The title of the article, which reads “Strategies to Build a Culture of Data-Backed Decision-Making.”

Strategies to Build a Culture of Data-Backed Decision-Making

Anyone can see why adding data to the decision-making process is worthwhile. By establishing credibility and unifying collaborators, data informs you to take the next step with confidence, whatever that may be.

However, having data-backed decision-making become second nature in your organization can pose a challenge, especially if you’re unsure of which insights to prioritize. Not to mention, unorganized, missing, or dirty data can stall your progress or lead you down the wrong path.

To strengthen your organization’s informed decision-making, we’ve compiled a list of five strategies you can employ to back your ideas with solid evidence.

1. Lead by example

When your organization’s leaders set an example, the rest of the team will likely follow suit. Start at the top of your organization to explore ways your leadership can set the tone for following evidence-based strategies. A few leadership techniques could include:

  • Setting a regular cadence of reviewing organizational performance metrics to remind teams of what metrics to go after, what healthy results look like, and how to navigate any lacking or surprising results.
  • Sifting through case studies before finalizing decisions to allow previous insights to guide your strategy. This could mean diving into studies your organization has conducted or reviewing relevant ones within your industry.
  • Reviewing evidence-based action plans to ensure you have informed each step of your process with relevant data. For comprehensive action plans, this would mean citing multiple sources and proactively explaining any gaps.
  • Offering data research and presentation best practices from leadership’s expertise. Give tips and strategies for presenting data and research in a way that is both compelling and relevant for your audience.

These strategies should be unique to your company’s needs and objectives. For example, a healthcare organization may set expectations to review the risk adjustment process with new employees so that they understand the workflow and compliance requirements. According to Arcadia, this may mean breaking down each step to accurately suspect, engage, and assess patient needs while maintaining quality standards.

2. Provide data literacy training

While data is a useful tool for decision-making, it can sometimes be tricky to interpret, especially when gathering actionable insights from specific data points. Ensure everyone has the needed level of data literacy training to manage your organization’s data. Explore the following:

  • Hands-on data analysis projects related to team members’ roles, allowing them to explore and analyze data independently.
  • Peer-to-peer learning sessions where team members from various departments can collaborate and share their best practices.
  • External training opportunities, such as workshops or conferences, that provide team members with opportunities to learn more about data analysis.

By offering training and collaboration opportunities, your entire team will be on the same page when approaching various decisions. Additionally, you should avoid sequestering your data science team from the rest of the organization to ensure transparency across the team. Instead, make sure they are heavily involved in explaining any process or system updates and catching any new team members up to speed.

3. Offer secure data access and management

Although the majority of your team could benefit from data-backed decision-making, it’s important to safeguard sensitive information by ensuring it’s only viewed by authorized team members. Offer secure data access and management by employing the following strategies:

  • Leverage integration: Disorganized data lacks both efficiency and security, since it’s difficult to find and may be accessible by unauthorized parties. Convert your data to a digital format and aggregate it into a central location to keep it secure. For example, a healthcare organization might consolidate patient data by leveraging EHR integration.
  • Provide data security training: Set up a series of meetings or an official training program to cover basic security principles with your team. This may include tips on how to create strong passwords, identify phishing scams, and update software. You might also offer hands-on training through simulations to help your team put these tips into practice.
  • Use clear data access controls: Employ strict access controls to ensure only authorized users can access sensitive data. For example, you may use multi-factor authentication (MFA) or biometric authentication to verify a team member’s identity before allowing them access. You can also implement logging and monitoring mechanisms to keep an eye on who accesses this information.

Beyond implementing controls on which team members have access to specific data, you can also protect the organization’s information by determining which data sources are most relevant for certain team members. Consolidating data provides a comprehensive overview of your organization’s most important information.

This way, you’ll be able to build data-backed, team-based workflows so each department can access the data they need without sacrificing security. Just be sure to identify any incomplete or missing data before you finalize any workflows. If needed, request a data append to fill in any gaps.

4. Define clear objectives and KPIs

To reinforce a culture of data-backed decision-making, your organization must build its overall goals around relevant metrics. Double the Donation’s nonprofit marketing guide recommends using the SMART method to create specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals. Then, you’ll have a clear plan for how and when you’ll achieve these goals.

Enforce a coordinated effort to leverage data in decision-making by aligning these data-backed goals across departments. A few ways you can do this include:

  • Encouraging collaboration: Enable teams to collaborate on projects by sharing relevant data and insights.
  • Establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Develop KPIs for each team that support the organization’s overarching goals. Track them regularly and share progress across the entire team.
  • Implementing data-backed performance reviews: Use KPIs to track team performance and acknowledge team members who go above and beyond.

A collective effort to achieve goals based on actionable data will not just enhance your organization’s culture. Equipped with clear goals and the support needed to accomplish them, your team can work cohesively toward the success of the organization.

5. Provide relevant resources and support

While you may have an organized approach to data collection, you should also leverage relevant resources to simplify decision-making for your team. Consider the following ways you can support data-backed decisions:

  • Leverage knowledge-sharing platforms: Enable team members to access tutorials, case studies, and best practices through internal knowledge-sharing platforms.
  • Use analytics: Allow your whole team to access analytics tools to collect data analysis from various perspectives.
  • Continually improve the process: Regularly evaluate and improve your organization’s data processes and practices. Ask for feedback from team members to determine data needs and address challenges.

An organization’s team can only employ data-backed decision-making when they’re equipped with the right resources and support. In addition to these tools and resources, provide data quality assurance so that team members can work with consistent and reliable information.

An organizational culture that encourages data-backed decision-making benefits not only your organization as a whole but also your individual team members. With enhanced collaboration and greater technical skills, your team will produce better organizational results.

Embrace data to drive innovation and growth relevant to your organization’s objectives, and establish clear expectations for team members to support this strategy. Where possible, explain the importance of data in team members’ roles to transparently implement data-driven processes. Prioritize data across your entire team for better results in every initiative.

On the left side, the title of the post. On the right side, an image of an individual looking at metrics for in-kind donations on a phone and laptop.

4 Types of Metrics to Track When Accepting In-Kind Donations

Although less flexible than monetary donations, in-kind donations are still valuable to nonprofits for various reasons. For instance, the non-financial nature of these donations may lead to increased generosity, as donors unable to make monetary gifts may be happy to donate items or services instead. Some fundraising organizations even offer the opportunity for your nonprofit to raise funds through the collection of in-kind donations by hosting events like a clothes drive collecting recyclable clothes.

To maximize any donation type, regardless of whether they’re major gifts or matching gifts, you must start with data. In-kind gifts are no exception, as you’ll need to collect information on key metrics to determine the best path toward increasing the support your nonprofit receives. But which data points do you need to track to do so?

In this guide, we’ll cover the four types of data to track when accepting in-kind donations. By collecting and assessing this information, your nonprofit can grow the support it receives and more conveniently fulfill its mission. Let’s dive in!

1. Donor Data

When it comes to securing recurring donations or support, donor data is key. With this information, you can segment your supporters into groups with shared characteristics. This allows you to send out targeted messages that are more likely to secure future support.

