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Creating an Unforgettable Online Donation Experience with Fundraise Up

6 min read
March 25, 2021
Tim Sarrantonio headshot
Tim Sarrantonio
Head of Partnerships and Business Development at Neon One

According to the 2020 M+R Benchmarks report on nonprofit digital marketing, only 0.17% of organic website visitors make a donation. One of the biggest reasons that someone may or may not donate is their experience with the donation form itself.

This is a problem that we want to help solve. That’s why we’re proud to announce Fundraise Up as an approved certified integration into Neon CRM. 

At Neon One, every third-party integration goes through a rigorous process that tests both the product and the experience around integrating it with our software. When we say something is certified, it means something. 

Now let’s dive into why this integration is exciting.

Where do online donations stand in the overall revenue of a nonprofit?

There has been a flood of data around the growing importance of online donations. Blackbaud’s 2020 Charitable Giving Report noted a rise in online donations compared to 2019, with 13% of all revenue coming from digital fundraising in some form. 

Neon One’s own ecosystem saw a healthy rise in online donations as well, with our clients seeing a 6.2% rise in online credit card donations and an astounding 88% increase in ACH transactions. 

People are becoming more comfortable with donating online.

That being said, the vast majority of revenue still comes from checks and other offline sources, which is why it is important to put the best resources into digital to ensure your return on investment is trackable. 

Why do so few people end up donating online? 

Let’s start to answer this question by focusing our attention on donors who are more likely to give but end up choosing not to give.

One of the more famous studies on donor behavior around nonprofit websites is from the Nielsen Norman Group. In fact, this was such a critical study that the results informed how we build websites for our clients

When organizations turned their attention specifically to the online donations process, there were several key findings:

  • 50% of reasons donors didn’t complete the transaction related to usability problems and unintuitive flow from the home page through the donation page
  • Of all websites researched, 13% didn’t have an obvious way to donate to them!
  • 43% were content issues relating to unclear, missing, or confusing terminology pertaining to the donation process

Creating a pleasant experience should be a baseline for our organizations, not something that is aspirational. If donors are going to get frustrated during the donation process, you’ll lose potential donors and returning donors. 

Why is the online donation experience so important?

According to the 2021 NonprofitPRO Leadership Study that analyzes critical concerns nonprofit leaders face, 41% of nonprofits believe their biggest challenge is acquiring new donors, while 10% think their biggest challenge is retaining donors. 

Yet the newest Fundraising Effectiveness Project data on new and existing donor retention shows that organizations need to make both acquisition and retention a primary focus. 

2020 saw a continued drop in overall donor retention and an extremely concerning dip to around 19.3% for new donor retention. This means that those donors that organizations are acquiring are then leaving them — and fast. 

However, there is an extremely bright spot in the data that Neon One has been seeing. During our recent University of Texas at Dallas & University of Albany research into recurring giving, a few key findings point toward where organizations should be placing their tactical efforts:

  • Recurring gifts represent 15.4% of the annual revenue for organizations analyzed. 
  • The mean gift size of organizations surveyed was consistently around $63. That is $756 a year!
  • Credit cards represent 84.9% of recurring gifts, followed by ACH transactions at 14.5%.

And further research shows that the average recurring donor can have a retention rate of 90%, which means that an organization can create a reliable pipeline of revenue by focusing on these types of donors. This is especially true since the data shows that average amounts are higher when donors are connected to a CRM system.

How does Fundraise Up uniquely help with this? 

Fundraise Up approaches the online donations process with an attention to detail that no other company has. Their mission is to reduce the online donations process friction, meet donors where they are, and use technology, psychology, and design cues to engage donors. 

By providing modern payment methods and artificial intelligence to drive donation amounts, they’ve seen online donation revenue double for the nonprofits they serve. One of the most fun ways they do this is through visual cues such as graphics of gifts and stars to encourage donors to pick the highlighted options. 

Fundraise Up conducts intensive studies on the layouts, colors, and element placements within their online donation process to optimize the experience. 

If most donors are citing poor usability as the reason they’re not going to donate online, then Fundraise Up was built specifically for these types of donors. 

Another critical approach is that they’re attempting to bring the modern eCommerce experience to the online donations process. During the Nielsen Norman Group’s study, they found that users took 7% more time on average to complete a donation than when compared to completing an eCommerce transaction. 

How does Fundraise Up work with Neon CRM?

While Neon CRM has native donation forms that serve many of our clients, we know that some nonprofits will find the Fundraise Up integration an excellent option for a more sophisticated donation form experience. 

The integration with Neon CRM is full of additional small but smart optimizations and features to give your organization exact control over how data flows from Fundraise Up into Neon CRM. 

You can expect the following features and functionality with our Neon CRM and Fundraise Up integration:

  • Automatic syncing and deduplication of records, with multiple options to map Campaigns, Funds, Purposes, and Source fields
  • Mapping rules to override defaults, allowing marketing teams to create custom values like UTM parameters that can map to Campaigns, Sources, and more
  • Automatically create Tribute or Memorial gifts within Neon CRM, leveraging native fields for these types of gifts, so they’re properly engaged
  • Donation ID lookup tools within each transaction to go straight into the Neon CRM Account’s transaction to confirm any details

Additionally, all of the data from your Neon CRM and Fundraise Up integration will be ready to sync easily into Quickbooks or other accounting software to properly reconcile on an ongoing basis, leaving your focus entirely on the donor experience with the freedom to innovate.

Get started with Fundraise Up and Neon CRM Today

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