The nonprofit sector is one of the most active in the world, blending a mixture of paid and volunteer workers into an international system. Considering that nearly 10% of the U.S. workforce is actively working in this sector, it’s no surprise that nonprofit companies often have lots of traffic to their sites.
Across personal recommendations, word-of-mouth marketing, and a nonprofit’s own marketing efforts, the general public often visits their home websites. However, just because someone reads about a cause that a nonprofit supports doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll donate to that cause.
There is a strong disconnect within this sector between page views and conversions. A business can expect a conversion rate of around 1-2% in general sales. Yet, this figure is far lower in the nonprofit sector, with most people never actually making that first donation.
This guide aims to help nonprofit companies turn their traffic into donations. We’ll dive into the best methods for optimizing your website, honing your marketing campaigns, and ensuring that clients that land on your website are more likely to convert into donors. We’ll move through X core strategies that help increase conversion:
- Copy Tone Alignment
- Displaying Data
- Go Beyond the Donation Screen
Let’s dive right in.
Copy Tone Alignment
When a new potential donor arrives on a nonprofit website, they will rapidly look for two main things. The first thing is the cause the nonprofit supports, with the donor looking to see if it supports something they’re interested in. The second factor they’ll look for is whether or not they connect with the nonprofit.
With modern-day internet users’ notoriously low attention span, nonprofits need to engineer their homepage or landing pages to ensure these two factors are as present as possible. First, a nonprofit should ensure that photos, evidence, and writing about the nonprofit’s cause are front and center. By scanning the page, the potential donor should know what they will support.
Secondly, you should ensure that your copy’s tone is aligned with the message you want to deliver. The copy on a nonprofit website should be written in the second person, with ‘you’ being a nonprofit’s main personal pronoun. You create urgency and intimacy by framing the copy as a conversation between your nonprofit and the potential donor.
Ensure your copy is engineered to have a social reaction from your donors. Start with short, to-the-point sentences that use the second person throughout.
When reading through a marketing guide for nonprofits, you’ll quickly notice that content still reigns as king. Across all platforms, whether social media, blog content, or newsletters, the difference between a nonprofit that cultivates donations and one that struggles is strong content. Storytelling should be at the heart of all great content that your nonprofit publishes.
Every nonprofit has a major cause or causes that they support. Simply writing that your nonprofit wants to gather donations for that cause often won’t be enough to create an emotive response from the reader. Instead, you should rely on storytelling to paint a picture of the good their money will do in the world.
One of the best ways to create an emotive response is to write about the real-world action donations will cause. By focusing on the stories of real people around the world that donations will impact, you can create an empathetic link between your potential donors and those affected by your nonprofit work.
Storytelling should be engrained in the very fabric of absolutely everything you write for your nonprofit. If it doesn’t convey emotion, you’ll have difficulty getting your audience to relate to what you’re saying. Without this connection, they’re much less likely to donate. Start with the real impacts of your actions and go from there!
While storytelling does go a long way, that doesn’t mean you can leave facts at the wayside. Most of the time, donors will scan through longer pieces of text, fixing their eyes upon specific bits of information. As donating to a cause is a monetary transaction, it’s nice to ground certain amounts in verifiable facts about what effect that money will have.
Nonprofits routinely do this with bands of donations. For example, if you donate $5, you’ll help one person, while if you donate $50, you’ll help ten. While this is an oversimplification of what nonprofits really do, these facts will help people understand the quantifiable effect of their donation.
A nonprofit website comes alive when you combine facts and data with storytelling.
Go Beyond the Donation Screen
Finally, many nonprofits believe that increasing conversion is all about making sure the potential donor’s experience on their website is as smooth as possible. While this certainly has an impact, it’s not the only place that you should focus on developing. External content will almost always have an impact on people. Whether we want to admit it or not, people like to show off the fact that they’ve donated to a nonprofit.
On your donation screen, you should always have buttons that allow the donor to share their good dead to social media accounts. Not only does this give them another reason to donate, but it also means that they’ll be advertising your nonprofit directly to their social media accounts. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful forms of marketing that nonprofits can take advantage of.
By providing a platform on the post-payment screen for sharing, you’re creating a new opportunity for your nonprofit to gain social exposure. When friends or family of a donor see that a cause matters to that person, they’re much more likely to follow suit and donate.
If you’ve already gone through the process of increasing your website traffic but are still not getting an ideal number of conversions, this guide will surely help you. Each of the strategies we’ve explored in this guide allows you to make the very most of the precious minutes a potential donor spends on your website.
By tailoring the experience through A/B testing, refining your copy, presenting a clear story, and ensuring your nonprofit experience goes beyond just the donation page, your visitors will be much more likely to convert. These strategies facilitate conversion, helping to streamline the donor experience and boost the likelihood of a visitor converting into a part of your nonprofit cause.