Key information you should collect on your in-kind donors include:

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Demographics
  • Engagement history
  • Giving history
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Communication preferences

For instance, let’s say that a woman named Sarah drops off canned beans at your nonprofit’s food drive. You have her fill out a form that asks for the information above, and you learn that:

  • Sarah has donated canned food at your nonprofit’s past three food drives.
  • She hasn’t participated in any other in-kind donation drives or made a monetary donation.
  • She prefers to be contacted through email and text.
  • She usually finds out about your food drives through neighborhood flyers.

From this information, you can gather that addressing food insecurity is important to Sarah. You may be able to secure a larger in-kind donation from her in the future if she’s given more time to prepare.

With that in mind, you can group Sarah with other donors who share her views and preferences. Before your next food drive, you’ll send out an email to this group letting them know about your upcoming event and inviting them to donate. By doing so, you’ll secure these donors’ repeated support and may even increase the number of items they donate.

Be sure to store your donor data in a secure location to ensure that their privacy is respected. Kindful recommends using a constituent relationship management (CRM) system for this purpose. A dedicated nonprofit CRM allows you to easily access donor information, segment donors into groups, and send personalized messages requesting support.

2. Donation and Inventory Details

Since in-kind donations are usually goods or services, your nonprofit will want to create an inventory of donated items. This ensures you don’t use your hard-earned funds on an item you already own and helps you keep track of donations for bookkeeping purposes. Keeping an updated inventory is particularly important for any donation that you plan to keep long-term, such as livestreaming equipment, computers, or furniture.

When recording in-kind donations, be sure to include the following information:

  • Description of items or services
  • Estimated value
  • Quality and condition
  • Date of donation
  • Method of delivery, such as a drop-off delivery or pickup by staff members
  • Location

Additionally, depending on the number of in-kind donations you usually receive, you may need volunteer help to process and inventory these items. In that case, you may want to track volunteer metrics as well to ensure that you’re providing a great volunteer experience for your supporters.

3. Marketing Metrics

Donors can only make gifts to your nonprofit if they know that your organization needs support, making marketing a key aspect of your nonprofit’s operations. Therefore, tracking the success of your marketing efforts is crucial to securing future in-kind donations.

To assess the effectiveness of your nonprofit’s marketing, keep an eye on these metrics:

  • Conversion rate. This metric refers to the percentage of users who complete a desired action. In the case of in-kind gifts, this means dropping off a donation, scheduling a donation pickup, or pledging a service. For example, if you have a call-to-action (CTA) on your website to schedule an in-kind donation pickup, you can assess the conversion rate of this CTA to see how effective it is at getting web visitors to click and complete the pickup form.
  • Donor acquisition rate. If you’re hoping to secure new donors through in-kind gifts, the donor acquisition rate is key. To calculate this, you’ll divide the number of first-time donors by the number of all donors. For instance, let’s say you spent the entirety of last month focusing on requests for in-kind gifts. If you had a total of 200 donors and 47 of them were new donors, you’d have an acquisition rate of 23.5%.
  • Engagement metrics. Gauge the interest surrounding in-kind gifts by tracking metrics related to engagement. This includes website traffic, email open rates, and social media engagement on messages that feature in-kind gifts. If you have a lot of engagement with these messages, you’ll know that your supporters are receptive and open to making in-kind donations.
  • Referral sources. To determine which marketing channels are most effective at garnering in-kind donations, track referral sources to your key in-kind donation landing pages. Common referral sources include on-site CTAs, email newsletters, and social media posts.

By examining these data points, you’ll have a better understanding of the effectiveness of your marketing messages, which marketing channels are best for requesting in-kind donations, and how successfully you’re attracting new donors.

4. Donation Impact

Much like with monetary donations, donors want to know how you use their in-kind gifts to positively impact your beneficiaries. By collecting information related to donation impact, you’ll be able to answer their questions and alleviate concerns with quantitative data.

Metrics that you can track for donation impact include:

  • Cost savings. If you’re already tracking the estimated value of in-kind gifts, you can easily translate this metric into your nonprofit’s cost savings. For instance, let’s say that you recently requested donations of livestreaming equipment for your next hybrid event. You could let your donors know that their generous in-kind donations helped you save $5,000 in video equipment, lighting, and microphones.
  • Beneficiaries helped. If you’re collecting in-kind donations to directly give to your nonprofit’s beneficiaries, you can track exactly how many beneficiaries your in-kind donations helped to show your impact. Let’s say your nonprofit’s mission is to aid people experiencing homelessness and you host a clothing drive to collect warm winter clothing. In your thank-you letters, you could mention that your drive allowed you to provide warm clothes to 500 beneficiaries.
  • Environmental impact. According to Donate This Recycle That, in-kind donations of goods are a great way for supporters to recycle and give new life to old items. If your nonprofit deals with environmental issues, let donors know the positive environmental impact of their donations. For example, you can tell supporters that together, they donated over half a ton of clothing, saving these textiles from landfills.

These metrics are especially important when it comes to your donor recognition efforts. In particular, you can feature relevant information in your thank-you messages. By doing so, you’ll demonstrate the impact your donors have on your beneficiaries and show that your organization is trustworthy and deserving of support.

If you’re serious about maximizing the number of in-kind gifts you receive and the impact you create with them, it’s essential that you track these four categories of metrics. To streamline your data collection and analysis, consider looking into a partnership with a data analytics company. These organizations can help you get started and set you up for in-kind donation success!

Explore data-backed strategies that nonprofits can use to increase matching gift participation.

4 Data-Driven Strategies to Boost Matching Gift Revenue

Matching gifts have the power to skyrocket your nonprofit’s fundraising potential. For every dollar a donor gives, another dollar could be waiting to be matched by their employer. However, many nonprofits struggle with limited donor awareness of matching gift programs and inefficient processes for identifying eligible donors.

These challenges often result in missed opportunities to double contributions and maximize revenue, but fear not! We’re here to shed light on data-backed strategies for identifying more match-eligible donors and driving matching gifts to completion.

Chances are, you just need to take a closer look at your donor data, clean up your identification processes, and be proactive with marketing. With some simple adjustments, you can level up your matching gift game and increase your cause’s revenue.

Employ multiple approaches to identify match-eligible donors.

Corporate giving research indicates that 78% of donors are unaware if their employer offers matching gifts and what the program’s guidelines are. This means it’s up to your nonprofit to educate donors.

According to that same resource, using multiple methods to identify match opportunities leads to a 77% increase in the number of match-eligible donations identified. Here are some efficient ways to identify these opportunities:

  • Collect employer information from donors. Make sure you know where your donors work. Ask for employers’ names in donor surveys, event registration forms, and donation forms. That way, you can directly look into those companies’ matching gift policies.
  • Invest in matching gift search tools. These tools enable donors to easily search for their employers’ matching gift programs and find guidance on submitting match requests. In the next section, we’ll explore ideal ways to integrate these tools into the donation process.
  • Host donor outreach events. Host in-person or virtual events focused on matching gifts where your nonprofit provides information and answers questions about matching gift programs. These events can also serve as opportunities to securely collect donors’ employer data.

