We had a wonderful time attending and presenting at NTEN’s annual Nonprofit Technology Conference last week in Minneapolis! We got a ton of knowledge on the latest and greatest trends in the NPTech world, got to meet great people, and see some snow!
We will continue to post here to keep the conversation going by recapping some of our favorite panels and trends we saw. We’ve also posted a special page on our website aggregating NTC 2013 Resources and Recaps! We’re starting with a recap of our panel – Level Up Your Fundraising, Understanding the Psychology Behind What Motivates People to Give.
We had a packed house(!) – which tells us that this is a topic that gets people excited. We’re sharing our slides and presentation recap below!
Highlights from our presentation:
Online Giving is On the Rise
We now have over ten years of data on online giving and we have seen online giving continue to grow. According to the 2012 Digital Giving Index, 65% of people gave in 2012 vs only 4% in 2002. The average donation through social media is growing as well as people are more comfortable with social giving, and one study found that giving campaigns that integrated social media raised TEN TIMES more dollars than those that didn’t.
And your website supports more than just an online donation form – your website can increase revenue for your NPO through channels like event registration, sponsor directories, job board listings, and more. (Sidenote – In May we are hosting a webinar on Increasing Your Earned Revenue through Tendenci Modules. Register on our events calendar free!)
More resources on Online Giving Stats:
- 2012 Digital Giving Index by Network for Good
- Infographic: 2012 – It was a very good year for Social Giving
- Online Giving Stats from Charity Navigator
What Motivates People to Give Online?
What motivates people to give in general? There are three primary motivations of people.
Read more about these motivations in Ed Schipul’s Article: Three Motivations of People: Social, Material, Ideological
Three Motivations of People
- Social – Identity, relationships, a sense of belonging
- Material – This is the most straight forward of the three, you give something (time, money, etc.) to get a material gain
- Ideological – Identifying with a cause
We often hope or assume that donors are motivated purely ideologically, but it is important to note that sometimes people start interacting with a nonprofit based on other motivations like social events, material membership benefits, etc The challenge is to nurture the relationship with them and convert them to an ideological supporter!
What Motivates People Online?
Tap Into Visitor Motivations in 7 Seconds
On the web, there is the added challenge of timing – you only have about 7 seconds to tap into these motivations before they make a first impression. If the visitor isn’t hooked in these first few seconds, they won’t continue onto other pages of your site – and certainly won’t donate.
Visitors are Skeptical of Nonprofit Websites
Researchers from Stanford University studied how people evaluate credibility of different types of websites, and found that when it comes to Nonprofit Websites, visitors are generally skeptical.
Evaluating Website Credibility: Design vs. Motive
The credibility study found that on average, visitors use design to evaluate credibility 46.1% of the time. For nonprofits, this percentage is lower than average at 39.6%. Design is still important, but less so for nonprofit websites than other industries.
On the other hand, the researchers found that people use company motive to evaluate credibility higher than average for Nonprofit Websites. Nonprofit websites visitors look for company motive to evaluate credibility at 20.2%, versus 15.5% of the time for all websites on average.
Build Credibility Online Through Content
We’ve presented the challenge – visitors are skeptical of nonprofit websites and you only have a short time to change their minds. But there is some good news! NPOs can build credibility online through content.
Tips for Creating Credible Content Online:
Make it Visual
Visual matter because:
- Visuals show that you are “real” – a photo of your real volunteer is much more powerful than a stock photo of a “volunteer”
- Visuals can be processed more quickly – the average person reads 200-300 words per minute, but can process a visual image in as little as 1/20th of a second
- Visuals aid in STORYTELLING
Emotions drive Buy Decisions.
Recent studies have shown that despite our preconceived notions about rationality driving decision, that actually emotions drive buy decisions- to the point that the human brain can’t make decisions without emotional influence.
Neurologist Antonio Damasio observed this phenomenon through the peculiar behavior of one of his patients. Elliot had suffered brain damage to a part of the brain known as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which is implicated in the risk and benefit analysis of decision making.
Elliot ostensibly seemed normal, with one glaring exception. He lacked the ability to make decisions, deliberating endlessly in the face of simple, mundane choices such as whether or not to use a black or blue pen or when to schedule his next appointment. Because brain damage had severed the connection between his emotions and his rational thinking, Elliot was strangely devoid of feeling and even emotionally numb to his own tragic inability to make decisions.
