Ep 75 | Maximizing your Donation Page with GiveWP

A youth center might need new computers and so there's a specific amount of money that they need to reach by a specific time period, and that's separate from their general fund, for example. So if you want to engage that way, you can create a second form on your site that specifically says we're looking to raise $5,000 for new computers for the tutoring center, for example. And when you hit that $5,000, you've already sent, you know, a thank you note or a receipt, a donation receipt to your donors. But when you hit that $5,000 mark, why not send another email out to everybody that says, because of you were able to move forward with this project and the cost-successful we can be and how we can impact the lives of those students at our tutoring center, as an example. So being able to collect that kind of information lets you move forward and further engagement. – Michelle Frechette

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Now that you have your event online and ready to go it's time to promote. In this episode I'm giving you some ideas for how you can promote your event online – for FREE! It's all about communicating and sharing the word on as many channels as you possibly can.

In this episode you'll learn:

→ ways to optimize your donation page.
→ why it's important to tell a story with your donation page.
→ what information should be on your forms..
→ how to use multiple forms to track donors better.
→ ways to keep money coming in the door.
→ common mistakes people make on their donations pages.

Want to skip ahead?  Here are some key takeaways:

[7:51] Tell a story with your donation page. Let people in and help them understand where the funds will be used and how their donation will make an impact. Keep it on the donation page so it's easy for people to make that transition and give you their money.
[10:48] Set up your forms to get the information you need from your donors. This is a great area to glean information but always ask yourself if what you're asking for is critical information. The more you put on your form the more likely someone won't want to fill the whole thing out.
[16:20] Set up different forms for different fundraisers so you can ask for different information for each that pertains to that event or fund. This can be your separate fundraisers, your annual fund, scholarship fund, etc.
[21:00] Set up recurring payments to make it easy for people to give monthly. It usually amounts to more money over the course of time than a one-time fee and you know what's coming in each month.
[26:22] Keep it easy and make it simple. Don't bury your donation page. And don't make it take too many steps before someone gets to put their card information in.

Resources

[Guide] 9 Ways for Non-Profits to Raise More Money Online
GiveWP*

*This post includes affiliate links. This means we may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase through these links. We are only affiliates of programs that we ourselves use.

Michelle Frechette

Michelle Frechette

Head of Customer Success, GiveWP

Michelle Frechette is a fierce advocate for women in technology, a mentor, and coach, dedicated to helping other women succeed in their fields.

Michelle completed her MBA in Marketing, E-Commerce and Information Systems from the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. She has over twenty years of experience in higher education; ten years owning a web design and marketing company; and currently serves as the Head of Customer Success for Impress.org (developers of GiveWP.com and WPBusinessReviews.com).

Michelle is a veteran of public speaking. She’s been an instructor for a wide variety of topics including Using Quantitative Data Analysis Software, Meditative Drawing, Intro to WordPress, and Marketing for Massage Therapy. Michelle speaks at conferences all over North America. You can find many of them recorded on WordPress.tv including “Little Things That Make a Big Difference” and “Hidden Features of WordPress Revealed,” as well as panel discussions on ethics, marketing, page builders, and women in technology.

Michelle is the founder of WordCamp Rochester, a WordPress conference around the Open Source Project. She has recently been named to the WordPress 5.6 release squad, an all-female team, making historic strides in both WordPress and the technology communities. In addition, she coordinates the Rochester WordPress meetup, open to any and all, and free to attend.

In June 2019 she started a podcast, WPCoffeeTalk, and has recorded over 100 interviews with people in the WordPress community worldwide.

Michelle is the author of “A Good Firm Handshake (and other essential business tips)” available on Amazon.com.

Michelle mentors and coaches women business owners in technology around the areas of growth, website, blogging, marketing, and work/life balance.

She is also head of marketing for Sentree Hosting.

You can find Michelle on Twitter at @michelleames and through her website at worksbymichelle.com.

9 Ways for Non-Profits to Raise Money Online

Download our free guide to help you get online with your fundraising fast and reach your fundraising goals.

9 Ways for Non-Profits to Raise More Money Online pdf

Full Transcript

[INTRO] Hey there, welcome to another episode of Digital Marketing Therapy. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern and today we're talking about your donation page.