Above all, be proactive about marketing matching gifts. While you can look into companies that employ many of your donors, it’s impossible to research every donor’s match eligibility manually.

Instead, share informational posts on social media, mention matching gifts in all fundraising appeals, and post testimonials about the impact of matching gifts on your website. Urge supporters to check if their employers offer matching gifts, create helpful infographics, and share links to a matching gift search tool where supporters can research their eligibility. You can even tap into paid advertising to amplify your website’s dedicated matching gift page.

Integrate matching gifts into the donation process.

360MatchPro’s matching gift research indicates that 84% of donors are more likely to donate if a match is offered. Meanwhile, 1 in 3 donors will give a larger donation if they know their employer will match it.

There’s no better time to encourage donors to check into their eligibility than when they’re in the middle of donating! Simplify donors’ research as much as possible by integrating a convenient employer search tool into the donation process.

With the tool, donors can search for their employers and receive information about their matching gift program’s requirements for donation amounts, employee eligibility, and nonprofit eligibility. They’ll also see the rate at which eligible donations are matched, such as 1:1 (which is a dollar-for-dollar match) or 2:1 (which means an employer will donate twice as much as the original donation).

Here are some key places to embed this tool into your website and encourage participation:

  • Donation page. That same list of matching gift statistics states that 73% of donors will use a matching gift search field on a donation form. Embedding a search tool may even convince supporters to increase their contributions before hitting the “donate” button.

Embed an employer search tool into your donation page to encourage donors to research their employers’ programs.

  • Donation confirmation page. Give donors another chance to research their eligibility by embedding your search tool in your donation confirmation page. Knowing they have the chance to double the contribution they just made can encourage them to pursue a matching gift.
  • Post-donation follow-up. Encourage anyone who hasn’t submitted a request or verified their eligibility to do so with follow-up emails. For anyone who has submitted a request, send them updates as you track the progress of their match. Some matching gift software will even send automated emails, reminding eligible donors to submit their forms and donors with unknown match statuses to research their eligibility.

Highlighting matching gifts during the donation process shows donors that they can potentially double their impact. These reminders serve as a powerful incentive for donors to give and keep giving, because they know their gift will make a bigger difference than normal if it’s matched.

Use matching gift auto-submission to increase participation.

A tricky part of securing matching gifts is convincing donors to complete the match request form. They may want to multiply their contributions, but manually filling out a form for their employer can deter them. That’s where auto-submission steps in!

Offered exclusively by Double the Donation, auto-submission is the latest innovation in matching gift technology. Your software will do the heavy lifting by automatically completing donors’ match request forms. When donating online, all donors need to do is click a checkbox to opt into auto-submission. If eligible, the donor will be prompted to answer a few additional questions, such as providing their work email addresses, and the software will automatically submit their request form. That means less work for donors and more matching gift revenue for your nonprofit!

Auto-submission cuts down the matching gift process into three easy steps.

According to corporate giving software research, this technology is expected to help nonprofits yield an 80% increase in matching gift revenue. Be aware that this feature only works if companies use CSR software that integrates with 360MatchPro by Double the Donation.

Luckily, 360MatchPro is partnered with some of the most popular CSR software vendors, like Millie, POINT, Givinga, and Selflessly. Talk to your corporate partners who use these platforms to ensure they enable auto-submission, helping increase matching gift participation.

Append employer information for more accurate match identification.

Your nonprofit CRM houses valuable data, including donors’ employment details. You should collect donors’ employer information whenever you can do so naturally, such as through donor surveys, event registration forms, and donation forms.

However, people constantly change jobs, and their first thought isn’t necessarily to update their employer information with the nonprofits they support. That’s where data appending can help.

NXUnite’s data append guide explains the process of turning to an appending service provider who pulls data from external sources to correct incorrect and supplement incomplete data. They use supporter information you provide, such as contact information, to identify the correct individuals and pair them with their missing data.

Luckily for nonprofits, these services extend to employment information. By appending employer information to donor records, your nonprofit can identify donors who work for companies with matching gift programs. This enables your team to target these donors with matching gift outreach, increasing the likelihood that they’ll get their gifts matched. Not to mention, this means you can avoid reaching out to previously match-eligible donors whose new employers don’t offer matching gifts.

Final Thoughts: Start Using A Data-Driven Approach

Now that we’ve shared our favorite strategies, it’s time to put them into action. Take the first step by incorporating matching gift information into your outreach and integrating helpful software into the donation process. Soon enough, more matching gift dollars will start rolling in.

Remember, every dollar matched has the potential to make a greater impact on your organization’s fundraising goals. Get started and unlock the full potential of matching gifts to support your mission!

This guide shares data-backed ways to improve employee morale at nonprofits.

3 Data-Backed Strategies to Motivate Employees to Excel

Nonprofits operate in a landscape where resources are limited and stakes are high. This makes it tough to set aside time to prioritize employee engagement. However, ensuring your team remains dedicated can directly influence your organization’s impact.

Fortunately, we have an abundance of nonprofit data and software available to understand the intricacies of employee engagement, and we’re here to share exciting opportunities for motivating your team.

Basing your employee engagement efforts on research can help unlock their full potential, driving them to excel in their roles and more effectively contribute to your organization’s mission. Now, let’s dive into our first strategy.

1. Use eCards As A Personalized Motivational Tool.

Employee recognition research indicates that 80% of employees are motivated to work harder when they feel recognized by their superiors, so recognize those who face challenges head-on and make the most of opportunities with our favorite strategy: eCards.

Also known as digital greeting cards, eCards allow you to recognize employees with a personalized, visually engaging virtual message.

Let’s look at how eCards can motivate your employees:

  • Celebrate milestones and achievements. eCards are versatile. Whether the eCard acknowledges a work-related accomplishment, birthday, or personal life event, sending thoughtful eCards demonstrates your nonprofit’s investment in employees’ well-being.
  • Create eCards that emphasize your organization’s mission. Your nonprofit operates with a strong sense of purpose, and eCards are an opportunity to promote your organization’s core values and appreciate employees who demonstrate them. By connecting an employee’s contributions to your nonprofit’s broader impact, you’ll create a deeper sense of fulfillment. Here’s an example of an eCard that does just that:

This employee appreciation eCard is branded with the organization’s colors and says, ‘Thank you for committing to our value: Compassion.’

  • Encourage peer recognition. Allow team members to send eCards to colleagues to acknowledge each other’s efforts. Not only will this boost morale, but it’ll also foster a culture of mutual support.

By infusing eCards into your everyday recognition strategy, you can create a work environment where employees feel valued and inspired to excel.

2. Create a rewards program.

Take your recognition strategies one step further with a rewards program. Around 75% of employees experience higher job satisfaction for 3+ months after receiving a thoughtful gift, and rewards programs help employees feel like they’ve earned those gifts.

