How the pandemic has affected supporter behaviour and six ways to increase giving right now

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With Covid-19's impact on supporter behaviour, data quality and efficiency has never been more important. Stuart Watt of Loqate GBG explains how charities can optimise giving through six simple steps

Research that we conducted found that 27 per cent of individuals who support charities in the UK have either reduced or stopped donations altogether since the pandemic. This may sound alarming; however, the good news is that 10 per cent are actually donating more. Not surprising is that 92 per cent of us demand a fast, frictionless online experience that is trustworthy and secure. Yet only 33 per cent of the charities we spoke to were confident that their websites and donation pages were optimised to meet this donor expectation. 

There is a huge gap between what is expected and what is being provided when it comes to donating online. Here are six examples of best practice that you can implement right now to increase online conversions and giving.

Three simple tech changes to increase conversions by 25 per cent

  1. Don’t insist on full registration when someone wants to donate online. Reduce friction for first-time donors by giving a reduced form or a guest checkout service. 

  2. Reduce the number of form fields. On average people are requested to complete 14 fields, but abandonment rates are 26 per cent when there are too many fields. Follow Age UK’s donor experience, using our technology, which only has five fields and uses type-ahead technology. This reduces the keystrokes of individuals by a whopping 76 per cent.

  3. Think mobile first. Sixty per cent of people visit a website via mobile device as opposed to 40 per cent via desktop computer. So prioritise and optimise for mobile journeys. 

Three simple operational changes to increase giving by eight per cent

The rate of consumer data degradation is increasing at 20 per cent a year. In the UK, 11 per cent of people move home each year, the average UK staff turnover is 14 per cent, and 0.9 per cent of the population dies each year (source: ONS)

Poor data quality can affect your organisation in three ways – through risk, revenue and cost. It’s very difficult to build or maintain a relationship with a supporter if you’re not putting your cause and your progress in front of them; however, it also costs money to communicate with them. It can be cheaper to simply remove a supporter from your database if you don’t have their correct details. The biggest risk organisations are facing, however, is nervousness about falling foul of GDPR regulations and making bad decisions based on bad data. 

So how can you not only address these issues, but actually increase giving? 

  1. What gets measured gets done. Understand where data quality will support your organisational objectives. Identify key metrics that are important to you, measure regularly and set objectives for improvement.

  2. Automate. Process and improve your database on a monthly basis rather than an annual one. An ‘always ready’ database will help with rapid and accurate campaign planning and efficiency, and will improve your response metrics.

  3. The Platinum Rule. The golden rule that we all know is to treat people how we want to be treated. The platinum rule is to treat everyone how they want to be treated. One size does not fit all, so segmenting your audience is important. Retaining contact with active givers generates an additional eight per cent of income.

Our three key takeaways for maximising supporter value are to measure and benchmark; automate for efficiencies; and move from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to segmenting specific processes.

Loqate GBG is offering charities a free Data Quality benchmark score. Download the free report: The charity challenge: maximising fundraising in a post-pandemic world.

Stuart Watt is Datacare Director at Loqate GBG

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