If you’re a marketer within a charity, then it’s likely you joined with the intention of achieving something amazing. Whether you’re tackling poverty, furthering a cause like climate change or hoping to save lives through medical research - we know that it’s a cause close to your heart rather than a revenue-focused business. 

This is why we understand that marketing tactics such as Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) don’t always feel like they align with your values. However, without driving these donations (if that’s your model), then you won’t be able to make the impact and change you hope for. Just like any business, you’ll have objectives for funding and donation revenue you need to hit to keep things moving. 

Below I’ve shared three ways CRO can help drive donations for your charity. 

What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?

Conversion Rate Optimisation, or CRO, is the ongoing process of increasing the number of positive actions your website visitors make. It usually focuses on hard metrics such as donations or purchases but can equally be used for form fills or PDF downloads. 

It involves truly understanding your audience: 

  • What motivates them? 
  • How do they think? 
  • Why do they donate?

CRO experts look at this data alongside your website user flow to determine where there might be potential barriers in the donation process. We then look to improve or A/B test landing pages and user journeys to improve the number of actions a user takes. 

Because it’s a data-led process and usually involves testing (such as A/B testing or Split URL testing), Conversion Rate Optimisation - when done correctly - should leave you with some insights that can be implemented in your campaigns and journeys moving forward.

#1 Know your audience

By ‘know your audience’, we mean really mean know them. Some organisations’ personas stop at factors such as age, gender and regularity of donation. We work differently. 

To be able to make a true impact, you need to dig deeper to determine what behavioural and psychological influences make your audience tick

What are they feeling when interacting with your charity? 

What worries them about donating? 

This information quickly becomes your first port of call for journey improvements and website experiments.

#2 Focus outside-in

Most organisations face this challenge at some point, particularly when their marketing teams are passionate about the cause. But, as tempting as it might be to focus on telling your brand story… your messaging and user journeys should start with the user.

That means taking into account what they really care about. If your latest project is focused on climate change, but your audience is more focused on supporting the elderly, you may struggle to convert them. 

You need to speak the language of your customers, align with their belief systems and the things they get from donating to your cause. The more you can leverage empathy and understanding, the more likely you’ll be to reach the audiences most aligned with your cause, and the higher the chance of donations. - A win win for everyone if the end goal is to help more people, animals or the environment. 

#3 Think like Amazon and pour over the bottom of the funnel

Okay, don’t really think like Amazon. But do take inspiration from top eCommerce brands who are ruthless about the bottom end of their funnel. 

As creative people, we can get obsessed with our top-of-funnel messaging and our latest campaigns while forgetting that losing an unnecessary 10% of people through our donation funnel can produce the same value as expensive campaigns elsewhere. 

Take a look into your donation portal or “checkout” process and consider some of these key CRO considerations:

  • Payment options - do you have the right ones for your audience?

  • Security considerations - have you made your audience feel secure enough to donate online?

  • Unnecessary forced information - are you asking for information that users may not want to give up that, in truth, you don’t really need?

Still Unsure: Case Study

In 2022 we supported a household name charity using just some of the techniques and examples we’ve included here. As a result, we were successful in increasing their donation rate by 34.64%, and bringing them 27.615% more revenue than they would have using the original web pages we were testing on. That’s money that is now helping to overcome poverty overseas.

To Conclude

We can completely understand and resonate with your feelings that leveraging CRO tactics can feel like you are simply telling a market what they want to hear. But, in reality the end goal is the same as any marketing tactic, we want to help your cause generate more awareness and increase donations so that you can fufil your goal, whatever that might be. 

I’ve had the pleasure of working on several Charity accounts when it comes to CRO and I’d love to talk to you about your goals for the year in more detail. If you’d like to find out more about how we do what we do, then please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you. 

If you still need assistance, please get in touch. Our experts would be more than happy to help! 


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