How Charities Can Increase Donations

Successful online fundraising starts with the right strategy and a creative, attention-grabbing campaign idea.

Take WaterAid, one of dotAgency’s third sector clients who have recently used ideas as diverse as their remote-controlled plastic poo campaign (it chases people around the streets of London) through to a celebrity turn-out for a coastal walk.

However, the key aim for most charities is to turn the interest and attention these campaigns draw, into donations and that is often more easily said than done.

At the heart of this challenge for digital fundraisers and marketers is their website donation system.

As you might expect, there’s a variety of options to choose from when it comes to online donation systems, but they all generally fall into one of four camps:

1. Unbranded / non-configurable payment forms that offer zero customisation

 You’re allowed to upload your logo and that’s about it! Enough said.

2. Template-able payment services

 PayPal – their not-for-profit rates are competitive at 1.4% + £0.20 per gift. Google Checkout also has a not-for-profit service with similar rates, and participants of the Google Grants AdWords have been receiving free payment processing since 2006, but the offer will expire in 2011.

3. Fully customisable payment services (Sage pay, Barclaycard ePDQ, Netbanx)

Higher transaction fees compared to the template-able services and there are also high entry costs for integration and customisation.


4. Bespoke systems

They look and feel great and are the perfect solution when you want to integrate with other applications such as e-card gifts or your shop, but try proving the ROI to your CEO before it’s built.

These solutions all have their own pros and cons. Some of them are even affordable! That is until you’re up and running and your conversion rate hits rock bottom!

Building trust

Getting conversions is all about building trust. A donor will want to feel safe, secure and most importantly, appreciated. It’s all about appealing to the heart so that they are comfortable enough with your offering before making a donation.

So what can you do to ensure donors feel like they’re wearing comfy trousers? (Yes, you know you have some; and you’re more likely to feel on top of the world when you’re in them!)

This ‘comforting’ feeling is important, according to the World Giving Index, published recently by the Charity Aid Foundation. So how do you create this feeling for donors?

Well, here in our the website design agency team at dotAgency, we think we have the answer with our new Charity Fundraising Tool.

The first thing you and your web visitors will notice is that we’ve put a big, noticeable padlock at the top of the browser so they feel secure. Then, we assure the donor that the pledge will make a difference with examples of assistance that relate to the campaign lead they followed from another site or email. We’ll reward donors with friendly validation messages that don’t accuse them of not meeting our data requirements when they don’t want to provide their personal mobile number.

We’ll also offer them support throughout the process with helpful notes about Gift Aid. They’ll also be safe in the knowledge that our Supporter Care Team is available should they need our assistance.

If we were any more helpful, we’d verify that their bank account is able to accept a regular direct debit setup before they complete the process, so they don’t get a surprise the following month from the bank. We’d also move the cursor down the bank details form for them because we’ve instantly verified their details via the bank. Oh yes, we do all that too!

Now do you think they’ll feel appreciated?

The best thing? The price!

So, which bracket does our solution fall into? You’re going to say number four, aren’t you? And that it’ll therefore break the bank?

Well, I’ve got some good news for you. We’ve already built it for WaterAid, and it’s successfully accepting gifts right now.

Call us on 0207 654 8686 if you’d like to discuss how we can help you cut your annual spend on payment processing fees for both one-off and regular giving, and improve your online donation path and increase your online revenues.

Also, don’t miss out on our charity digital marketing half day seminar on October 14th in London. There are still some free seats left if you hurry.

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