well for nonprofit conversions can help boost this rate into overdrive. Donation forms, event registrations, contests and surveys may yield results when it comes to getting a conversion. Encourage guests to sign up for an event or gala via an online form with an entry into a prize draw for a picnic cooler or Stealth Oasis Vacuum Stainless Tumbler. Or entice your offline supporters to check out your online presence, and while they’re there, enter for a chance to win a 4-in-1 Charging Cable or cord organizer.

  • Speed up page-load times: Technology has conditioned consumers to want everything at warp speed. The same holds true for your landing page. A good rule is that your website should take two seconds or less to load. Several best practices may ensure your pages load quickly. The low-hanging fruit includes using standard fonts and making sure images are sized for the web for quick download. You can also test your pages and get suggestions for improvement with free tools, such as Google® PageSpeed Insights or Pingdom®.
  • Include a clear call-to-action (CTA): Make sure people know what to do when they arrive at a landing page. Calls-to-action may include making a donation, signing up for an e-newsletter or contacting you. A clear call-to-action that packs a punch can help. For instance, say “Stop Animal Cruelty” or “End Childhood Obesity” instead of the simpler, less-impactful phrase “Donate Today.”
  • Promote site security: Seals of approval, such as those issued by the Better Business Bureau® or nonprofit specific Guidestar® or Charity Intelligence Canada, lend credibility and give peace of mind that your organization (and how it handles its donations) is on the up and up. If you’re the proud owner of any or all of these certifications, your website is the perfect place for bragging rights.
  • Optimize for mobile: More than half of those visiting a nonprofit website do so on a mobile device. If you’re not optimized for mobile, you risk these visitors leaving your site (and perhaps never coming back). And if that wasn’t reason enough, responsive donation pages generate 34 percent more in gifts than their non-responsive counterparts.

Remember, even the best performing sites can make room for improvement. Try one or all of these tips to improve online conversions—maybe even today. Good luck!

Arneal, Lincoln. “Survey: Less Than Half of Nonprofit Websites Are Responsive.NonprofitHub. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 25 Jan. 2016.

20 Must-Know Fundraising and Social Media Stats.Nonprofit Tech for Good. N.p., 16 Sept. 2015. Web. Retrieved 25 Jan. 2016.

Sotelo, Yesenia. “10 Stats You Should Know About Nonprofit Websites in 2015.Smart Cause Digital. N.p., 03 June 2015. Web. Retrieved 25 Jan. 2016.

Thrasher, Laura. “How Nonprofits Can Use Forms to Increase Conversions.Formstack Blog. N.p., 11 June 2014. Web. Retrieved 25 Jan. 2016.

Ledgard, Josh. “Bounce Rate: 14 ways you are driving people away from your landing pages.KickoffLabs. N.p., 14 July 2014. Web. Retrieved 25 Jan. 2016.

Five ways a nonprofit can improve online donation forms.Miratel Solutions. N.p., 21 Aug. 2014. Web. Retrieved 25 Jan. 2016.

Lavinsky, Dave. “How To Increase Conversion Rates.Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 18 Mar. 2014. Web. Retrieved 25 Jan. 2016.

 

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