Read more in this article: The Myth of Marketing: How Research Reaches for the Heart but Only Connects with the Head
7 Tactics for Building Credibility Online
1. Framing the Ask
Keep it Consistent
This does not refer to making it visually pleasing, but more about making it consistent with your branding. The 2012 Digital Giving Index showed that branded donation pages raise up to 6x more dollars.
Make it personal
Peer to Peer fundraising was a trend we saw lots of people talking about at NTC. The premise of P2P fundraising is that the ask comes from an individual instead of the organization. Race organizations have been doing this for some time, and now other social causes are creating fundraising kits where a volunteer can set up a donation page and ask their friends individually for donations. This new framing immediately makes the potential donor more connected to the cause, and builds trust because the ask is coming from a friend. Giving is all about trust. And who do you trust? Your friends.
2. Develop Trust
Think about Content you can add to your site that immediately develops trust. Examples of content that builds trust:
- Showcase your people – volunteers, board, staff – through photos, video, bio content
- Show the outcomes of your donations
- Ask for more than money – include other ways to give back like volunteering, in-kind donations, etc.
- Incorporate third party validation
3. Apply Social Pressure
Social is a powerful motivation of people. Use social pressure to:
- Start with the people who already love you
- Host a kickoff event or special experience and invite them to share photos and videos with their friends
- You then reach their extended networks
- Engage new supporters
- Engaging supporters is sort of like dating, you have to work harder in the beginning
- Start by tapping into material or social motivations, offer them something
- Create shareable content and make it easy to share – think about content people love like photos, video, infographics, statistics, etc.
- Easy places to start
- Incorporate social aspects into your website
- Show photos from past events to show how many people came, how much fun it was
- Display the names and photos of people registered for an event on the registration page
- Incorporate Add This (addthis.com) or Share This (sharethis.com) buttons to your pages to make content easily shareable across social media channels
4. Give Back First
As we mentioned before, in the beginning you have to give back first to build trust. There are other ways to do this beyond offering material goods:
Be a trusted source on your cause. Curate content with a resource library on your site. You don’t have to create all of the content, provide value with your time and expertise by curating content from other organizations as well and link out to the great work they’re doing.
Great Client Examples of Content Curation:
- Inclusive Schools Network Inclusive Education Resource Library
- Neuhaus Resource Library (including video interviews from educators)
- Susan G. Komen Houston Resource Library
Listen to your visitors and give them what they want
Review your analytics to determine what content your visitors care most about – and give them more of that!
5. Aim for Slow Change
Meet people where they are. Don’t assume they will start being ideologically motivated – you may have to start with material or social motivations to get them in the door and begin to build a relationship with them. Some examples:
Popular Content Like your Job Board
Tendenci Client PRSA Houston gets 60% of their traffic to the Job Board. They do a great job of using this real estate to cross promote other programs like membership.
Young Professionals Groups
Many NPOs have a Young Professionals Group that meets for networking and happy hour events. These young professionals may not be ideologically motivated by your cause yet… they may just want to drink beer with their friends. That’s ok! Tap into those motivations and offer interesting experiences for them to keep them coming back, and continue to conversation to deepen their relationship to the cause.
6. Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing means using content marketing to bring traffic in to you through search engines and social media. Inbound Marketing is based on the idea that your audience (especially Generation Y) no longer gets information “pushed” to them through traditional advertising methods – they read the news and watch television online, and use Google to search for information they want. The challenge is to have your content appear when they are looking for it.
There are two parts to this: Content Marketing and Analytics Tracking. More resources on NPO Content Marketing Strategy.
Want to learn more about NPO Content Marketing? Our own Sarah Worthy is hosting a seminar with ESCHouston on NPO Content Marketing May 9 in Houston, Texas!
7. Recognize Your Value and Charge for it
Recognize the value you provide and charge for it! Many of our clients are membership organizations who offer exclusive benefits like member only events and special member pricing in exchange for membership fees.
Even if you don’t have membership, your Events are a great place to charge for your value. Think about ways to provide value through events and don’t be afraid to charge for these events.
We’ll be posting more NTC Recaps and Resources here!
And be sure to check out our NTC resources page at Tendenci.com/ntc-2013
Questions or topics you’d like to hear more about? Let us know in the comments!