Tangible rewards add an extra layer of motivation and don’t need to be extravagant. eCardWidget’s employee gift guide shares several thoughtful ideas for rewards that can motivate your team:

  • Gift cards to a restaurant, retailer, online marketplace, or entertainment service like Spotify
  • Company merchandise like t-shirts, hats, water bottles, and mugs
  • Health and wellness benefits like a stipend for a gym membership or fitness classes
  • Tickets to a sports event, concert, or cultural activity

You can manage this program manually, but we recommend automating the work with employee recognition software. These platforms help track employee performance and enable managers to identify and reward high-performing employees.

Try combining your recognition efforts by following up eCards with a tangible reward. For example, the individual who received the most recognition eCards during a performance period will receive a gift basket, or management may pick a few standout individuals to reward with branded apparel.

3. Streamline time-intensive tasks.

Repetitive and tedious work takes away employees’ time to focus on bigger projects that are more meaningful to your mission. Worse, it can even lead to employee burnout. Luckily, nonprofit technology is advancing every day and can eliminate this demotivator.

66% of employees claim they spend at least 2 hours per week handling less-than-productive tasks like sending project status updates. On the other hand, those who use automation tools and strategies can save a notable 3.6 hours per week.

Ultimately, choosing the right solutions and automating tasks when possible empowers employees to be more productive and successful in their roles, fostering a sense of accomplishment and motivation. Here are two solutions we recommend:

Data appends

Your nonprofit collects a lot of donor data, which can become outdated as people move, change their phone numbers, and get new email addresses. That’s where data appending comes in handy.

Instead of contacting donors to update their data, your team can outsource the work to a data appending provider. These services involve correcting outdated, void, or inaccurate data and supplementing existing data with information you don’t already have.

Here’s how data appending works with a service like NPOInfo:

  1. Select your services. Consider what gaps need to be filled in your database. This could include email addresses, phone numbers, postal addresses, birthdates, or employer information.
  2. Upload your records. Securely send your records to us with as much information as you can provide. We’ll use this information to identify your donors within our comprehensive database, so we can correct missing, outdated, or otherwise inaccurate details.
  3. Receive your appended records. We’ll return the updated information to your team and can even help you import the appended data into your CRM.

Enriching donor data provides your team with comprehensive, accurate donor profiles, empowering them to cultivate stronger donor relationships. Then, they can better tailor their fundraising strategies and do their jobs more efficiently, ultimately boosting employee morale.

Matching gift automation

Corporate giving is a powerful revenue source, and software makes it easy for your team to automate the matching gifts process. 360MatchPro’s nonprofit fundraising automation guide explains how matching gift software removes menial tasks from your team’s plates, empowering them to do more with their time and see a larger return on their fundraising efforts.

In particular, matching gift automation accelerates the process of identifying and claiming matches through powerful features, such as:

  • Automated match identification. Instead of manually researching and verifying matching gift eligibility for each donation, automation software instantly identifies potential matches based on the information donors provide.
  • Automated follow-up. Set trigger emails based on donors’ match status, reducing the manual outreach your team needs to conduct. The software will continue following up and drive matches automatically.
  • Auto-submission. Your donors can skip the process of submitting a match request altogether thanks to auto-submission, the latest innovation in matching gift technology. By clicking a checkbox while donating online, donors enable the software to fill out their requests automatically. That leads to more donors submitting their requests accurately and more revenue acquired.

Nonprofits Source’s online giving research has found that leveraging matching gift software leads to 77% more donations flagged as match-eligible, which can double or even triple your nonprofit’s donations. Even better, new auto-submission functionality is projected to yield an 80% increase in matching gift revenue. That means your fundraising team can accomplish more with less work!

These features ensure that matching gift opportunities aren’t overlooked, ultimately increasing your fundraising team’s impact and leading to greater job satisfaction.

Wrapping Up

From expressing gratitude to leveraging software to develop stronger donor relationships, you can boost employee morale at your nonprofit in several ways. When choosing strategies, take your employees’ preferences into account. You might even survey them to learn what ideas they’d find most impactful.

In any case, showing recognition and streamlining menial tasks are some of the most common ways modern organizations improve their workplaces. Start there and build an organization your employees are passionate about supporting.

The title of the article next to a photo of a woman working on a laptop.

How to Move from Spreadsheets to Advanced Nonprofit Tech

When you first start a nonprofit, constituent relationship management (CRM) software likely isn’t your top priority. You’ve got tax forms to file, donors to find, and countless other important steps to take to get your new organization up and running. At the time, using spreadsheets to keep track of data is the simplest solution at your disposal. Once your nonprofit starts to grow, however, you may run into issues.

Spreadsheets can only do so much for a growing nonprofit with hundreds or thousands of supporters to keep track of. Moving to an advanced, scalable CRM allows you to easily house, organize, and analyze all of your data in one place—leading to better insights and more efficient staff.

If you’re ready to move to a system that will increase your organization’s capacity to further its mission, we’ll cover four steps you can take:

  1. Evaluate Your Budget and Choose a CRM
  2. Partner with a Nonprofit Tech Consultant
  3. Organize Your Data for Migration
  4. Train Your Team to Use the New System

Switching to any new technology can feel daunting, especially when there’s valuable data involved. Let’s walk through what you can do to feel prepared for the change.

1. Evaluate Your Budget and Choose a CRM

First, determine your organization’s budget for a CRM. This will require input from your board and leadership team, so be sure to loop them in early on in the process. As you create your budget, don’t forget to account for additional costs beyond the sticker price of the software itself, such as user licenses, consulting services, and implementation costs.

With a clear budget in mind, you can start researching the top fundraising CRMs to find the best fit for your organization. Evaluate options based on factors like:

  • Scalability. How much data can you store in the CRM? Will it be able to easily scale with your nonprofit’s needs?
  • Nonprofit-specific features. Choosing a system that was designed with nonprofits’ needs and goals in mind will provide you with all the most relevant, useful features.
  • Ease of use. If you don’t have tech experts on your team, choosing an intuitive platform that doesn’t require too much customization or training is key.
  • Availability of add-ons and integrations. Do you already have an event platform or marketing automation tool that you use? Check to see if they can integrate with the CRM.

Once you have a shortlist of options, schedule product demos and discuss the pros and cons of each CRM with your team. If you find that you don’t have enough room in your budget to invest in your top choice, Getting Attention suggests seeking out a technology grant from a corporation or foundation to cover some of the costs.

2. Partner with a Nonprofit Tech Consultant

Next, partner with a nonprofit technology consultant who can guide you through the remainder of the implementation and migration processes.

Ideally, you should find a partner who has experience with the CRM you chose in the former step. For example, if you’re interested in moving to Salesforce for Nonprofits, look for an expert who offers specialized Salesforce nonprofit consulting services. That way, they can educate you on exactly how your data needs to be formatted for the move and help you strategically leverage the platform of your choice.

Beyond that, Redpath’s nonprofit CRM implementation guide explains that the right partner can help your organization with every aspect of the process, including:

An infographic illustrating the nonprofit tech consultant services listed in the text below.

  • CRM implementation
  • Functionality testing and fixes
  • Data migration
  • Team training

While guiding you through the implementation process, a qualified consultant can also look at your current data management practices and explain how to use your new system to improve them.

