‘Tis Better to Give: Donation Tips for Nonprofits

Lisette Alvarez
Lisette Alvarez
- 3 min read

New Podcast Episode


Reading Time: 3 minutes

Episode

Andrew and Lisette talk about the elephant in the nonprofit room: money. Specifically donating and how to improve your strategy around soliciting donations.

Transcript


LISETTE
So let’s talk about it. You know, the big ol’ elephant in the nonprofit room. Money.

ANDREW
Welcome to — wait, what’s the name of this show again?

LISETTE
Welcome to Strategy Bytes.

ANDREW
She is —

LISETTE
Lisette.

ANDREW
And she’s a digital content strategist here at WDG.

LISETTE
And he is —

ANDREW
Andrew.
LISETTE
And he’s also a digital content strategist here at WDG — albeit with less experience.

ANDREW
Yo …

LISETTE
Hey Andrew, what do nonprofits always need more of?

ANDREW
Members?

LISETTE
Well …

ANDREW
Instagram followers?

LISETTE
Um …

ANDREW
Swag?

LISETTE
Wait, what? It’s green, Andrew …

ANDREW
Oh, eco-sustainability.

LISETTE
Maybe — but they all need money.

ANDREW
Ah yes, I suppose that’s important.

LISETTE
Hey Andrew, give me a hundred dollars.

ANDREW
No.

LISETTE
Exactly — that’s how a lot of users feel when nonprofits solicit them. Donations are the lifeblood of any nonprofit, but it’s how these organizations ask for funds that will determine whether they and their respective causes are successful or not. So here’s a list of the top four ways for nonprofits to net more donors and increase the size of donations.

ANDREW
Oo … I love lists … I actually have a list detailing why I like lists so much. But ‘top four’? That’s an odd number.

LISETTE
It’s actually even.

ANDREW
No, you’re odd.

LISETTE
Onto the list!

Musical/SFX segue.

LISETTE
Andrew, did you know that a lot of nonprofit websites don’t have a donation call-to-action on every page?

ANDREW
What?! It’s almost as if they hate money.

LISETTE
I know — and to that point — Our number one tip: nonprofits, have a donation CTA on every page of your website.

ANDREW
Yes, especially if I’m on your home page and there’s no donation button to be found — I won’t be donating. And I was going to, as well.

LISETTE
Ouch — Number two: Have a simple donation form. Andrew, let’s say you click on a nonprofit’s ‘donate’ button.

ANDREW
Wow, I’m such a good person.

LISETTE
Would you then want to be given a deluge of extraneous questions and pages upon pages of text?

ANDREW
That honestly scares me — just now, thinking of it.

LISETTE
Me too — which is why all nonprofits’ donation forms should be as lean as possible, collecting only the necessary data to complete the transaction.
And since donations are transactional in nature, this brings us to our third tip: provide a hierarchy of ‘giving’ levels. See Andrew, people like being told what to do.

ANDREW
No, they don’t.

LISETTE
Could you give me a mint?

ANDREW
Yeah, sure.

LISETTE
If you prompt the user with different blocks of donation levels, this removes the decision-making stress of how much to give exactly and ultimately results in more and bigger donations. A nebulous ‘pay want you want’ model will yield less funds.

ANDREW
Yeah, like that ‘pay-want-you-want’ Radiohead album back in the day. I paid zero dollars. Sorry, Thom Yorke.

LISETTE
Final tip: give the donors a gift.

ANDREW
Like a keychain?

LISETTE
Maybe.

ANDREW
Do I get a keychain for doing this podcast?

LISETTE
No, who told you —

ANDREW
We’ll talk about it later.

LISETTE
Everyone likes to receive a gift, and donors are no different — they are paying for something, so they appreciate getting something tangible in return. Even more ideally, the gift can align with the goals of your organization — if you are a nonprofit whose mission is in fact eco-sustainability, you can provide your donors with branded tote bags that are also eco-sustainable.

ANDREW
Totes.

LISETTE
Nonprofits, you are doing incredible things in the world. Don’t undersell yourself in the meantime. This Friday, we will be wrapping up our series on nonprofits with our newest FEEDBACK interview. Monica Flores from Green America. She talks about how nonprofits are leading the way in communicating impact online and changing the world offline. Thank you for listening.

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