Your website should absolutely have a donation page on it, but there's some kind of things to think about with where you put it. What questions you ask how easy is it for people to navigate? How do you take payment information, all of that good stuff?

Well, as we've been working with several nonprofits, we've found a software that we really like which is called GiveWP. Now again, this is specific to WordPress websites. But we really like its functionality and the way it operates. And full disclosure we are affiliates of GiveWP. But I brought Michelle on who is a team member there and works one on one with clients. And, you know, just wanted her to talk about some things she's seen people do really well on their donation pages and common mistakes people made and some different kinds of functionality you want to look into when you're deciding which donation software to, to choose, so I think you'll really like this conversation. There's a lot of good nuggets in there. But really ultimately, if you don't have a strong donation page on your website, then people can't give you their money and we want to make it easy for people to give you their money.

Michelle Frechette is a fierce advocate for women in technology, a mentor, and coach, dedicated to helping other women succeed in their fields.

Michelle completed her MBA in Marketing, E-Commerce and Information Systems from the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. She has over twenty years of experience in higher education; ten years owning a web design and marketing company; and currently serves as the Head of Customer Success for Impress.org (developers of GiveWP.com and WPBusinessReviews.com).

Michelle is a veteran of public speaking. She’s been an instructor for a wide variety of topics including Using Quantitative Data Analysis Software, Meditative Drawing, Intro to WordPress, and Marketing for Massage Therapy. Michelle speaks at conferences all over North America. You can find many of them recorded on WordPress.tv including “Little Things That Make a Big Difference” and “Hidden Features of WordPress Revealed,” as well as panel discussions on ethics, marketing, page builders, and women in technology.

Michelle is the founder of WordCamp Rochester, a WordPress conference around the Open Source Project. She has recently been named to the WordPress 5.6 release squad, an all-female team, making historic strides in both WordPress and the technology communities. In addition, she coordinates the Rochester WordPress meetup, open to any and all, and free to attend.

In June 2019 she started a podcast, WPCoffeeTalk, and has recorded over 100 interviews with people in the WordPress community worldwide.

Michelle is the author of “A Good Firm Handshake (and other essential business tips)” available on Amazon.com.

Michelle mentors and coaches women business owners in technology around the areas of growth, website, blogging, marketing, and work/life balance.

She is also head of marketing for Sentree Hosting.

I mean she has a ton of experience. A ton of background. She has worked with thousands of thousands of nonprofits on their donation pages. And I promise you this is not just an ad for GiveWP, we do talk about some of their functionality. But really, it's about how to really maximize your donation page, what to do to make it stand out, and how to gather the information and automate things so that you can continue to get those donations and engage with your audience and keep them donating time and time and time again. So let's get into this episode.

But before we do that, this episode is brought to you by my guide “9 Ways for Non-Profits to Raise More Money Online”. So head on over to https://thefirstclick.net/fundraise to download this guide today. There's nine great ways that you can get online they you know, help you get more money, help you get more visibility, help you reach your donors help you reach, you know, the people that you serve, so definitely download it and hit me up. If you have any questions. Start with the one that you can get the quickest win on and go from there. But for now, let's get into this episode.

[CANNED INTRODUCTION] You're listening to the Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, welcome Michelle to the Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast. Thank you so much for joining me.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] Thank you for having me. It's really nice to be here.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So you are the Head of Customer Success at GiveWP which is a donation platform for nonprofits and organizations. And so how did you get involved with them and and tell us a little bit about yourself?

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] Sure. So I was a freelancer for several years, doing digital marketing and 90% of my business was working specifically with WordPress and building WordPress websites for my customers, excuse me and for my clients, and one of those and as part of my business I would give away a free website every year to a local nonprofit organization. Now that I just say local, meaning that the people were local, it doesn't necessarily mean it was a local nonprofit, but somebody that I could work with locally. And so I had been looking for a solution for online fundraising.

And I was building a website for a group that was raising money for children's lunches in South Sudan, who were in refugee refugee camps while so that the kids would be able to eat at school, which would then make them want to go to school because there would be food there instead of skipping school to steal food because they were so hungry. And so I was working with that organization Udoco. And I found Give, I had heard about them at a WordCamp, word conference WordPress conference the year before, and thought, well, I'll give this a try. But I really liked it. Well, fast forward to the next year. I was at a WordCamp speaking in Ottawa, Canada and the people from GiveWP were there and I said, Oh, let me show you what I've done with with your, your software. And I showed them and we had a long conversation and they interviewed me for their blog to highlight the story of the Uduco website of the people that I had built the site for. And I said to them, you know, if you ever hiring yours is one of the few organizations I would consider closing my doors to work for. And the rest, as they say, is kind of history by January. So this was an August by January, I was hired as a head of customer success. And I have never looked back.