3. Organize Your Data for Migration

The only way to successfully migrate your data from spreadsheets to a CRM is to ensure that your data is formatted consistently and correctly for the new system. 

Spreadsheets can be haphazard and disorganized, with different team members inputting information in different ways. Where one person might only add “yes” or “no” in a column tracking conversations with donor prospects, for example, someone else may leave long comments about what they discussed in each conversation.

Your consultant should be able to help you understand exactly how your data needs to be formatted for the specific CRM you’re implementing, including which fields need to match up and how to verify that everything is organized correctly. But before you reformat your data, it’s your responsibility to ensure that it’s clean and up to date.

Clean up your data now by going through your spreadsheets and removing or updating:

  • Outdated information like old phone numbers, email addresses, or mail addresses.
  • Duplicate data, where the exact same information appears in multiple places.
  • Any information you used to collect but no longer use, such as participant information for a program that ended years ago.

From here, your consultant can make a detailed data migration plan for moving all of the data you’ve identified to your new system and mitigating the risk of data loss. They’ll perform the migration and let you know what your role is in the process.

4. Train Your Team to Use the New System

Finally, work with your consultant to find the best training resources, then schedule training for relevant team members to learn the ropes of your new CRM.

Since you’re moving to an entirely new, more advanced system to house your data, the training process will understandably take time. Be sure to communicate openly with your team throughout implementation and training, and provide them with any additional support they may need to navigate this change.

While you’re devoting time to training, this is also a good time to implement some new policies based on data hygiene best practices to ensure your data stays accurate and usable going forward. This might include adding rules that standardize how team members input data and handle issues that arise. For example, clarify that addresses should always use abbreviations like “St.” and “Ave.” rather than spelling them out.

With a new, advanced CRM at your fingertips, your nonprofit’s team will be better equipped to use fundraising, marketing, and donor data to raise more for your mission. As you start using your new platform, note any features or data analysis strategies that prove especially valuable so your team can keep improving.

A business professional uses a laptop located on a table with a notebook on it.

How to Protect Donor Data During Online Fundraising Events

Online fundraising events have revolutionized charitable giving, enabling donors from around the world to contribute to causes they care about with ease. However, these events come with a significant responsibility—protecting sensitive donor data.

There are stringent regulations in place to protect an individual’s privacy online, and failing to secure donor data can result in legal consequences.

In this guide, we’ll explore four strategies for protecting donor data during online fundraising events. Whether you’re hosting a virtual silent auction, walkathon, or gala, these insights will help you take a responsible approach to fundraising and foster trust with your supporters.

Use Secure Platforms

The first step in hosting an online fundraising event is to invest in secure platforms that can facilitate giving while protecting sensitive information. These solutions may include:

  • Event hosting platforms and websites: The platforms and websites hosting online fundraising events are susceptible to various cyber threats. Implement web application firewalls (WAFs) and encryption (HTTPS).
  • Payment processing systems: Payment processing technology is at the heart of online fundraising, handling credit card transactions and other payment methods. It’s crucial to ensure that these systems encrypt data and are PCI-compliant.
  • CRM software: A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system stores sensitive donor information, including contact details and donation history. To protect this data, conduct regular software updates.

Contact your software provider’s customer support team to inquire about their specific security measures. Understanding their security protocols will allow you to assess potential vulnerabilities and make informed decisions about your investment.

Implement Strong Access Controls

Access controls serve to safeguard donor data by regulating who can access, modify, or view sensitive information within your nonprofit’s systems. Take these steps to implement strong access controls:

  • Use strong, unique passwords: Encourage staff to use a password manager to generate and store unique passwords. Additionally, when asking donors to create login information for your event, ask them to create passwords that are difficult to guess by combining upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Implement two-factor authentication (2FA): Require donors, as well as your fundraising team, to use two-factor authentication when accessing donation portals or event management systems. This additional layer of security helps prevent unauthorized access, even if login credentials are compromised.
  • Restrict access: Only authorized personnel, such as administrators and trusted staff members, should have access to donor records. Conduct a thorough audit of your team to identify who requires access. Next, categorize donor data based on sensitivity, assigning appropriate permissions to each user role.

To ensure the continuity of fundraising efforts, establish procedures for emergency access in case of unforeseen circumstances or personnel changes. For example, before hosting an elementary school fundraising event, you might designate all permissions to the principal in the event that the fundraising team is out sick.

Educate Your Team

When it comes to data security, it’s important to ensure that your team understands the importance of safeguarding sensitive data and knows how to prevent breaches. Provide guidance on how to:

  • Avoid phishing. Train staff to recognize phishing attempts, which are often used to steal login credentials or distribute malware. Emphasize the importance of verifying the legitimacy of emails and links, especially those requesting financial information or login details.
  • Maintain data hygiene. Clean and up-to-date data is easier to monitor and analyze for signs of suspicious or unauthorized activity. Implement data hygiene best practices, including removing duplicate, outdated, or inaccurate records, to maintain data accuracy and integrity.

It can also be beneficial to conduct hands-on training sessions for your specific software. School recommends designating a software lead to provide insight into each tool’s security features before and during the event.

Limit Data Collection

During the event, avoid collecting extraneous information that could put donor data at risk or complicate your data management processes. In most cases, you will only need to collect:

  • Contact details: Gather the donor’s contact information, such as email address, mailing address, and phone number. These are essential for sending donation receipts, event updates, and future communications.
  • Payment information: For processing donations, you’ll need the donor’s payment details, such as credit card number, expiration date, and security code. Ensure that you use secure payment processing methods and comply with PCI DSS standards to protect this sensitive information.
  • Donation amount: Record the specific donation amount or contribution made by the donor. This is essential for accurately acknowledging the gift, maintaining financial records, and cultivating relationships with donors.
  • Gift designation: If donors have specific preferences for how their contributions should be used (i.e. for a particular program or project), collect this information to ensure their wishes are honored.

According to NPOInfo, you may also need to collect information about donor communication preferences. Be sure to obtain explicit consent from donors if you plan to use this information for marketing purposes or share it with third parties. This is especially important in regions with strict data privacy regulations.

Remember, protecting donor data is not just a legal requirement; it is a testament to your organization’s integrity. Remain committed to data security before, during, and after hosting a nonprofit event and you will gain the trust of your donor base.

Web Analytics for Nonprofits: A Mini Guide

Web Analytics for Nonprofits: A Mini Guide for the New Year

Web analytics help your nonprofit get to the heart of how supporters feel when they interact with your website. Curious about the impact of your marketing efforts on donation conversions? Want to know whether your calls to action (CTAs) are effective for driving engagement? A clear web analytics strategy can answer these questions and many more. 

The new year means new data collection challenges and opportunities for nonprofits. In this brief guide, we’ll provide an overview of how you can set up your web analytics strategy to improve your data-gathering approach as we head into 2024. Here are the top five tips that will support your strategy: 

1. Track the right metrics

There is such a thing as too much information when it comes to tracking metrics. Too much data can clutter your reporting processes and distract you from your highest-priority concerns.

