Let me set the stage for you.
I’m in a meeting with a mid-level donor. She had very positively responded to my meeting request, and actually invited me to visit her at her home!!!
So we’re in her house – her kitchen, to be exact – drinking tea together, and talking very comfortably. I’m getting to know her, learning about why she’s giving to my organization, finding out what she’s passionate about…
It’s the most perfect mid-level donor meeting ever!
Then it gets better.
I ask her for her continued support of the organization, and make a specific ask for a gift today.
She says yes! And decides to give more than I ask her for.
WOO HOO! I’m feeling really good now.
After thanking her profusely, we get into the specifics and I tell her I’m happy to bring a cheque back to the office, or I can take down her credit card number and process the donation when I get back.
But this is a modern woman, so she says, “No no, how about I just make the donation online while you’re here?”
I enthusiastically say, sure! She pulls out her iPad and I tell her the URL.
And that is when things go sour…
The online donation page is barely mobile/tablet-friendly.
There are SO MANY fields to fill in!
The designation drop-down box is so long and has so many designations, but it still doesn’t have the one this generous donor wants to support.
As she struggles through the overly complicated online giving form, I’m sitting next to her CRINGING! It’s taking so long, the process is clunky at best, and even though this donor is patient and gracious and says nothing about it, I am holding my breath next to her feeling as awkward as I ever have in a donor meeting.
We barely made it to the end of the process. Her gift was made, but it’s a miracle she got through all the obstacles our online giving process threw her way.
Looking back, I can’t help but think what would’ve happen if she’d tried to make her gift online without me there.
If I go to read an article online, one of the first things I do is scroll down to see how long the article is. I need to know if I have time to read it now because if not, “I’ll do it later.”
That’s what I would’ve done if I was this generous donor. I’d go to the online giving page, be totally overwhelmed by how long and clunky it is, and decide “I’ll do it later.”
Only to never do it later. Or at all.
Who are we turning off giving? Who is deciding to “do it later” but never does?
An awesome and slick online giving page and process isn’t a nice-to-have anymore. It’s a must-have. And it’s not about just looking good; it’s about being donor-centric, and ensuring we put no obstacles in the way of their giving.
Don’t put yourself in my position and sit cringing behind your generous donor. I can tell you from experience that it’s very awkward.
Written by Maeve Strathy
Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in fundraising for over eight years. Click here to learn more about Maeve.