Your donors are having amazing online experiences with the likes of Amazon and Netflix who anticipate their every want and need, and spoon feed them suggestions and recommendations like you would feed a baby. Then … they visit your site. And, meh. Does this sound about right? So many nonprofits I work with are toiling to keep pace with ever-escalating donor experiences and expectations. And, this struggle is precisely the impetus for our latest research titled, “Donor Experience Study.”

We fielded the study to understand what donors want to experience online with the nonprofits they support. But our research stands out from a crowded field of donor studies, because we don’t stop there. We go on to analyze the survey results and then provide fundraisers with the actionable insights and tools necessary to meet these growing demands.

Based on donor responses to our survey, here are six actions you can take to improve your donors’ experiences and exceed their expectations:

  1. Map out current donor experiences (and identify areas for improvement).

Pay special attention to your online giving experience. Keep in mind the other great online experiences your donors have grown accustomed to, such as with Amazon and Netflix. How does your online donor journey stack up? This is especially important for younger generations of donors.

  1. Invest resources in mobile-first experiences.

Your website and donation forms MUST be mobile friendly. It’s no longer an option or a nice-to-have. You need to invest in improving mobile giving experiences or risk losing potential donations. It’s not just for younger donors either; 71 percent of donors have already given via a mobile device.

  1. Evaluate your online donation forms.

The study gives good insight into how comfortable donors are with giving online. Use this information as a starting point to identify your suggested donation amounts. Try testing out monthly giving programs at or below the $300 donation average. There’s also still a big opportunity for large donations online, with 32 percent of donors saying they would give a $10,000 donation online, so don’t be afraid to ask for those or encourage them with your online forms.

  1. Identify opportunities to amplify your fundraising event strategy.

Events play a critical role in donor engagement and loyalty, especially for Millennials. Are your current fundraising events targeting younger donors? Take a step back and evaluate your current fundraising event strategy. Do you need to rethink ticket pricing or onsite content? What else can you do to get them to attend an event? Incorporating technology into your fundraising event, such as mobile bidding, or digital ticketing and check in, can have a positive impact on your event experiences.

  1. Incorporate impact reports into your post-event communication.

The key to turning event attendees into loyal donors is the event follow-up experience. Don’t just send one thank you communication, create a whole post-event series with impact reports and stories, as well as recommended events and donation opportunities. You can leverage marketing automation to incorporate personalized touches. More than twice as many donors say they prefer personalized (versus generic) content.

  1. Segment your donor appeals and communications, based on age and income.

It’s apparently clear that age and income impact how donors like to give. Think through and plan your appeals – what are you asking for, what type of gift are you hoping for and who are you asking? However, you won’t be able to segment based on age group and income if you’re not tracking that data. It’s crucial to ask key questions of your donors and maintain that demographic information to make this kind of segmentation possible.

The Donor Experience Study is the third donor study commissioned by Abila. In the first, we dug deep into donor engagement. In the second, we covered donor loyalty. This latest research looks at donor experiences. Click on the links to download all of them for free.

And, for even more on our latest study, watch our recorded webinar, “Digging Deeper Into Donor Experiences: Findings From our 2018 Donor Study.”