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Ten Secrets to Optimizing Your Online Donation Process for Maximum Dollars Raised and Retained

June 28, 2017

You’ve invested the time and resources, and your organization has a good-looking website.  Now what? We recently got a chance to chat with Steven Shattuck about how to optimize online donations, the subject of his upcoming webinar on July 12, 2017! 

shattuck sonQ.  In your slides you included an email solicitation from your son – is that real?

A.  Yes, that is really my son! We are a proud fundraising family. My wife and I have been working with and for nonprofits since 2006. She currently serves as the communications director at the Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter. So, he gets roped into many fundraising events, walks, marches, ice bucket challenges, etc. That email appeal is from the school he attended for pre-k. Pretty good personalization, huh? I haven't ever seen "daddy" as a merge field!

Q.  Is mobile giving as popular as computer-based online giving? 

A.  Mobile giving as a percentage of online giving in the US is in the mid-to-high teens, depending on which research study you're reading. But, it's also one of the fastest growing types of giving. Of course, "mobile" can mean a lot of different things: text to give, giving through apps, accessing a traditional webpage on a mobile device, etc. So, it's important to dig deeper and figure out what "mobile" means for your own individual strategy.

Q.  Do you see it overtaking computer-based giving? 

A.  I was fortunate to have Daryl Upsall spend some time with my workshop at the AFP International Fundraising Conference earlier this year to talk about fundraising trends and innovations that are happening overseas, particularly in Europe. One of the things that struck me and the group was the prevalence of text-to-give in Europe. It’s one of the top fundraising channels and seems to be their preferred mode of giving. Contrast that to the US where text-to-give is not as prevalent (for reasons which are debatable, including habit, security, culture differences, etc.) except in cases of disaster response. I think that if mobile is going to overtake traditional computer-based giving, text-to-give is going to have to become more widely used.

Q.  If organizations can only do one thing in regards to online giving, what should it be?

A.  Donate to themselves and audit the experience. Was it easy to give on every type of device? Was giving a feel-good experience? In other words, do you steward the donor, both during and right after the donation is made? What happens right after the donation is made? Do you send a boring, perfunctory receipt, or do you put a smile on the donor's face immediately while keeping them engaged?

Q.  Tell us about Launch Cause. 

A.  Launch Cause is kind of my baby. We were fortunate at Bloomerang to be able to purchase land in 2015 in a somewhat little-known-secret area of Indianapolis and build a beautiful building for ourselves. We purposely built the building too big, knowing that we would eventually grow into it rather than have to move again in just a couple years. So, we had this empty floor that we didn't know what to do with.

At around the same time, I had visited Nonprofit Hub in Lincoln, Neb., an amazing shared space for nonprofits that has offices, cubicles, co-working space and conference rooms. I came back to Indy and basically asked Bloomerang's leadership if I could have the floor for a similar purpose, at least until Bloomerang needed it. And they gave it to me! I assembled a board, got some corporate sponsors, and for about 18 months we had the same thing: offices, cubicles, co-working space and conference rooms for Indianapolis nonprofits. My lease ended, and we are now looking at pivoting to a purely online resource for Indianapolis nonprofits, so I will have more to share soon!


To find out more about how your organization can make the most of online donations and retain online donors tune in to Steven’s webinar, 10 Secrets to Optimizing Your Online Donation Process for Maximum Dollars Raised and Retained on July 12, 2017 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM Eastern.  You can join the webinar here

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