Salsa Weekly Highlight: Ready your donation pages for the holidaysSubmitted Thu Dec 09 2010 15:16:00 GMT-0500 (EST) by Adam Rosenberg
It's the "Salsa Weekly Highlight," your quick hit on what's what in Salsa to help get the most out of your online program. As always, you can find plenty more news, updates, and conversation throughout the week on SalsaCommons.org.
If you're like most organizations, December is the most important fundraising month of the year.
About one-third of all donations Salsa Labs processes take place in December.
Those December donations each yield about 50% more per gift than gifts from January to November.
So we thought we'd share a few tips you can use to make sure your donation pages are ready for the holiday rush.
Donation Page Checklist
Perhaps the best way to start checking up on a donation page is just to make a donation yourself. Is the link easy to find from your home page? Does the ask make sense? What happens after you give?
Like any other page on your site, donation pages can "age" into obsolescence as your site and strategy evolve. Better an ounce of prevention than a pound of lost donors.
Here are a few areas to give special attention to.
Does the page look right, or will a potential donor get a visual shock when navigating from your home page?
Is your donation page using an up-to-date template?
Is that template secure? (See these tips for securing a template with non-secure images, scripts, or CSS files.)
Donation pages can have many giving options or few. Those options can be large, small, or completely open-ended. Are you showing the right options to the right audiences?
Are your suggested giving amounts potentially too high or too low? (Consider testing this by varying the amounts and watching your results. During year-end holidays, when gift amounts tend to be higher, consider temporarily raising the suggested amounts.)
If you use Custom Donation HTML (under the "Optional Text" tab) to label your gift levels, do those labels need updating?
You've chosen to allow or disallow special types of gifts, like recurring contributions and gifts in honor or someone else. Does that choice need to be revisited?
Handling Your Money
Donors won't see this, but to your bookkeeper, these might be the most important parts of the donation page.
Under the "Amounts" tab, are funds being deposited into the correct Merchant Account?
Tags (in the upper right) and Tracking Codes (under the "Follow Up" tab) are available to help track and report your donations. Is your page assigning the proper Tags and/or Tracking Codes?
Your donor just hit "submit". Are your acknowledgments going to make her or him want to do that again sometime in the future?
After submitting a donation, what page is the donor redirected to? Does that page acknowledge the gift, and cue the donor to what s/he can do next? (Here are some tips on personalizing a thank-you page.)
After submitting the donation, what automated Email Triggers are sent to the donor? Do those triggers acknowledge the gift, and cue the donor to what s/he can do next? (Here are some tips on personalizing an email receipt.)
Does the donation page launch Email Triggers to your development team or others on staff who should know about new online gifts right away? If it doesn't launch such triggers, should it?
A few minutes spent now making your donation pages ready for company will help ensure that you don't get stuck with a lump of coal for the holidays.
As always, we'd love to hear about your experiences with this (or any) Salsa tool -- drop us a line at email@example.com with any comments.