Instead of working with one or two nonprofits a year helping them locally. I now, I'm able to help over 90,000 nonprofit organizations who are using our software, make their world a better place through the nonprofit work that they do.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] That's amazing.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] Yeah, it feels really good.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, and, um, you know, just thinking about the world that we're in right now, a software like yours is just even more important and impactful.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] It really it really is necessary. In order for people to be able to engage. And for people to know where they want to put their money, they have to feel really secure about how they're donating. And a simple PayPal button absolutely can do the trick. But it isn't an engaging process. It doesn't make you feel like you've actually become part of the success of that company, or that nonprofit organization, by answering questions about yourself by engaging through their forms, instead of just clicking a button and being taken off site.

When you use a software, whether it's ours or somebody else's, where you're filling out forms on a, you know, nonprofit website, you're making a donation, you feel like you're investing yourself in their success in an even greater way. And so having the ability for us to help organizations do that, you know, it's kind of the icing on the cake as far as the job goes, right?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] No, that's awesome. So let's kind of dive in a little bit deeper to like, the anatomy of a donation page, right because I feel like I mean, if you built websites before, if that was kind of your your main job, then you probably are like me, you feel like that's kind of the important place for people to really dive deep to get connected to me kind of build that relationship. And when you go to a donation page, and it just kind of looks like I mean, like, just like you said, like a PayPal button, or maybe it's an iframe software like, you know, it doesn't match, like it kind of looks like oh, that's not the fun experience. So what kind of amazing things have you seen? or what have you done with donation pages to kind of make them stand out a little bit more.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] So some of the things that we when we work with our customers and what I'm seeing our customers do freaking amazing things with what they do with their donation pages, is the ability to tell a story.

So a button can't tell a story, but the way that you engage in a donation page can absolutely I always say pull on the heartstrings, a little bit of people who are thinking about giving you some money. So if you use really good imagery, and I don't mean stock images, use imagery that really you know, if you're a dog shelter, take pictures of the animals in your care. If you work with children, of course, get parent permission first. But take pictures of parents and children and show the work that you do show your volunteers and action, find images, take images, create images that really help tell your story and motivate people to want to be involved and give.

Second to that because images of course, the first thing that catches our eye, but you also want to make sure that the content that you're putting on that page, that you're giving good instructions on how to process that that donation and also why somebody would want to give to your organization. So tell a story has to be brief because people lose interest directly on the internet. We know that. But in a few sentences really tell somebody why donating to your organization is something that will enrich their life by helping enrich the lives of their constituents, whoever that's a cool

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, so that'd be something like you know, your your $5 donation will provide, you know, five meals for, ya know, kids and kids in school, or, you know, just quick little bullet points like that that are easy for people to digest.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] Absolutely, absolutely. And if you and you know, some people use graphic images to do those kinds of things, if you do that, make sure that if you're embedding text in an image, for example, make sure that you're also putting that text someplace for screen readers to read, because you want to make sure that your donation forms are also accessible to people who have low or poor vision or other processing issues.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yes, I love that you bring that up. We talked a lot about ADA compliance on websites with clients. They're like, Wait, isn't that just for wheelchair accessibility? I'm like, no.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] No, it's not. And it's, it applies to your whole website, including your donation page.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay. If you have your basic information there, your form is also kind of a great way to glean information from your donors also. Find out you know if somebody referred them but like you know, how little is too little to put and how much is too much to put on your donation forms.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] So finding that sweet spot can actually be a bit of a challenge sometimes, right, so at the very least you want to get their name, their email address. And if that's all you get you at least can still contact back, right, so you can still reach out, say thank you. And that's the bare minimum of information that you want to collect from people.

In addition to that, you may want to think about collecting a physical address. So maybe it's the billing address of their credit card. And you can easily include that. Maybe you want to include other information, like you want to ask them for a phone number, or maybe you want to find out how they heard about you.

