Your school’s campaign landing page should primarily be designed to promote a singularly focused objective - converting visitors into donors. This is where the action happens! It’s where you share the “what” (campaign goal), “why” (your unique story), “how” (a simple call-to-action), and “when” (campaign timeline) to capture your donors and convert them from simply clicking and leaving, to clicking and making a donation.
Your donation page is the key element of your fundraising strategy. Donors may feel disconnected and are likely to leave your donation page before giving if it doesn’t resemble any of your other appeal elements. All of your other advancement efforts (social media, direct mail, email marketing, website call-to-actions, and word-of-mouth) work to bring your community together at your campaign donation page.
Measuring that activity is the conversion rate. Your conversion rate is the percentage of unique donation page visitors that actually give while there.
Whether it’s dollars or donors, setting a campaign goal will provide the visible target for your community to strive towards. But it’s the donation page conversion rate that will ultimately define whether your giving campaign is successful.
Blackbaud reports the industry average to be 17%, i.e. for every 100 visitors to your donation page, 17 of those visitors will donate.¹ We’re excited to share that the average donation page conversion rate for BoostMySchool customers is 25%, well over the industry average reported by Blackbaud.
With some BoostMySchool donation pages hovering at over 30% (some even as high as 50%!), we thought it was worth sharing the secret to their success!
What would it mean to your school’s mission if you improved your conversion rate by just one percent? What about five percent? To give your school the best chance at converting donors at a higher rate, we picked three schools that demonstrated one or more of the top three elements of a successful donation page for increasing conversion rates.
Maybe it’s a statistic, quote, or a breathtaking statement of awareness. Maybe it’s not copy at all, but rather an emotional video or image. Central Catholic of Lawrence, Massachusetts increased their campaign’s donor page value proposition with engaging content and video supporting their school’s story and the impact of making a gift.
Your school’s story is what motivates donors to give, encourages faculty and staff to keep working hard, and piques the interest of the greater community around you to learn more about the campaign. It is for this reason that Central Catholic’s powerful video story helped to increase their conversion rate and smashed their 550-supporter goal by 284%!
Ensuring that your campaign donation page shares donor comments, listing of the gifts, and announcing affinity team challenges all show page visitors that donors are involved and that they should be, too! Tabor Academy alumni unleashed their competitive side and joined classmates and friends in the Battle of the Decades challenge.
Classes rallied together to see which decade had the greatest impact on Tabor’s people, places, and programs. The Battle of the Decades donor page, loaded with social engagement helped to convert page visitors to beat their supporter goal by 158%!
A fundraising thermometer is a motivating way for you, your donors, and the community to see directly that their efforts are contributing to achieving a specific goal. It unites everyone in working toward reaching the goal. Displaying a fundraising thermometer provides a rousing visual picture to visitors of your donation page. Additionally, providing a real-time countdown to the end of a campaign generates excitement and a sense of urgency providing potential donors a reason to give immediately before leaving the page. The Horace Mann School used not just one thermometer to show real-time progress inching toward their goal, but showed a 2nd thermometer highlighting an anonymous challenge taking place at the same time! As the number of supporters rose within the thermometers, donors could see their participation moving the needle to unlock an additional $60,000!
For schools, the challenge of more effectively converting campaign giving page visitors into donors is one worth taking on. Continuously experimenting with your giving page to discover what works for your school, will ultimately increase your conversion rate and provide your donors with a better giving experience.
Keep in mind, you can also work with a platform like BoostMySchool where these best practices are automatically built-in. Instead of using a generic donation page, you can use an intuitive platform tool to unite your fundraising strategy on a single customizable landing page. This will allow you to land on a version that’s more likely to get 1 out of every 3 potential donors to convert. And at a 33% conversion rate, you’ll be sure to see an effect on your fundraising goals!
¹ Blackbaud: “Recent benchmark studies show that the average main donation form conversion rate is 17%”
Holman is the founder and CEO of Boost My School. He actively helps his former high school with their fundraising and alumni outreach, which is how the idea for Boost My School came about. He is a strong believer in the power of education to change the world and volunteers with programs that support underrepresented students in math and science.