1. Rising email spam ratesMany nonprofits depend on email as the backbone of their digital fundraising programs. Unfortunately, despite growing list sizes and an increasing average number of sends, spam rates also grew. In 2017, the average spam rate for nonprofit fundraising emails was 24.16%, meaning that only three quarters of sent emails even reached supporters' inboxes. For every percentage of email that goes to spam, nonprofits leave money on the table. There’s no magic solution to increasing your organization’s deliverability rate, but there are several steps you can take to put your program in a good position - get the scoop in our 2018 Email Deliverability Guide.
2. Slow loading donation pages
Digital fundraising is an indispensable part of every nonprofit’s Development program, as younger generations of donors rely almost exclusively on the internet to facilitate their charitable giving. Users expect a lighting fast experience on your website, from your homepage to your donation page, and each additional second of loading time costs your organization money in missed donations. M+R's 2018 Benchmarks Study reported that, "nonprofit homepages took 3.181 seconds on average to load content visible to the user, while the main donation page on each site loaded in 2.816 seconds," and that even a one-second delay in loading time could lead to an 11% decrease in traffic to the page. When every millisecond matters, it's critical to a nonprofit's bottom line that your webpages, both on computers and mobile devices, load quickly and offer an easy and engaging experience.
3. Low social media engagement
We all know that social media is a great way to engage current supporters and reach new potential donors. However, constantly shifting algorithms and difficulty accurately tracking engagement can lead organizations to wonder if your content is really breaking through. Solid social media tools are a must for nonprofits going into 2019 - database tools such as social media matching and social share tracking will help you identify your supporters on social media and determine the content that resonates with them so that you can make educated assessments and plans for social media content.
4. Difficulty marketing to new donors
The nonprofit landscape is increasingly complicated for new donors, as many organizations compete to attract their support, financial and otherwise. Breaking through the crowd can be difficult, especially for smaller local nonprofits that lack the name recognition of larger national organizations. With an abundance of options in front of them, younger donors especially are often skeptical when it comes to deciding who to trust with their charitable contributions. Peer-to-peer fundraising, a growing phenomenon, is one way of combatting this challenge. New donors today are more likely to trust the recommendation of a friend or loved one regarding nonprofits to support than they are to respond to cold outreach. Utilizing peer-to-peer fundraising to harness the social capital of your current supporters is a great way to attract new supporters to your organization.
5. Low donor retention
It's not just attracting new donors that provides a challenge to nonprofit fundraisers, making sure that they stick around is another hurdle. M+R found that of donors who gave to a nonprofit for the first time in 2016, only 25% gave again in 2017. While some donor drop-off is inevitable, it's important that fundraising staff works to retain and cultivate the donors that you have invested in attracting. One of the easiest ways to retain donors is to automate communications to them, so that your database can do the work of identifying which donors should be reached out to and what messaging they need to hear. From a welcome email series that introduces new folks to your organization, to a reengagement series for people on the verge of lapsing, setting up automated systems ensures that no one falls through the cracks.
6. Siloed Data
Effective fundraising is built on the foundation of strong donor relationships. Donors want to feel that your organization and staff know and care about them, and the best way to do this on a large scale is to maintain accurate and accessible data, so that fundraisers can quickly and easily view relationship history and important details about a donor. Unfortunately, this is difficult when multiple departments are using separate databases, preventing fundraisers from seeing a holistic view of a donor's involvement with the organization. In the age of hyper-personalized content, setting fundraisers up for success means ensuring access to as much information as possible. Using a unified database allows users to see a 360-degree view of supporters, including not just donation history, but their Digital and volunteer activity, helping you build stronger and more personal connections to your donors.