Whatever you're adding to that make sure that it serves a very, very good purpose because the longer it takes somebody to fill out your donation form, the less likely they are to actually hit submit at the bottom.

You want to make sure that you're engaging with people in a way that makes them want to continue on all the way to that submit button at the bottom of, of your donation form.

So ask for the information that you need. Absolutely. But make sure that it's information that you need and that you're not just thinking, maybe we'll use this information someday. So let's ask as much as possible, you're probably going to lose some donors. If you're doing that if you think about all the forms that you have to fill out, sometimes even just to make a purchase in an online store, and then you're like, I'll just get it someplace else. I don't want to tell them my life story. Right? Right. So you want to make sure that you're asking information that is appropriate, asking information that is compliant with with things like GDPR.

So if you're, if you're collecting donations for across the world, right, not just in the US or Canada, you want to make sure that you're compliant for all of those privacy issues and privacy and privacy contains state by state even in the United States, but it certainly differs country by country and then Europe, they have GDPR. So we need to make sure that you're actually collecting information in a way that's safe, and that people can opt out of it as well, yeah.

But some of the other things that you could add to your donation form that help you a lot are just checkboxes, checkboxes and things like, would you like to join our newsletter, and then maybe your newsletter, you're using Constant Contact, they're using MailChimp or using AWeber, or Mail Poet or whatever you're using to collect that information, make sure that that information goes seamlessly into that third-party software that you're using to send out emails. So you don't have to have somebody collecting those and typing them in at the other end. And then there's a typo you know, automate as much as possible for sure.

But then you really are able to engage back with those donors later. So let's say you're running you have a lot of people have a donation page on their website and as far as general fund, but maybe you have another goal. That's a time-sensitive goal. So I think about churches, for example, a lot of churches will have a building fund or a youth center might need new computers and so there's a specific amount of money that they need to reach by a specific time period, and that's separate from their general fund, for example. So if you want to engage that way, you can create a second form on your site that specifically says we're looking to raise $5,000 for new computers for the tutoring center, for example. And when you hit that $5,000, you've already sent, you know, a thank you note or a receipt, a donation receipt to your donors. But when you hit that $5,000 mark, why not send another email out to everybody that says, because of you were able to move forward with this project and look how successful we can be and how we can impact the lives of those students at our tutoring center, as an example. So being able to collect that kind of information lets you move forward and further engagement.

And then also, you know, share it on social media shout it out because every donation is definitely a victory. But when you hit those, those milestones, you really want to share it with your community and let them know how successful you are because of the generosity of the people who engage and support you.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And I love a lot of what you're saying with regards to streamlining. So you're automating, you know, you're automating the thank you letters through your email software, which sounds more complicated than it really is, I promise. And you're also automating the, you know, kind of the goal-setting as far as what you've hit so that you can share those wins as opposed to it kind of being you know, you can be more timely and I feel like now that people are online more, like timeliness is super important. And what's working maybe remotely to streamline everything through one donation page. 

Yeah. So you mentioned that you might have one donation page that's like for your general fund. So if you're now running an online fundraiser, or maybe you have like, like you mentioned that $5,000 you need to raise for computers or whatever. Would you recommend or have you seen other organizations that have their general fund donation page, and then they have separate like shorter time-framed donation pages that are more specific, so they can ask questions specific to what that audience is there for.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] Absolutely. So any good donation software that you're using, will let you set up more than one form. And think of a form as a campaign. So your general donation form as your as your general campaign. You know, you're raising $5,000 for computers, that's a specific campaign. If you are an organization, that's, there's an organization that uses our software in California, and they specifically they're, they're a pet rehabilitation, veterinarian type office, and they take in strays, and they help people who can't afford to help their pets. And so they'll put up a page for each animal, and what each animal needs to raise to get the care that they need to be able to survive and return to a happy for life. And so they might have 20 forms or campaigns going on their website at one time, because you know, the owner of fluffy the cat has shared that particular form with their friends, who then can donate to that to that fund. It's not going in the owner's pocket, it's specifically going earmarked for that petcare at that particular facility.

