donors Posts

Introducing Project Appeals

Introducing Project Appeals

It may seem obvious that an individual who has donated to your organization before is more likely to contribute again. What you may not have realized is that one-third of online donations are made in direct response to email appeals! With this in mind – and based on the valuable feedback of nonprofit partners like you – we’ve developed a tool to make it even easier for you to ask your GlobalGiving donors to contribute to your projects.

GlobalGiving is thrilled to introduce project appeals, a fundraising email that you can send to all donors who have ever contributed to your organization through GlobalGiving!

The New Donor

The New Donor

My name is Starlyn and I am GlobalGiving’s Champion for Donor Engagement. It’s my job to learn everything there is to know about donors on GlobalGiving and help them make the most out of their giving experience. Last year I attended a conference on millennial giving, MCON, and I wanted to share some of my learnings with you, our nonprofit partner community.

This year’s hottest buzzword in fundraising is “millennials.” I can’t read any crowdfunding blog without hearing about this mysterious group of donors just waiting to be tapped. If you are still confused about what exactly a millennial is and why they matter to your nonprofit, this post is for you.

There is nothing mysterious about millennials. I am a millennial and odds are you know a few yourself. A millennial is someone who was born between the years 1980 and 2000. We grew up with household computers, mobile phones, and ready access to information. We are the most “plugged-in” generation yet but we also had parents that lived through the civil rights era and grew up with a culture of civic engagement. Just because millennials take less time to read articles or posts online doesn’t mean we are shallow or don’t care, it means that we know what we like and how to find it, quickly. Millennials also spend a larger portion of our day interacting with media (Facebook, texting, TV, radio, etc.) than previous generations, 18 hours per day by some estimates!

Mobile GlobalGiving

Mobile GlobalGiving

Did you know that GlobalGiving makes it possible for you to accept text-to-give donations for each of your projects? Every project on GlobalGiving has its own specific mobile giving keyword to accept $10 donations. Starting March 8, 2016, our text-to-give shortcode is changing to 80100. (The former shortcode will still work until March 31.) 

Here are some reminders about our text-to-give program: 16509115175_90a027f199_o

  • You have mobile giving capabilities for each of your projects (at no extra cost)!
  • Your text-to-give call-to action is: “Text GIVE <space> [PROJECTID] to 80100 to give $10 to GlobalGiving’s [PROJECT NAME] project”
  • You must include the carrier compliance terms every time you invite people to text-to-give.
  • The $10-per-text is charged to the donor’s phone bill and the donation shows up immediately in your GlobalGiving donation manager.
  • Disbursements from text donations can take up to three months to get to us, and then are subject to GlobalGiving’s regular disbursement cycle (up to one month).

Securing Monthly Donations Online – Recurring Donations

Securing Monthly Donations Online – Recurring Donations

Webinar link:

Guest speaker: Chris Hines, from Apopo US

Why do recurring donations matter?

Because they are a consistent and reliable source of income! Recurring donors are your most loyal supporters. Once a donor signs up, they give on average for 8 consecutive months, and the main cause of cancelation is expired credit cards.

A little background on Apopo

Apopo trains rats to detect landmines and TB in Tanzania and Mozambique. Their Adopt a HeroRAT campaign where donors could “adopt” a rat was starting to stagnate. Donors would get updates and pictures, but no interaction or social media engagement. So, Apopo launched a new recurring donation experience with, a personalized, engaging platform for donors.

Experimenting to increase recurring donations!

-Testing on the website homepage

  • Support button – changed the color, background, and added small animation to the button and found that it drew more clicks and a higher percentage of website visits
  • “Help us save lives” banner – moved up the banner higher on the homepage and received more clicks and more donations

-Testing on donation page

  • Donation pictures – saw increase in recurring donations when switched the Adopt image. Always test new images to see which ones attract the most clicks
  • Donation amounts – track how many donations received for the amounts and descriptions given
  • Default to monthly donation instead of annual donation – Focus more on monthly donations and had more engagement and less cancellation
  • Put video on page to better explain recurring donations
  • Added other currencies to donation pages to make it easier for more donors to give
  • Got feedback that PayPal page discouraged donors from giving. Made changes and got a higher completion rate for recurring donations

