What do your donors want?

The other day Tom, who leads on our digital marketing and some, went to a workshop hosted by a digital agency on landing pages for charities. They started by announcing that had gone through everyone’s online donation process and ranked them in terms of the donor experience. They then said they were going to start with either the worst or the best but they wouldn’t say which. They started with SolarAid.

At this point Tom was a bit worried. But to his delight, we were the best. And yet in the room were some pretty big charities. What had we got right?

As the session went on and other landing pages were analysed Tom realised it came back to the mindset from the outset.

Many approached by thinking what do we need from the donor? This meant collecting all sorts of information, having extra drop down menus to capture extra data. The message this conveys to potential donors ? That you value your own admin more than my time.

Our approach had been to think what does the donor want out of this? How can we give the donor the best experience possible? Letting them know that they are the most important thing to us. Immediately you think from their perspective not yours. So for example they want this to be quick so we’ve consciously stripped it back to make it so.

This is a tweet we had recently about the speed of being able to set up regular gift.

Tweet - regular

Which is a timely reminder that we are all now channels. People do share their experience, good and bad. And increasingly the views of people we trust count. So I don’t see this as a nice to do – its entirely strategic.

One neat addition we introduced at SolarAid that I love is a simple, optional, question we ask : can you tell us why you are donating to us? I think it helps remind the person giving too and so adds to their experience. The answers are varied as are the donors. Each week I circulate the comments around the organisation. Occasionally we can see a theme. For example we get a notable number of people donating to offset their carbon footprint say from flying. Duly noted and something we might factor in our future messaging and marketing.

I believe in fighting global poverty and climate change, and I like that you’re working on both at once.

Of course the only way to appreciate it is to try yourself!


We were genuinely surprised at coming top. Ok it’s a small sample – yet it shows we are doing something intuitively right (note to self we must get out more!). So ask ‘what do your donors want?’, and why not check out the experience you currently provide from giving online for yourself.

2 thoughts on “What do your donors want?

  1. Pingback: Fundraising Friday | March 11, 2016 | Pamela Grow

  2. Pingback: Do people want to listen to you? And are you listening to them? | ifundraiser

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