So you can have as many campaigns as you want, that are earmarked in whatever ways they want. And at the back end of that, so when you log into your dashboard for your fundraising, you the administrator, the site administrator, or the organization's financial administrator, can absolutely see who donated to what campaign and how that should be taken care of as far as the bookkeeping goes as well. So not only the things have to be really good on the front end, but they have to match up on the back end too, so that your organization can work as efficiently as possible.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] I love that. So that could even be like scholarships for kids. Yes, or even just individual, maybe especially right now you're reaching out to your board members to reach out to their friends for individual donations, how easy is it to do it that way, then they're not collecting all the checks and then having to bring them there. It just makes it a more streamlined process all around.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] Absolutely. And let's face it right now, and in the COVID world we're living and you don't want to touch things other people are touching. So don't mail me a check, go online, give me your give me your digital money. And nobody has to actually change germs at all. No masks included.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Right? Absolutely. Okay, so what would you say then to organizations that are like, well, we want the checks or the cash because then we don't have to pay a credit card fee. And if they do it online, then we have to pay more fees.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] Right, so any really good donation software will include the option to let your donors cover those costs for you. We call it fee recovery. So whether you're using PayPal or Stripe or authorize.net or any host of different payment processors are all charging, let's say around 3%. It could be higher, it could be lower between 2.2 and 3% plus per, per transaction amount.

If you allow your donors to cover that amount for you about 60 to 70% of people will, will do that. So if I want to give $100 to, you know, the local youth fund, I want them to get $100 I don't want them to get $97. And so I will say, Well, for me, you know, an extra $3 not a big deal. But for an organization $3 at a time really does add up and those fees. So if you can allow your donors to cover that cost for you, they're going to be happy because the your gift, they they now realize you're getting their full donation, and you'll be happy because you're not paying those fees.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, and then do you also find that when you have a streamlined and clean and impactful donation page, your donations actually increased because it's easier for people to make a donation. Maybe I don't want to mail a check because it's too much work but I can't do it. And now I can't get to you. You're so you're kind of getting it on both sides.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] Absolutely. And so the best donation page, let me for that. If there are, you know, those people who still are kind of what we'll call old school, maybe, yeah, and want to actually mail a check to you give them a way to do that, put your address on there. And you can even have a section on your website or your donation form that says, it's more like a pledge, right? So it's an offline donation, but you as an organization know that somebody's sending that money to you. And if it doesn't arrive, you can always give them a phone call and say, you know, hey, Susie, we haven't received a donation you promised us yet. Just want to make sure if there was any questions or problems or we can facilitate that for you. So you have an idea of who's pledging money to you what's what should be coming in, and a way to reach back out to those donors.

So if you give them options, then you're more likely to get that money in. But we really do find that a lot of people just want to put that credit card information in or use their Apple Pay, Google Pay, make it as easy as possible for that transaction to happen.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. And then the other great thing about using software is the automation of recurring payments.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] Yes, recurring donations is a godsend to different organizations in a non-religious way, of course. It is like, but, but it's a it's an amazing thing. So if I, as a donor, want to give you something I could maybe afford $100 today. But if I think about giving you $25 a month, over the course of 12 months, that's a lot more than $100. And it feels like less to me as the donor because I'm not finding it out of a giant chunk of my bank account at one particular, you know, one particular point in time. So allowing people to give over time like that actually does increase your donations. People like to do that.