Instead, keep your focus on the data points that are most relevant to your goals. These metrics might include:

Graphic showing nonprofit website metrics to track (listed in the bulleted list below)


  • Donation page conversions
  • Matching gift rate
  • Audience demographics
  • User behavior
  • Traffic sources

You can use a combination of your content management system (CMS), user behavior tools like HotJar, and analytics tracking systems like Google Analytics 4 (covered in the next section) to assess these metrics. 

You can also use data-gathering tools like forms or surveys to gather data from supporters directly. Make sure these tools only ask for the necessary information that will support your data-collection goals. Eliminate any questions that lead to unnecessary information that will clutter your database.

Evaluate your metrics regularly using reports and assign staff members to implement strategy changes based on positive or negative trends. For example, perhaps you notice a major drop in donation page conversions in the early winter months. In that case, you could explore winter-themed fundraising ideas that drive engagement, such as a festive eCard campaign or holiday-themed text-to-give campaign.

2. Make the most of GA4

In the summer of 2023, Google stopped processing data in Universal Analytics to make way for the new GA4 platform. This was a major change for marketing professionals who had been using the Universal Analytics model for 11 years. 

As you get your GA4 dashboard up and running, make the most of this new model with the following tips: 

  • Familiarize yourself with the new functionality. According to Kanopi’s GA4 overview, this new model offers multiple updated features for web professionals to take advantage of. GA4 enables users to track users across multiple websites and apps, leverage AI and machine learning instead of cookies, and access greater insights into how marketing efforts impact conversions. 
  • Set up custom reports. You can develop up to 150 custom reports in GA4. Carefully choose variables such as the dimensions, metrics, and date range for each report to capture the insights that matter most to your nonprofit. 
  • Conduct team training as needed. Since GA4 is still relatively new, your marketing team may need some time to get familiar with the platform. Conduct a few training sessions so that team members know how to make the most of the platform. Consider working with a nonprofit web design professional to host these sessions. These experts know the ins and outs of GA4 and can help your team get up to speed quickly. 

Make sure your CMS is fully integrated with GA4 to streamline your analytics tracking. GA4 integrates with most major CMS platforms like Drupal and WordPress

3. Prioritize personalized web experiences

As we move into the new year, personalization will only become more important for nonprofits. 69% of consumers want personalized and consistent marketing experiences across multiple marketing channels, including digital platforms. 

The following strategies help nonprofits leverage web analytics for a personalized experience: 

  • Use analytics to design an experience that’s personalized to different audience segments. For example, you can use GA4 to identify which supporters prefer giving via mobile device or desktop. Then, you can follow up with these individuals and promote different giving opportunities based on their preferences. 
  • Prioritize a positive user experience. Use analytics and user behavior metrics to understand how visitors are engaging with your website, which pages they tend to linger on, and the pages that aren’t as successful in capturing their attention. Dig deeper and use heat map tools to understand what page elements make for a compelling web page. 
  • Make your CTAs more specific. Identify your primary audience segments by analyzing user research and audience personas. Then, develop a CTA strategy that speaks directly to the motivations and needs of each group. For example, you can create CTAs that encourage people to donate, register to volunteer, or become an advocate. 

One of the advantages of new tracking tools like GA4 is that they enable greater personalization without compromising donor privacy. For example, GA4 doesn’t store IP address information, granting users greater anonymity. Instead, it leverages machine learning techniques to help fill any gaps in data collection. 

4. Keep up with data privacy regulations

As data analysis and machine learning tools evolve, legal regulations surrounding data privacy and consumer protections are becoming more common. It’s important to stay aware of any data privacy and security legislation your nonprofit might be subjected to. 

These regulations typically depend on the geographic location where you carry out data collection and fundraising. Some laws you might need to comply with include: 

Consult with your legal team for a full understanding of the privacy regulations your nonprofit is subjected to and how you can adjust your data collection processes for full compliance. 

Also, be sure to maintain data hygiene to support a clean, uncluttered, secure database. Incorporate regular data backups and security updates as part of your data hygiene procedures to keep data safe.

5. Leverage integrations

Integrate your web analytics and reporting processes with your nonprofit’s other software solutions, like your CRM and marketing platforms. This enables seamless cross-platform data collection and analysis.

According to Bloomerang’s nonprofit CRM guide, integrations can save nonprofit staff members’ time and minimize data transmission issues. Plus, you can use data to create more personalized marketing outreach, improving your donor cultivation efforts and encouraging more donors to stay involved long-term.

For example, let’s say you want to create an online campaign to engage younger donors. Here are a few ways integrations can support this goal:

  • Using your web analytics and data-gathering tools, track behavior patterns for younger website visitors, such as the pages they browse the most or their giving preferences.
  • Combine this information with the data in your nonprofit CRM to create a user persona for your younger audience members. The persona should include information about users’ ages, online behaviors, reasons for engaging with your organization, and ideas for messages you can use to connect with them.
  • Then, design a multichannel marketing campaign using marketing integrations such as your email or social media marketing platform. Reference the information gathered in your personas to reach out with tailored messages that consider younger supporters’ interests and giving habits.

Speaking directly to supporters’ interests builds stronger bonds and long-lasting connections.

Growing your website from a standard platform to a truly great online resource doesn’t happen overnight. Understanding and implementing these tips now will set your organization up for success and provide the foundation you need to expand your fundraising efforts. 


This image shows the title of the text next to an image of people reviewing data analytics.

4 Data-Driven Marketing Tips for Your Niche Business

In today’s hyper-competitive business landscape, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for the success of any niche business. While traditional marketing strategies may have once sufficed, the digital age demands a more refined and data-driven approach.

In this guide, we’ll delve into four popular data-driven marketing strategies. Whether you own a dog grooming business, flower shop, or dance studio, these insights will help you propel your niche business to new heights.

1. Create Customer Profiles

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is the foundation upon which data-driven marketing is built. Within this comprehensive database, create customer profiles to store and access key information about your target audience.

Creating these profiles can be broken down into three main phases:

  • Collection: Use data appends, website analytics, social media insights, surveys, and past purchase history to collect information about customers, ensuring that it’s properly stored in your CRM. This data should include demographics (age, gender, location), psychographics (interests, values, behaviors), and transactional data (purchase history, frequency).
  • Analysis: Once you’ve collected enough data, analyze it to identify common characteristics and behaviors among your customers. Depending on your marketing goals, you might look for patterns in age, gender, location, interests, purchasing habits, and online behavior.
  • Personification: Use the insights gained from your analysis to create detailed customer personas, which are fictional representations of your ideal customers. Detail their pain points, goals, and preferred communication channels to serve as a reference point when crafting personalized marketing messages.

Keep in mind that customer profiles are not static; they should evolve as your business and customer base change. Take measures to keep your database clean and update your personas as you gather more information through your marketing efforts.

2. Personalize Outreach

Using the information stored in your customer profiles, segment individuals into distinct groups based on shared characteristics like:

Then, create targeted messages for each segment that address their unique needs and interests. For instance, if you segment customers according to their brand loyalty, you could send first-time customers a welcome email with a special introductory offer, while providing long-term customers with exclusive customer appreciation gifts like discount codes. Doing so will ensure that all customers receive a relevant and engaging experience with your brand.

