The beginning of a new year—the middle of the fiscal year for some—is the perfect time to take a fresh look at the fundraising landscape. Although industry trends change from year to year, fundraising departments are always concerned with two perennial questions: ‘How generous will donors be and what can I do to secure a piece of that generosity?’ There are three key themes that online fundraisers should be focusing on to reinforce the foundations of their program and grow it to new heights:
Put mobile on full throttle
For several years now, the industry has given mobile responsive design a ringing endorsement, and many organizations have answered the call. On giving days, we’ve seen up to 40% of visitors come from mobile devices, and email audiences are not far behind. This year, it’s time to make sure that your organization has mastered the ABCs of mobile to provide an optimal user experience. This requires more than just about a mobile donation form that works on a smartphone—it’s about understanding how your constituents interact with you and when. To assess the quality of your mobile efforts, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are your forms truly responsive across a variety of screens and resolutions?
- Are you performing tests to understand inflection points and abandonment triggers in a mobile environment?
- Do your email campaigns reflect a mobile world or are you losing people on the open?
- What about that all-too-important entry point—your home page?
- If you’re an event fundraiser, how’s your registration process looking? Can I easily use my iPad to sign up?
This is the year to take the same evolutionary approach to mobile optimization as you do with more traditional online fundraising initiatives— incorporate a best practice and never stop improving.
2015 is the time to move from the sidelines to crowdfunding ownership. Donors want to decide how they raise money for your organizations and which projects they may want to focus on, presenting a valuable opportunity for nonprofits to own the crowdfunding experience by:
- Creating branded, choose-your-own-flavor DIY experiences that allow you to own the data, understand fundraisers’ behaviors and create more lasting relationships with your donors
- Considering giving day events—they’re proven, they raise additional dollars and bring new names to your file (see Kimbia’s Who Gives to Crowdfunding Events? infographic)
- Monitoring third-party platforms and sources of fundraising to discover how you can take more ownership of the process
Snag an analytics ninja
By now, it’s safe to say that most organizations are aware of the importance of data hygiene (garbage in/garbage out). While this doesn’t mean that all of us have solved the data integration puzzle, most at least have a plan for ensuring that our data is accurate. But then what? Clean data is not the same thing as useful data. Follow the below tips to get the most from your data.
- Establish an analytics role within your organization and appoint an expert
- Start now! Good analysts are hard to find, so competition for their talent and skills is high. Set your organization on the path to find and/or retain an analytics ace
- Make sure your analytics expert knows which stats really matter and can draw useful insights, as this can have a significant impact on all of your fundraising efforts
This is the year to commit to investing in your analytics capacity—after all, why spend all the time and effort gathering all your data if you won’t be able to do anything useful with it beyond some basic reporting?
We’d love to hear what your strategies are for guaranteeing fundraising success this year! Share them in the Comments section below. Want more useful tips for maximizing your fundraising potential in 2015? Contact us today!