In churches, we call it tithing, and churches set that up frequently to be able to do that. But we do that outside and other organizations as well, where people really do want to give on a continual basis, but they don't want to have to set a reminder. They don't want you don't want to have to call and say Hey, where's your donation this month because nobody's obligated to donate to you. So it lets people just say I really want to continue to be a part of your success.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, we see that with organizations like I think the ASPCA does that. I think St. Jude, their campaign definitely run on that. And I think that language on the donation page of saying like, if you only give $5 a month, it'll help do this makes it really easy are $10 it makes it really easy for people to make those recurring payments, because they can say then, right? Like, I'm supporting five dogs every single month with my $10 donation like you get that excited feeling.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] Mm hmm. Absolutely. I can think about like, even places that are sponsoring children. So if I, if everybody only gave once how is that child supposed to eat next month to right? So with our continuing donation, recurring donation like that, subscriptions, whatever, however, we want to serve it, you know, you're feeding that child on a monthly basis, right? Just keep that gooey, gooey, feel goodness going. It does. That warm warmth inside like warm and fuzzy.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So I know there are some other features that, you know, I mean, obviously we're here to talk about donation pages as well overall. But I know there's a couple of features that GiveWP has it I'm not sure if they are across the board for everybody. But one thing that I also know is helpful is the ability for people to log in and see their own donation history.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] Yes, and not every not every donation software does that. But with GiveWP you could actually set up a page on your site where somebody puts in the email address that you use to donate, it triggers an email back to that email address, and gives them a one time link to be able to see that donation history. So it's secure. They're not technically logging into your website, so they don't have to have a login and a username. But it gives them the information that they need. it expires. So it's very secure. And it allows you not to have to constantly be sending out notifications when people say Hey, can I have another copy of?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, just thinking about like around tax time or like the end of the year when people are trying to figure out how much they've donated, like you know, the phone calls that come into your donor team, having to send out all those into not just be able to say, here's a link, you can just get it yourself. I mean, that sounds like that.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] But it is much kinder gentler way yes to send out an email to all of your donation, base, your donor base that says, hey, I know that you're going to want this information for your tax time, click this link, and it'll be obvious how to do that. Yeah, I think that's great. Or if people have questions about what was charged with our card, it's all right there. It's easy for them to say leave, they can. Yep, I can see that anytime.

One of the other things that we have that I think other, you know, other organizations or other donation processing, sometimes have depending on who it is, but we have an add on called tributes. And what that really does is it lets somebody give to your organization in honor of or in memory of or in tribute to a third party.

So for example, if I wanted to give to, let's say, the Ronald McDonald House in my in my town, when my niece was born, she had all kinds of problems. She's an adjusted adult now. When she was born, she was in the hospital for quite a while. And my brother and his wife took advantage of the Ronald McDonald House in town. So if I wanted to give to the Ronald McDonald House, I can do it in honor of Lily, because she, you know, they helped my family be able to go cope through a difficult time. And then I could send that notification to my brother to say, hey, Michelle gave X number of dollars to the Ronald McDonald House in honor of Lilly. And my brother gets to feel good about it. I get to feel good about it. And maybe my brother makes a donation too, because now he sees an opportunity that he might not have seen before.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, that's great. I remember for Christmas a few years ago, my grandparents gifted all the grandkids I think a cow through Heifer International.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] That's awesome.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] We got we got that's what we got in the mail was a card saying like thank you for, a gift was made in your name. But like this is again, just a much easier digital way to to have it happen automatically.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] The real question Sami is what did you name your cow?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] We didn't get to name them. Like, I think I think I got a cow. One of my brother's got a goat. It was Yeah, we had like a whole farm of animals.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] That's awesome. That's a great. That's actually a really great way of describing exactly that kind of opportunity.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. Okay, so we've talked about a lot of positives and good things that you can do. Are there any things that you know, you use or mistakes you've seen people make that are, you know, tips to avoid that people might not be thinking about.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] So one of my biggest points of contention with people building their their nonprofits websites, is they bury the opportunity to receive donations.

So if I visit your website and I can't find where to donate, you are missing out on money that's on the table. So make it very clear, put a clear call to action of how people can support your mission. Obviously, not every organization that's their primary mission. Your primary mission is not to make money your primary
mission is to help whoever your stakeholders are. But you can't do that unless you have the financial support to do that. So you actually do have two calls to action one, helping people.

So let's say that it's let's say that it is the Ronald McDonald House, their website is going to tell you how to get services with the Ronald McDonald House, how you can use their services. But secondary to that is, hey, they still need money to make it work. So they're, they're doing a two-pronged call to action. One is if you need our services, this is how you access them. The other is this is how you support us. And you have to make it very clear how to do both of those things.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. Well, and I think, um, you know, you see a lot of nonprofits in their main navigation, there's a Donate button.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] That's right. They're always prominent as well as but sometimes you click that Donate button, it takes you to a page that you click another Donate button, which takes you to a third page. Don't make it difficult for people to give you money, make it very, very easy, because they're more likely to do it. If they don't have to click a bunch of times to make sure that their donation goes through.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay, so I'm just going to throw this out there. And I think a lot of times when that happens, it's because you're using a third-party tool that doesn't embed on your website. And usually people do that because it's cheaper. So when you're paying for a software to do your donation stuff, like yes, there's inherently a cost a monthly fee or whatever to run that. But kind of what you're saying is by making it clean and simple, you're actually going to convert more people. And yes, most likely recover the cost of that software plus more, just plain and simple.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] Yeah, but even sometimes when it is embedded on the site, people will have a Donate button and at the top, you click the donate button, you go to a page that then describes all the different ways that you can donate and you have to click another to go to a next another page, the about your three pages deep before you ever get to a forum. Yeah, make that first click be to where they can actually make that donation and not redirecting them yet to get again, to come yo be able to do that. Now, that's great.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Any other mistakes that you see people making? Or is that kind of the big one that just is your pet peeve there.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] Definitely is that pet peeve.

