About 90 per cent of your major donors are visiting your website before making their first gift. But almost half of you don’t have a web strategy in place.
Are you okay with this?
Probably not. And you’ve probably heard stats like this before. You maybe even quote them. You also probably have no idea where they came from or if they’re accurate.
Digging through to the truth
Nearly a year ago, my colleagues Fraser Green, Todd Jamieson and I decided to poll Canadian charities to get a better sense of what the state of the web nation actually is. The goal was simple – to determine website baselines and benchmarks for the Canadian charitable sector.
More than 500 charities of all different sizes and from a variety of sectors across the country completed the survey. We asked 26 questions about everything from website strategy and revenue tracking to metrics and digital fundraising activities.
We’ve crunched numbers, looked at the data while standing on our heads, and now we’re pleased to share the findings.
If you’re not into reading the entire report right at this very moment, let me give you the low-down. Here’s a snapshot of the bad, the good, and hopes for the future.
1) Let’s start with the not-so-great.
It likely won’t surprise you, but charity websites are not delivering when it comes to donor expectations. Organisational leadership has remained skeptical of the power of digital, while many on the front lines are struggling to meet the needs of donors with little investment. Strategies are not in place, and organisations are struggling to create and maintain meaningful online spaces.
2) Give me the good news
Despite the challenges mentioned above, it seems like many of you are already on the right track.
3) Yes, there’s hope for a brighter web nation.
We’ll let the data do the talking, but it’s clear we’ve got a long way to go to ensure our websites are in the best shape to welcome and convert visitors into donors. While many charities are missing the mark, responses indicate that there is a great desire to make change.
The tipping point is here
It’s 2014, yet our approach to our websites hasn’t changed much since 2004.
We’ve had five Harry Potter movies since then, people! Harry has slain the Dark Lord, but we’ve yet to tame the web dragon.
Your website should be your primary and most important communications asset. Increasingly, it plays both a direct and indirect role in your fundraising activities.
All of this culminates with the donor – and right now she is on your website. Are you confident she’ll make it through the donation process, or will she leave and never return? Let’s welcome her and keep her happy. Your website really does matter.
Download your copy of the 2014 State of the Canadian Web Nation benchmarks report. If you happen to be an auditory learner and want the chance to ask questions, join us on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 from 2-3pm EST for a free webinar hosted by CanadaHelps.
Holly Wagg is a seasoned fundraising and communications professional, now working consultant-side with the team at Good Works. Although she had an eight-track player in her childhood bedroom, she doesn’t consciously remember a time where you couldn’t fundraise without the internet. Given her involvement in start-up and grassroots organizing, the digital realm has always been a part of her efforts and expertise. Holly would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.