3. Leverage Omnichannel Marketing

After segmenting customers into well-defined groups, use an omnichannel marketing approach to meet customers on their preferred platforms and provide a unified experience that drives results. Here’s an example of how the omnichannel process could work for a dog daycare business:

  1. A past client searches for pet-sitting services in their area and finds a paid ad from your doggie daycare.
  2. The client clicks through to your site and begins scheduling an appointment. However, they abandon the page before pressing submit.
  3. Using the phone number stored in their customer profile, you send an SMS message to remind them that their registration is incomplete.
  4. The client returns to your site to complete the form and receives an automated confirmation email in return.
  5. You then send an email newsletter inviting them to explore your other services, products, and events.

To streamline the process, invest in marketing automation tools that specifically cater to your niche. For instance, the doggie daycare discussed above might benefit from Gingr’s all-in-one software, as it has built-in tools to help you send personalized messages and track customer interactions.

4. Conduct A/B Testing

A/B testing, also known as split testing, empowers companies to optimize their marketing efforts by comparing the success rates of different messages. According to NPOInfo, this practice allows you to adapt to changing customer preferences and market dynamics for better results. Take these steps to test the impact of your niche business’s outreach:

  • Identify your variables. Start by identifying the specific elements of your marketing campaign that you want to test. These could include email subject lines, call-to-action buttons, images, or even the layout of a landing page. For example, if you’re running an email marketing campaign, you might want to test two different subject lines to see which one generates a higher open rate.
  • Implement variations. Once you’ve identified the variables to test, create different variations for each element. For instance, if you’re testing email subject lines, create two different subject lines—one for the “A” group and another for the “B” group. Ensure that the variations are distinct and test only one variable at a time to isolate the impact of that change.
  • Monitor the performance. Send the content to two different segments of your audience (Group A and Group B). Monitor the performance of each variation by tracking relevant metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, or engagement.

After collecting enough data, analyze the results to determine which variation performed better. The winning variation should guide your future marketing decisions.

Remember that data-driven marketing is an ongoing process. Don’t be afraid of making changes to your strategies and trying new approaches. With the power of data backing you up, your niche business will be able to make decisions confidently, easily adapt to changing market conditions, and achieve sustainable growth.

This article will cover the key metrics needed to check your volunteer base performance.

How to Perform a Volunteer Check-Up: 3 Key Metrics to Assess

Your volunteer base is the engine that drives your cause forward. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to reach as many beneficiaries or complete the tasks that make positive change happen.

Many of your volunteers could likely recite your mission back to front, and probably a few have been rallying for your cause since before you can remember. But how well do you know them and their commitment to your cause? Aside from managing your volunteers during regular day-to-day activities, could you give a data-backed description of volunteer performance? Or, be able to forecast your volunteer recruitment numbers for next year?

While you can’t tell the future, you can reference your data to uncover critical insights about your volunteer program. That’s why we’ve written this guide—to give you three reliable metrics to check your volunteer program’s overall performance. Let’s jump in!

Volunteer Recruitment Metrics

These measurements help you better understand who is joining your cause, how many supporters are consistently signing up, and how effective the onboarding process is. Tracking data points can help you sufficiently allocate resources to either increase recruitment marketing or pull back and lean into improved retention strategies.

You might be able to give an answer for how many volunteers you think you need, but looking at metrics like these can reveal trends in your recruitment performance over the years. For example, if you notice a consistent dip in volunteer interest during certain seasons, you can adjust your fundraising event schedule to times when volunteer recruitment needs are low.

When reviewing your recruitment data, here are some metrics to keep in mind:

  • Acquisition rate. Broadly, this refers to the rate at which new volunteers are recruited. Determining your recruitment strategies’ effectiveness is crucial to see if you need to adjust your outreach methods for enhanced results.
  • Demographics. This describes the age, ethnicity, gender, and location of your volunteers, helping you understand your target volunteer base and align your recruitment strategies to appeal to this audience.
  • Time-to-onboarding. This rate measures how quickly a volunteer can become a fully competent volunteer familiar with your mission and their role. Nonprofits with shorter time-to-onboarding rates can improve volunteer satisfaction and engagement.
  • Volunteer source. This metric describes how volunteers discover your volunteer program. Referrals, Google Ads, and community events are all volunteer sources that can help you understand how volunteers are finding out about your organization. Tracking this metric lets you prioritize the marketing channels that yield the highest results.

Your volunteer source is especially important to help you structure your recruitment efforts. For instance, if referrals are a consistent source of new volunteers, you can look deeper into where your volunteers work and offer partnership opportunities with that company.

Funds2Orgs’ guide to volunteer recruitment suggests strengthening your connections with your volunteers’ employers by suggesting other mutually beneficial CSR opportunities. This could include programs like volunteer grants, which enhance the company’s reputation and give back to your nonprofit.

Volunteer Engagement Metrics

Keeping track of your volunteer engagement metrics is essential for understanding how well your nonprofit meets volunteer needs and expectations.

Your volunteer base’s sense of loyalty and motivation can affect both the quantity and quality of your nonprofit work. Engaged volunteers can bring new energy and enthusiasm into your operations, inspiring others to get involved.

Here are measures you can rely on to communicate your volunteer engagement levels:

  • Retention rate. This measures the percentage of volunteers who stay involved year after year. A nonprofit with steady volunteer retention levels may not need as much time and funding for recruitment as its current volunteer base meets its needs.
  • Turnover rate. The opposite of retention rate, turnover measures the percentage of volunteers who leave your nonprofit over time. High turnover rates can indicate poor volunteer management or unmet expectations.
  • Hours and task completion rate. These practical metrics describe how productive your volunteers are in your everyday activities.
  • Satisfaction rate. Satisfaction rate can be assessed through surveys and in-person feedback from current volunteers. It measures whether current volunteers feel fulfilled, motivated, and appreciated.

If you find any of your engagement metrics lacking, it could be a sign that your volunteers feel demotivated or unappreciated. Follow up with current volunteers to get their perspective and confirm. If you find yourself in this situation, Fundraising Letters’ appreciation guide suggests sending personalized notes, inexpensive gifts, or invitations to informal events to express gratitude. Small gestures can go a long way in engaging volunteers to keep up the good work!

Volunteer Impact Metrics

Impact metrics indicate the long-term change your organization has created due to its volunteer program. Measures like these can take a while to build up, but once you’ve curated a list, you can feel confident that your volunteers are generating positive community impact. Impact measures can also be more nuanced, which is why it’s best to separate them into qualitative and quantitative categories.

Qualitative volunteer impact measures the quality of a volunteer’s work over time and is often reflected in measures such as:

  • Level and value of community outreach
  • Client or beneficiary feedback
  • Volunteer-driven innovations
  • Volunteer stories and testimonials
  • Volunteer growth and development

On the other hand, quantitative measures are more straightforward and take into account numerical values associated with a volunteer’s work, such as:

  • Total beneficiaries served
  • Project milestones
  • Cost savings
  • Funds raised
  • Goods or services distributed

By reviewing the above metrics simultaneously, you can better understand the quality and quantity of your volunteer hours. Of course, each nonprofit will have different metrics that they emphasize more, but ideally, qualitative and quantitative measures should reflect positively on your volunteers.

