Charities are likely losing financial support because of missteps
Charities are creating significant barriers to potential donors making online contributions, according to the first Online Fundraising Scorecard, an exhaustive study by Dunham+Company and Next After.
The study is the most comprehensive of its kind focusing on the online donor experience, giving most nonprofits a failing or mediocre grade when scored against the tested and proven online best practices.
Of the 151 organizations who were part of the study, 127 scored 75 percent or below.
“Research has shown that online giving represents only about 6 percent of total charitable gifts, but this study uncovers the fact that charities put up unnecessary roadblocks to donors giving online,” said Rick Dunham, President+CEO of Dunham+Company.
“This new data, combined with research already showing that more than two-thirds of online transactions are being abandoned, makes us believe there are millions – if not billions – of dollars being left on the table. Virtually every charity could improve the online giving experience for its donors.”
Dunham+Company partnered with Next After, a fundraising think tank, to conduct the study over the course of nine months in 2013. Their researchers reviewed the websites of 151 organizations, including 100 in the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Philanthropy 400 of the largest nonprofits, and signed up to receive emails as well as giving an initial $20 gift.
The study examined 46 key indicators in four critical parts of online fundraising: email registration, email communication, the donation experience and the gift acknowledgement process.
The scoring criteria for the study are based on formulas and heuristics that attempt to measure the important elements in online communications developed by MECLABS, the largest marketing optimization research institution in the world.
Steve MacLaughlin, the Director of Blackbaud’s Idea Lab, a think tank for the nonprofit sector, praised the study. “Dunham+Company and Next After have put together a breakthrough report that anyone serious about online fundraising must read.”