By Kenny Kane, CEO of Testicular Cancer Foundation
Fundraising is essential to any nonprofit organization. As organizations fight for donor interest, there are layers to the giving experience that must be improved or streamlined. No matter how noble your cause is, you will lose donors in 2017 if it isn’t as simple as possible to make a donation.
Here are the top 6 action items Testicular Cancer Foundation checks off when deploying a new fundraising campaign on CauseVox.
1. Build Trust With A Custom URL
This might be my favorite CauseVox feature. CauseVox allows users to customize the campaign URL from “YourFundraiser.CauseVox.com” to any URL you choose.
For TCF, our year-round fundraiser is hosted at give.testicularcancer.org while a shorter campaign, like Giving Tuesday, is hosted at GivingTuesday.TesticularCancer.org.
This simple tie between your domain and CauseVox goes a long way for marketing purposes as well as fostering donor trust. They will know they’re in the right place throughout the gift making process.
The custom URL process takes about 5 minutes from start to finish and is well worth the time.
First, we decide what our CauseVox URL and Custom URL will be. You won’t see the former very often, but it can pop up from time to time and should be memorable to you and your team.
The custom URL is the one that really counts from an optics perspective. Be sure to brainstorm what serves you best. I personally like “give” as a subdomain. “Secure” is another great option. Put yourself in the donors shoes. If you were social justice organization, you might pick something like “empower.”
Once I’ve set my custom URL, I head over to my domain registrar to add some quick and easy DNS records. If you’re not a pro, you may want to call tech support and have them add them on your behalf. They will be happy to help you, I promise.
In my DNS Zone Editor, I’ll add two host records “www.give” and “give,” respectively, and point both to the Causevox IP address at 220.127.116.11. If you looked down my list of DNS records, you’d see that string of numbers repeating frequently. If you’ve done it once, it’s not hard to incorporate it into your fundraising campaign launch flow.
2. Brand the Experience
Once I’ve got the page setup from a tech perspective, I collaborate with TCF Creative Director, Anthony Zubia, on the look and feel. If it’s an individual fundraiser or group, we’ll brand it out with TCF blue and white to make it feel like a donor is still within the TCF digital experience and that it’s safe to proceed with their donation.
Occasionally, we’ll have a company or group that has their own set of branding guidelines. It’s just as easy to create a look and feel that matches what they’re going for. From a B2B perspective, we find that this really enhances the relationship.
Once we’ve got our home page set up, we’re ready to move on to the fundraising appeals and copy throughout the campaign.
3. Insert Campaign Specific Copy
Each CauseVox campaign comes standard with some placeholder copy. We’re always sure to change this to mirror the tone and key talking points of our organization and campaign. There are several places where users really get to customize with their communications, including the campaign home page, the team pages, and the emails that go out to donors and fundraisers.
The emails that go out to the individuals fundraisers can be really powerful if leveraged properly. This is a perfect opportunity to take the initial excitement they had to create a page and use purpose and emotion to drive them to meet and exceed their fundraising goals.
Every communication is an opportunity to insert your organization or campaign branding as well as remind people that they are fundraising on CauseVox, and should familiarize themselves with the platform.
4. Set Fundraising Total & Timeline
Now that we’ve created a campaign that looks and sounds great, it’s time to get into the goals and facts around what we’re setting out to attempt. Finding the balance between being an optimist and a realist is important. A campaign that raises 200% of its goal sounds a whole lot better than one that is 10% away from its goal. Under promise and over deliver, without cutting yourself short.
It’s important to keep a close eye on the total amount raised in relation to your goal. You can utilize stretch goals (raising the fundraising goal) multiple times throughout the campaign to effectively keep the donations coming in right up until the very end.
5. Toggle CauseVox Features On or Off
Some of the more advanced CauseVox campaign settings, such as custom fields, allow donors to designate where dollars go and can collect donor or fundraiser information as part of the CauseVox user experience.
As we begin to flesh out the details of each campaign we set up, we think about what information we might want to know from a donor or fundraiser and consider adding a custom field to capture it.
For example, if your campaign is funding multiple programs or project sites, perhaps you want to give the donor the option to tell you how they want their money used.
Or, if you’re sending them a t-shirt with a donation, this is a great time to ask them what size shirt they wear. These are just two examples of how you can keep people happy by making the most of their time spent on your CauseVox page.
CauseVox also gives organizations the power to turn on “tipping” as well as add an impact metric. Tipping gives donors the option to cover the CauseVox and credit card fees for the organization.
TCF opts to offer 4.5% which turns, for example, a $25 donation into $26.13. It’s not a huge step up for the donor and gives the organization a little bit extra money at the end of the campaign.
While TCF hasn’t yet been in the position to use them, Impact Metrics are great because it allows you to illustrate the impact of a donation into real life terms. For example, if a $1 donation provides a meal, a donor might be interested in contributing $25 for provide 25 meals for a family in need.
While impact metrics can be powerful, be sure you’ve distilled them out into the most easily digestible way possible. The last thing you want to do is create any sort of confusion when donors are one step away from making the gift.
6. Weave CauseVox Into Your Site
The last step of a TCF campaign launch is to bring it all home and weave it into our native website. In a world of fraud and distractions, the last thing you want to do is have someone jump ship who is ready to convert.
In a recent campaign launch, we wove in our FAQ with some of the most common questions from CauseVox. Delight your end-user by making things as simple as possible.
In all, spending time on the front end of any new fundraising campaign will ensure it has the best outcome. By optimizing the experience for your supporters, be they fundraisers or donors, your fundraising goals will be that much closer within reach.
What’s great about CauseVox is that they give you the tools to be agile enough to create a quick fundraising campaign for a third party or roll out a major fundraising initiative at the organization level.