Wrapping Up

Regularly track and update volunteer metrics to get a bird’s-eye view of your program’s performance. The more data you collect (both qualitative and quantitative), the better understanding you’ll have of your volunteer base needs.

Then, contextualize your findings to spot overarching trends that can inform your volunteer recruitment and retention strategies. You can do this by asking questions such as:

  • Which volunteer recruitment channels are most effective?
  • How does volunteer engagement frequency vary by role, season, or project?
  • Are there any surprising retention or satisfaction trends in the data?
  • Have changes in volunteer management, training, or onboarding affected satisfaction?

By digging deeper into your data, you can proactively address concerns. Simple adjustments in volunteer appreciation programs, onboarding resources, or role reassignments can help ensure all volunteers feel valued and motivated by your organization.

Use these expert tips to drive more conversions on your nonprofit’s website.

3 Tips to Improve Your Nonprofit Website’s Conversion Rate

Picture this: a new site visitor lands on your nonprofit’s homepage. They scan through your homepage and, after reading about your mission and values, feel inspired to give. But after they click your Donate button, they’re brought to a lengthy donation form that looks cluttered and complicated to fill out. As a result, they decide against donating and click away from your organization’s site.

If this sounds like something that could happen on your website, it’s time to update your web design strategy to drive more conversions. Your website’s conversion rate refers to the number of users who take certain actions, like donating to your cause, signing up to volunteer, or registering for your next event. To improve your conversion rate, you’ll need an engaging and user-friendly design that points people to their next steps, inspires them to complete them, and makes it simple to do so.

Use these top tips to improve your conversion rate:

By tracking your conversion rate, you can create a data-driven strategy and make informed decisions when it comes to improving your website. Let’s begin.

Review your current performance

Using data and analytics generated by your nonprofit website builder, evaluate how your website is currently performing so you can break down your strengths and weaknesses. For example, you’ll want to look at:

  • Current conversion rate: Your conversion rate is measured by the number of conversions divided by the total number of visitors, multiplied by one hundred. A high conversion rate indicates that your website content resonates with supporters and successfully moves them along their user journey to completing an action. A low conversion rate indicates that there is an issue with your website’s copy, design, or functionality that is stopping users from taking action. Measure the conversion rate for each desired action, like signing up for your newsletter or completing your donation form, to assess where your website is most in need of improvements.
  • Sources of traffic: Take a look at how people are reaching the forms and pages where they can complete conversions. For example, supporters might navigate to your donation form by clicking the Donate button on your homepage, following an inbound link on a blog article, or clicking a link in your social media bio. Consider the rate at which these different sources drive conversions. For instance, if your blog articles have a low conversion rate, you may need to better contextualize your calls to action and adjust your copy so it meets users’ interests. Even traffic sources that are doing well can be further optimized to drive even more conversions.
  • Fundraising metrics: One of the most important conversions on your website is submitting a donation. To better understand how you can motivate your target audience to donate, take a look at donor analytics like your supporters’ giving behaviors, including how often they give and their interest in your cause. These insights will help you generate content that is tailored to your donors’ preferences.

Metrics tell an important story about how your website is performing, so it’s important to dig into these numbers and find out the core causes behind low or high conversion rates.

Create compelling calls to action

According to Morweb’s roundup of the best nonprofit websites, incorporating thoughtful and direct calls to action throughout your content can motivate users to complete a given action. A call to action (CTA) is a brief word or phrase, often visually represented as a button, that draws your readers in with compelling copy and takes them to the relevant resource once clicked.

If your content lacks persuasive CTAs, or your CTAs aren’t strategically placed in areas that will drive conversions, it’ll be much more difficult to encourage users to take action. To perfect your CTA strategy, keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep calls to action brief: Get to the point quickly and clearly so supporters understand what you’re asking of them. For example, “Donate to End Childhood Cancer” or “Volunteer to Save Injured Wildlife” are effective CTAs that are concise yet persuasive.
  • Make buttons stand out: To bring attention to your CTA buttons, consider using bold lettering or incorporating a brand color that is different from nearby on-page elements. You might also add a shadow or border to make your call-to-action buttons stand out.
  • Link to intuitive landing pages: Your CTA buttons should take users immediately to the relevant resource or form once clicked. However, if these pages aren’t in good shape, you’ll struggle to drive conversions when users arrive. Update these pages so they have inspiring copy and contribute to a positive user experience.
  • Prominently position CTAs: Feature your CTA buttons in obvious places on your website to catch your users’ eye. For example, you might position your Donate button in the top left or right corner of your navigation bar on your homepage to draw supporters to click.

It’s also important to ensure that your copy contextualizes your CTAs well. For example, let’s say one of your volunteers authors a blog article on your website about their experiences. Before your CTA, you could write “Interested in playing a rewarding role in our nonprofit like [Volunteer’s Name]? Sign up for our volunteer newsletter today to learn more about opportunities to get involved.” This way, supporters understand the value of clicking your CTA button, which will take them to an email sign-up form.

Streamline your donation page

Your website can be a powerful asset for your fundraising strategy. To drive donations and improve conversion rates on your donation page, update your web design and create a seamless user experience.

Use these tips to improve your donation page and step up your fundraising efforts:

  • Limit your number of prompts: If your donation page is lengthy and takes more than five minutes to complete, prospective supporters will likely click away before even beginning to enter their information. Only ask your supporters for the most essential information, like their contact information, donation amount, and billing details. You can always ask donors for more information later as part of your donor stewardship plan.
  • Use ample spacing: Avoid clutter on your donation page by reasonably spacing apart each prompt and using ample white space. This can help to create a minimalistic feel, making your donation page more approachable.
  • Suggest donation amounts: Take the guesswork out of how much supporters should give by providing suggested donation amounts with checkboxes. For example, you might include options to give $10, $25, $50, or $100. This not only streamlines the donation process, but can also encourage donors to give more than they originally intended to. However, you should still provide a write-in box to provide flexibility.
  • Add a recurring giving option: Bloomerang’s guide to donation page best practices recommends including a checkbox that says “Make my gift monthly” so supporters can easily sign up for recurring giving. This way, frequent donors won’t have to resubmit their name and payment information every time they want to donate.

To revamp your donation page with ease, leverage a website builder with built-in website templates. Your website builder will take care of making your donation form accessible, mobile-optimized, and user-friendly; you just have to add your unique content to tie the donation process to your nonprofit’s cause.

Wrapping Up

Collecting conversion rate data can help you shape your website into an effective tool for meeting your goals. Keep in mind that a low conversion rate could be attributed to a variety of factors, so it’s important to dive deep into your web design and find out where you can easily make improvements. If low conversion rates are attributed to issues with the technical design of your website, do your research to invest in a website builder that can correct these issues.