5 Nonprofit Fundraising Tips From a Woman with 750,000 Followers

FUSE 2014
by Salsa Labs

If you’re one of those courageous people engaged in the rewarding but exhausting endeavor that is fundraising for a nonprofit, these tips from FUSE 2014 might make your life easier. They come from blogger and social media expert Heather Mansfield‘s two information-packed talks, How To Launch and Maintain a Mobile and Social Media Strategy for Your Nonprofit and The Math and Science of Mobile and Social Media.

According to her bio, Heather’s “Nonprofit Organizations” profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube have over 750,000 followers combined. And after hearing her speak at FUSE, I can tell you she knows what she’s talking about.

1. Be mobile-friendly.

It’s more important than you think. In 2013, more email was opened on phones and tablets than on laptops or desktops – that includes your fundraising emails.

→ Use simple, bold designs with large text.
→ Use buttons instead of drop-down menus.
→ Use responsive designs, or formatting that adapts to screen size. Responsive design doubles giving on mobile devices.

2. Be visible.

Potential donors are unlikely to spend more than a few seconds looking for your donate button – and people who come to your site through a Google search aren’t necessarily going to land on your homepage.

→ Make your donate button large, brightly colored, and prominently displayed. Orange has been shown to be the most effective color.
→ Keep the donate button in the same place on every page.
→ Make your address visible as well – many donors still prefer to send checks in the mail.

3. Describe donations in terms of impact.

People like to see where their money is going. Talking about impact is also a way to stand out. People get asked for money all the time, so ask them for something else – for instance, if you’re trying to build a school, ask for the price of a desk instead of a dollar amount.

→ List tangible items before their respective dollar amounts in your donation options.
→ Show how those items will be used, preferably with images.
→ Include concrete goals for the number of each item needed.

4. Make your thank-you page effective.

First, make sure you have a thank-you page. Then, while you have your supporters’ attention, show them how else they can help. For instance:

→ List other actions they can take or links they can visit.
→ Provide share buttons and ask them to spread the word on social media.
→ Conduct a short poll asking why they chose to donate, or what content they’d like to see in the future.

5. Test your donation process.

26% of donation pages fail. That’s more than 1 in 4. Don’t be one of them.

→ Have several volunteers attempt to donate (using existing funds) before you send out your donation requests.
→ Make sure the process is easy, fast, and smooth. People who get frustrated won’t bother to complete the donation.

Visit Heather Mansfield’s blog Nonprofit Tech for Good and follow her on Twitter @NonprofitOrgs for more great tips. 

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