One-time donations are wonderful—they’re like receiving a bouquet of flowers “just because”—but sustainers are gifts that keep on giving. You have an exact figure for how much money is coming in monthly, quarterly, and annually, which allows you to prioritize projects, allocate budget, and develop fundraising campaigns.
However, sustainers don’t pop up like wildflowers in the springtime. You have to attract and nurture them with a superior donor, or user, experience (UX), which will largely be online. Mobile and website visits and donations continue to increase according to the M+R 2016 Benchmarks Study.
- Website visits per month increased by eight percent in 2015, with 1.1 percent of visitors making a donation.
- Thirteen percent of online gifts were made from mobile devices in 2015.
It’s customizable so that you can personalize it to match your brand, your giving model, and your audience’s giving profiles. Personalization is important; it’s essential to generating donor interest and convincing them to sign up and stick with you.
The four tips that follow also are critical. Use them to build a donor experience that gets the results you want.
1. Ask Arrays
A donation form ask array is a tool that drives one-time and recurring gifts. The secrets to success are finding the right recipe for setting them up and using dynamic functionality when possible.
- Place one-time and monthly gifts on equal footing so that potential donors can easily and quickly choose the option that suits them best. See how Kimbia customer, WBUR, does it here.
- Pre-select a giving amount. For returning donors, this might be based on prior giving history or for new donors suggest the amount that is most commonly given which can influence people to increase their donation.
- Create ask arrays for audience segments. Use your giving data to build separate arrays where you know giving history (for example: lapsed donors).
The extra effort gives rewards. Providing the best possible ask arrays for donors, ensures they complete the signup process, give a gift, and are happy with the overall giving experience.
2. Donation Forms
In addition to ask arrays, donation forms can enable or cripple the giving experience. The nice thing is that you can easily test and improve form performance with the Kimbia platform.
Many elements go into a well-designed donation form but four are critical. First, the form has to be easy to find and access. First-time visitors to your site aren’t going to hunt for it, so make sure the donate call-to-action with a link to the donation form (or even better a drop-down donation form widget like this) is prominently displayed throughout the website and your most commonly visited pages
Second, the form has to be intuitive, and it should adapt to the device in use. Mobile forms should only ask for essential information; online ones can ask for more, but not by much. The shorter and easier the form is to fill out, the more donations you will receive. Ask yourself: is this field required to process a donation or required for my organization business practice but non essential to the giving process? Eliminate as many non-essentials as possible from the forms.
Third, your form should be branded. Donors should know, with only a passing glance, that they’re giving to you and only you. Online giving shouldn’t be treated as a peripheral but integrated into the donor journey and lifecycle.
Finally, the form has to be secure. It’s your responsibility to keep donors’ information safe. Protect it by using HTTPS and following best security practices. Kimbia forms are PCI Level 1 certified and can be easily and securely shared across unlimited sites.
3. Multiple Payment Options
Multiple payment options also attract and retain sustainers. They can give, and keep on giving, in the way that fits their lifestyle. Common payment options include direct deposit (ACH), credit and debit cards, and checks. You should do anything you can to facilitate giving. It’s in everyone’s best interest.
4. Data Capture
Kimbia’s technology platform can do more than produce brilliantly crafted donation forms and ask arrays, though. It also automates data capture through Simple Pay. The feature is hugely helpful; for one, you don’t have to manually input data, saving you time and preventing data entry errors.
The second benefit is for donors. If they’ve shared information with you like their address or payment preference, Simple Pay saves and secures it so that any form auto-populates that information when they return. This ensures a better user experience since they don’t have to input payment or contact information every time they come to your site which results in more repeat donors
With the four tips outlined above and using the right technology platform to enable the giving process, your donors will be set up for success to keep on giving to your organization! . You’ll attract sustainers with strategic ask arrays and intuitive donation forms. Just as importantly, you’ll keep them with multiple payment methods and automatic data capture.
If you missed our webinar “Make Sustaining Easy with the Right Technology,” watch it here.