3 steps to doubling your digital EOFY donations

by Garth Stirling
March 23, 2021

Recent research shows 81% of Aussies are open to digital fundraising. With June fast-approaching, success in this year’s end of financial year (EOFY) appeal requires a key focus on digital.

To double your digital donations this EOFY, you’ll need improvement across 3 areas: ad click-through rate, reach and onsite donation conversion rate.

digital donations = (reach × ad click-through rate) × site conversion rate

Reach the right audience at the right place

Key success measure: Reach

It’s no surprise—consumers of all ages are using digital as a key component of the purchase journey. Since the pandemic, online shopping has increased across all demographics, particularly amongst over-65s, who have jumped from16% to 43% in online shopping usage.

To maximise your EOFY digital donations, you must reach your donors on digital at every step of their journey: through awareness, research, donation and reporting.

Understand who your audience is at tax time

The first step is to understand the specific audience you’ll be targeting in June. Usually, EOFY givers are different from other donors in a few ways:

We also recommend you use past donor lists to understand the type of people who give to you at tax time, and ensure you plan to target them again this year.

Invest in online content at the awareness and research stages

The pandemic has brought anincrease in online research for products — largely driven by the 45+ year old segment.

Graph showing buyers aged 45+ have increase purchasing online

Source:Google. 45+ year olds are researching more online

Invest in search marketing to direct users not only to conversion/donation pages, but also to pages that will provide valuable decision insights to your supporters at this stage, such as about us pages or impact stories. Your pages should answer the question: “why should I donate to you this end of financial year?”.

Since isolation,Aussies are streaming videos more than ever. So consider creating videos that ‘stop the thumb scroll’ into your social media and digital strategies.

Your videos should tell a story, bring the donor into your world using emotion and impact and be fit-for-purpose in the platform it features on.

Trigger your supporters with personalised marketing

To compel your donors to give to your organisation, begin by segmenting and personalising your email marketing. Use email personalisation to build different messages for active, lapsed and high-value audiences.

Build retargeting into your strategy by generating ads for those who have watched your videos or visited your website. These ads should focus on driving conversions.

Increase click-through rate with powerful creative

Key success measure: Ad click-through rate

EOFY is the third-highest period for giving (following Christmas and the beginning of the year). It is a highly-competitive time for not-for-profits.

To improve your ad click-through rate, you must ensure your creative cuts through the clutter and aligns to the supporter mindset at this unique time of year.

Begin by understanding your donor’s mindset

A lot has changed over the past year. The period of high emotion experienced across the globe will have lasting impacts on behaviour.

It’s important to stay attuned to your donor’s mindset; be aware of what they’re reading in the media, what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling.

To get this information, you must undertake some research:

  • Reach out to mid-level or major donors via phone to understand their situation

  • Understand the key issues that are being reported in the media

  • Research changes in search usingGoogle Trends

Consider some universal trends we’re seeing, such as the move away from materialism and toward more ‘human values’ such as purpose and self-transcendence.

Once you know the context your donor is operating in, develop key messages that resonate with these sentiments. Ultimately, your messages and creative will depend on your own supporters, but you should consider how your messaging and creative can bring alive emotions such as gratitude, togetherness and self-transcendence.

Ensure you stand out in a category of sameness

When developing your creative, avoid using cliches or calls to action that are commonly used by other charities. You will just end up blending into the crowd.

A big thing to avoid is referring to your campaign as a ‘tax appeal’ or ‘end of financial year appeal’. Most charities will be doing this, and it doesn’t explain what value your donor will get out of giving money to you.

Your creative should relate to the donor and capture their attention.

Make it easy for your supporters to donate to you

Key success measure: Site conversion rate

Now that you’ve done the hard work of getting the donor to your site—don’t let them down at the point of purchase.

Major barriers for donations include slow site speed and confusing donation processes.

In fact,40% of consumers will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. To prevent this, ensure you keep image size on your page to a minimum and get rid of any unnecessary code.

Keep your donation process simple and do not ask for too much information before the supporter donates.

When designing your donation pages, consider theinflux of non-digital natives—the 45+ group who are in the early stages of experiencing the digital world—and how they might respond to your website layout. Make your buttons, text and layout clear and accessible. Keep the most important information ‘above-the-fold’ (before the user scrolls).

Though we tend to design our pages on desktop, remember that the majority of your users will be coming through mobile. Make sure your website is mobile-optimized.

Maximise your conversion rate through testing and learning

Donation pages are a great way to test key variables for your campaign. Implementing test results will allow you to maximise your donations by providing the best experience for your donors.

If you won’t take our word for it, just see howBarack Obama raised an extra $60 million through website testing and learning.

Some things you might consider testing include:

  • The language used in your calls-to-action (e.g. Donate Now vs. Give The Gift of Life)

  • Donation amount options, or “ask strings” (e.g. $10, $20, $50 vs. $15, $20, $50)

  • Impact stories used

Here’s a list of A/B splitting tools you can use.

Remember, the journey doesn’t stop at the donation page

After the purchase, ensure you have an onboarding plan in place to delight your donors.You can download our full guide on how to grow your donors after the point of purchase here.

Continue the story through compelling emails and social media to onboard your donors to the organisation. You are selling impact, it’s only fair that you follow-up with your donors and ‘show them’ the impact they’ve had. This has become an expected element in building trust and loyalty. Don’t leave it to your next campaign.