Tax Time 2016: Three things NFPs Can’t Afford to Forget

As charities begin to prepare for the end of the financial year, there is one important asset that they often overlook, writes Richenda Vermeulen, Director of digital consultancy ntegrity.

In our four years as an agency, we’ve conducted almost 100 digital audits of Australian charities. When it comes to big campaign times, can you guess what the most common issue is?

Donor conversion.

Traffic is driven to the website or special campaign landing pages, but very little actually converts. Not for Profits too often spend thousands – sometimes millions – on the approach, but they fall short where it matters most.

Why does this happen?

Not for Profits invest huge amounts of time, energy and money on creative ideas for their campaigns that end up being almost indistinguishable from the next charity. Then they spend up big on media buying to ensure everyone sees their campaign. In the process, these organisations don’t take the time to optimise their most valuable and important asset: their website.

So as you head into one of the most important donation periods in the charity calendar – tax time and winter – here are the three key things to focus on the get the best ROI from your appeal.

1. Make donating easy

As a starting point, and regardless of how you choose to engage and compel people in your campaigns, always ensure it takes no more than two clicks to donate.

Don’t make assumptions about what motivates donors and what will work. You may be using internally-minded language or missing an essential part of the picture. An objective outsider or digital marketing specialist will be able to verify this for you – as will data on traffic behaviour.

Then, the simplest way to check whether the user experience of your donate or landing page is working is to get some people to test it for you. Are they easily able to make it from A to B? Do they have any questions that aren’t answered?

2. Show your impact

Don’t forget: most of the people who see your ads or arrive on your website are evaluating whether they’ll donate to your or your competitors. They are actively evaluating you against other charities, so you need to give them an incredibly compelling reason not to consider anyone else.

This could be as simple as clearly articulating the impact of every dollar: where it will go, who it will help, and how. Resist the urge to always talk about yourself by ensuring each line of copy speaks first to the user. How will they be able to positively impact someone’s life in a simple way?

3. Turn once off donations into regular giving

For most NFPs, once-off donations only account for a small percentage of their overall donations. It’s recurring donations that really keep them afloat!

Don’t hedge all your bets on campaigns, but make sure you set your sights on building relationships that last all-year-round with an “always on” approach.

Include an option to give monthly, show the impact that this will have as compared to a once-off gift, and make the sign-up process easy.

About the author: Richenda Vermeulen is the Director of ntegrity, a digital consultancy that helps NFPs implement innovative solutions to improve fundraising and communications. Prior to ntegrity, Vermeulen spent twelve years in the Not for Profit sector, from frontline social work to launching social media marketing at World Vision Australia and World Vision USA.


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