The DMA Nonprofit Federation’s Nonprofit Digital Day opened with a panel of four digital marketing professionals: Mikaela King from Defenders of Wildlife, Sean Powell of The Engage Group, Heather Marsh of ABD Direct, and Peter Kaizer of Aquilent (former Digital Director of Catholic Relief Services). The panel, titled “Digital Fundraising 101,” discussed the basics of online acquisitions, email campaigns, web marketing, and social media.

Although much of the panel’s morning session focused on how to use content messaging and search engine marketing to acquire new constituents, one of the biggest takeaways was the importance of making nonprofit websites as user-friendly as possible.

Heather Marsh suggested, “Go to your website and count the number of clicks it takes to actually complete a donation. How much are you really asking new donors to do?”

In particular, the panel recommended displaying large banners with calls to action, such as “Join Us” or “Donate Now,” on the nonprofit’s website.

“The last thing you want is to force a potential donor or activist to have to search for how to make a donation or join your organization,” said Mikaela King.

While many nonprofits require potential donors to create a username, password, and user profile to make a donation online, the panel emphasized streamlining the process and then developing the relationship with the constituent over time.

“Figure out what the absolute basic requirements are to ask for a donation, and do not ask for more than that,” said King. She recommended following up after the initial donation if the nonprofit needs to collect more information, like a phone number or mailing address.

Peter Kaizer agreed that nonprofits need to “limit the barrier to entry” to maximize the chances of success. With clear online directions and an efficient donation process, website visitors are more likely to become constituents and activists.

Or, as King noted: “Make it easy.”

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