A new Donor Experience guide is out from Crown Philanthropic Solutions. While it is written for community foundations and others providing giving platforms, the useful tips apply to all fundraisers. Here are some of the recommendations.
Online giving should be:
1. Social: Personal connections are essential, so donors must be able to easily share their cause with friends and family. Giving is often a way to bring people together. Says the guide, “Many families rally around charitable giving as the touch point to stay connected as generations grow up. This, in turn, provides a philanthropic home base as family members become separated geographically.”
2. Emotional: The giving experience should make donors feel closely connected to the cause. Says the guide: “The act of giving is an expression of gratitude and a search for meaning, which in turn leads to happiness. In a series of studies at the University of California, people categorized as “grateful” reported feeling 25 percent more happiness and energy—and 20 percent less envy and resentment—than ungrateful people. Americans want to be happy. And they expect their experiences with philanthropy to help get them there.”
3. Easy: Online giving must be intuitive, easy, fun and personally satisfying. “Online technology is evolving from a purely transactional medium to a powerful tool for delivering an enhanced donor experience,” notes the guide. “The winning tools in online philanthropy will be those that create a positive experience for donors—a trusted home for their giving—in a format that is intuitive, visual and as simple to navigate and use as Amazon.com, from a desktop or a mobile device.”
4. Reliable: “Transparency and transactional accuracy are essential, because in the end, charity is about trust.” Donors must trust the system and know their charitable investment dollars are being handled responsibly.