-Testing communication frequency

  • Allow donors to choose how frequently they want to get emails – give more options to customize for donors
  • FB sharing link on top right – to make donors feel comfortable sharing stories on FB, Apopo provided examples of what stories will be shared that has increased FB sharing among donors

-Testing subject lines

  • Fun, mysterious, unique subject lines got higher open and click through rates

Lessons learned

  • Plan campaigns well in advance and know when communications are going out
  • Inspire, motivate and engage donors so they feel more involved and get others to join
  • Bring in more interactive, fun elements
  • Reward recurring donors with exclusive content – make donors feel like they’re getting something in return
  • Keep testing!

How much did experimentation cost? The A/B testing that Apopo did cost only Chris’ time. There are a lot of free tools you can use to do A/B testing including tools on GlobalGiving and on Optimizely.

How GlobalGiving Doubled Recurring Donations

GlobalGiving experimented with different calls-to-action to get one-time donors to upgrade to monthly recurring donations. Here are the three types of calls-to-action GlobalGiving put on donor’s shopping cart pages:

–          Simple call to action

–          Call-to-action offering different match percentages for new recurring donations

–          A group offer, so the more people who upgraded got a higher match percentage

We found that the group offer with the 75% match drove the highest number of upgrades.

Here’s a blogpost explaining more on how we doubled recurring donations on our site:

What did we learn?

Never Settle! Always keep experimenting to improve your fundraising. Run your own recurring donation experiments. Look at how you communicate with your recurring donors. And take advantage of week-long recurring donation matching opportunities on GlobalGiving.


All the best,

Jen Masutani


Online Fundraising Academy: Donor-Centered Retention Strategy

CCA_Brochure_6We were fortunate to have David Schaeffer, the Vice President of Development at the Children’s Cancer Association, join us for the eighth session of the Online Fundraising Academy! David has close to twenty years of fundraising experience, having worked in development for multiple organizations including Make A Wish Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and now, the Children’s Cancer Association. He is joining the Academy for the second year in a row to share his organization’s donor-centered approach to retention.

Watch the session recording here.

Session notes:

Children’s Cancer Association – A nonprofit based in Portland that provides support and joy to children with cancer and their families

Donor Retention – measure of how many donors continue to donate to your organization

  • High retention rate means you have a strong base of donors – the longer donors give, the more likely they will continue to give
  • Low retention rate means you have to keep finding new donors – difficult and expensive, not an effective use of money or time
  • This study Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) found that:
    • Between 2006 and 2011, donor retention rates decreased by about 10%
    • Overall donor retention was 39% in 2012, down from 41% in 2011
    • Repeat donor retention was 61%
    • New donor retention was only 23%
    • Attrition eating into ability to retain donors – For every 100 donors gained, organizations lost 105 donors

Some causes of donor attrition

  • They have no memory of supporting the organization – make sure they know where they’re money is going; connect back to the mission
  • The organization asked for an inappropriate amount – create gift arrays starting with your organization’s average donation amount (the amount your donors like to give)
  • They were not reminded to give again – reach out to people at least 2x year to give them a chance to give
  • They didn’t feel connected – help them understand why they give
  • The organization didn’t tell them how donations were used

Ways to increase donor retention

  • Know who donors are, metrics, donor analysis for communications
  • 91 days is the lapsed period – if you don’t reach out to donors 91 days after their initial donation, you’ll most likely lose them. Need to acknowledge them right away.
  • Personalize your communication – build one-on-one relationships
  • Show donors how their funds help you achieve your mission
  • Send thank you letters
    • Be brief, personal
    • Include a story of a beneficiary, how donor dollars are being used, and give them a chance to contact you
    • Don’t ask for another gift – donor may not see it as a sincere thank you
  • Segment your communication to donors
    • Send specific communications to certain groups of donors (making sure it’s personalized)
    • Segment by past giving, zip code, age – send emails to people it’s most relevant to
  • Create a donor stewardship moves management plan

CCA Acknowledgment Standards