The other one is, is being directed off-site. So if you are using a third party that takes you offside is not embedded on your on your site, you click that button, and suddenly you're on somebody else's website to make that donation. That's not a good feeling. Because it feels you felt like you've broken the connection with me at that point in time. And that includes those off, you know, going off-site to pay PayPal, or to make a donation through PayPal, especially if after you make that you're not returned back to the main site afterwards. So the less that you can direct somebody off of your website someplace else, the better you are, and the more likely you are to have people complete those donations.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, nope, that makes a lot of sense. So your action steps are to go look at your donation page right now and see what it looks like. Yes. Make sure you have strong language on that exact a page with the form to explain kind of how people are supporting you. Make sure every single form on that field is absolutely critical to information you need to gather. And then make sure that you can do recurring payments or credit card recovery.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE]  Mm hmm. Yeah. And then any other things that that you think will move you forward. So like, if attributes if have attributes on there and haven't been able to give it on or if somebody will help you, that's a great thing. And you know, those kinds of things, connecting straight through to to a newsletter, those extra things can really help with post engagement as well.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Awesome. Is there anything else that you think is important to add here, Michelle, that we, yes. Okay.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] So social sharing. So when somebody completes your donation, they should have the ability to click a link that says share this on Twitter, share this on Facebook, share this in social media so that they're, you know, they're proud of the fact that they're supporting you. That's social proof right there. So if I a third party person, I love your organization so much that I'm willing to put it out on my social media, my personal social media, that social proof that you exist for a really good reason. And it's free marketing. Other people it is so people are able to other people are able to do your work for you and make your network even bigger. So if you can incorporate social social sharing on that donation confirmation page, then you're even further along.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And it's important to to say that even if you're not on those channels, like even if you your organization isn't on like Twitter, for example, you should still include that social share option. so people can find out information about you.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] Yeah, all that has to do. It doesn't matter if you're on Twitter, if you're on LinkedIn, if you're wherever, as long as somebody can click a link back and donate to you as well. That's all that really matters.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, no, that's a really good point. And we've talked a lot about that on previous episodes, so we'll link sure that in the show notes.

And then, uh, if people want to know a little bit more about give them up and you know, the software and what it provides, you know, where do they find that information?

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE]  Yeah, so you just got to https://givewp.com there's a lot of different ways that you can engage with us there, you can absolutely through the whole thing and do a bunch of research yourself. But you can also sign up for a one on one demo. And so either you know myself, Amanda or Amy will get on a screen share with you and we'll demo the software for you and answer all the questions that you have in advance of the purchase. And if you do make a purchase and you want a little more help, we actually help you with that, too. We do onboarding with our customers who need it.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Oh, perfect. But it's important to note that it is a WordPress specific.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE]  Yes, yes. So yes. Which is where the WP at the end of GIVE comes from.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] In case people didn't know. Yeah, I mean, I'm sure there's tons of software that's out there for all the other different platforms as well and customization, and we tend to focus on WordPress here at the Digital Marketing Therapy podcast. So there you go.

I love it. Well, Michelle, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to chat with us about donation pages. It was really helpful.

[MICHELLE FRECHETTE] It was my pleasure. Thank you so much for inviting me.

[CLOSING] I so appreciate Michelle coming on today to talk with all as all of us about our donation pages. I hope that you got some good tidbits and definitely take a look at your website and see how you might be able to tweak and refine head on over to the show notes at https://thefirstclick.net/podcast I will have links there to GiveWP if you want to check it out, as well as some other resources that we talked about in this episode. For now, make sure you subscribe wherever you listen and if you feel up to it, leave us a review. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you in the next one.

 

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