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The Importance of Your Website To Your Donors

The lessons from a new report indicate that nonprofits should keep emphasizing online giving, primarily through desktop browsers, and get users to spend more time on your campaign site.




While we have all seen a dramatic growth in traffic to mobile apps, the study shows that donors are still more comfortable with using the desktop to make their gift.

A new report on the State of Modern Philanthropy” from “Classy” indicates that visitors using a desktop browser are 75% more likely to convert to donate than those visiting via mobile devices.  It acknowledges that 60% of all campaign visitors will still visit you via mobile apps.

The report looked at over 40,000 active campaigns from nearly 4,500 nonprofits from Oct. 1, 2018, to Sept. 30, 2019, totaling 6.4 million donations, of which 2.8 million were recurring donations.

Among the highlights: 

We need to keep donors on our campaign pages longer. As time on your site increases, there is a dramatic correlation in conversion rate. The report indicates that if a donation page held a visitor’s attention for between 2 and 3 minutes, the conversion rate quadrupled, to 44%.  The report shows that 70% of visits to donation pages lasted between 0-59 seconds. And when those quick visits occur, just 11% converted to donors.

So, you might think about putting more information, videos, and other materials online that explain your need.  That information will likely go beyond what you have provided in your regular ask.

We should strive to get users to stay on your campaign page between four and five minutes, which results in a 64% conversion rate and a 62% conversion for a five to six-minute visit.

The report also shares interesting facts about the timing of an organization’s ask.  For example (although not shocking) December accounted for 27% of all donations made.

“Giving Tuesday” was impactful with total donations in November dropped from 11% to 8% year over year, as Giving Tuesday 2019 was on Dec. 3.  

January, February, and July were the slowest months for donations in 2019, each accounting for 5% of the year’s total; September (9%) was the most significant month other than December.

While this is only one report, it should provide development managers with a lot of food for thought.  Perhaps now is the time to review what your campaign site looks like and whether it helps to convince someone to actually make a gift.  Organizations should also make sure their mobile app remains helpful to build the case for donations, but it is your website that should be optimized for the donor’s experience.

You can download the entire report from “Classy” here.

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