Nonprofits have much to gain by using marketing automation tools like HubSpot. Designed to streamline marketing efforts, capture detailed analytics about your users, and organize data in a CRM, these tools can be extremely helpful when implemented properly. But none are designed specifically for nonprofits, and because marketing is not the same as fundraising, many organizations run into difficulties using them.
The user experience on donor landing pages, the process by which donors and their payments are managed, the ability to test specific variables across large user sets, and most of all, the actual means by which donations are made - these are just some of the examples of challenges nonprofits have in these systems.
HubSpot addresses many of these challenges by fully integrating almost every tool you need to capture, nurture, and convert prospects into donors, but there are still gaps, especially around the payment process. The lack of flexibility in certain tools can create endless headaches and eat up resources that could be spent to increase donations and plan for your next campaign. Let’s take a closer look at what a truly flexible donation management system looks like, what questions you should ask of your system, and what changes you can make to get there.
Evaluating the User Experience
User experience is the single most important element of your fundraising process. If your website is difficult to use, looks dated or unprofessional, or lacks a clear step-by-step process to process a donation, users will bounce quickly.
Consider who donates and how they do so. Qgiv reports that the most generous donors online are aged 55-64 and that 47% of donors over the age of 60 give online. That number has risen dramatically in the last decade as donors get older and become more technologically savvy. At the same time, 75% of younger donors report they are unlikely to donate to an outdated website.
Even more important than that: donations are on average 38% larger on branded donation forms than they are through a generic PayPal or other payment processing form, and supporters are 70% more likely to donate a second time. The user experience matters and your donations could be impacted if you’re not careful. Here are four questions to ask about your current donation process to ensure it is meeting your donor’s needs:
- Can donors pay directly on the landing page or are they required to go to a third-party payment portal, reducing their current donation and the likelihood that they donate again the future?
- Are there barriers to sending branded donation confirmations from within HubSpot after someone completes the payment form?
- How many redirects or additional clicks are required between the decision to make a donation and the final act of making a payment?
- How easy is it to donate again in the future? Do they have to go through the entire process a second time or can they save their payment information and quickly click to renew from an email or landing page?
Managing Donors in HubSpot
HubSpot doesn’t have a built-in means by which to process payments and manage data from those payments in its CRM. While they do advertise a Stripe integration, it is designed for a quote-based sales process, not for form-based payment processing on donation pages.
The result is that nonprofits using HubSpot frequently have to find or build a workaround. This can mean sending people to a third party like Stripe or PayPal, resulting in a lower donation completion rate, or integrating several different tools to communicate with one another. The former is ineffective, and the latter highly inefficient. And both fail to capture large volumes of user data from when potential donors visit your website.
To avoid these issues, you should ask the following questions:
- How many systems does your staff use to manage donors? Are they frequently bouncing between HubSpot CRM, the payment portal and other analytics tools?
- Is all the information about a donor in the same location or does data need to be manually imported to HubSpot for full visibility of donor activity?
- Can payments be updated/canceled from within the HubSpot CRM or does a senior member of the team have to do this manually from within the payment processing tools?
- Do you pay extra fees to manage donors through multiple tools that reduce the total amount of the donations you receive?
Managing Your Donation System
Finally, how flexible is the system in which you manage your donors? Ideally, you want your team to be able to update payment information, cancel donations, and view donor data all from within the CRM. Unfortunately, HubSpot and most other marketing automation systems don’t support this.
They lack the ability to capture and display donor activity data on the contact records. Even after importing payment data, a separate login is needed to manage these things. Here are three questions to answer when considering what your best options are for donation management system:
- Do you need a developer to make changes to your forms or payment flow whenever you want to test something new?
- How long does it take to set up and split test a variant on your existing forms?
- Are there errors or issues that fall through the cracks in your system due to a lack of understanding or limited development resources?
The Importance of a Good Donation Management System
The right donor management system will improve the user experience, resulting in more donations, fully integrate fundraising activities and payment processing to extract more data from users, and make it easier for your team to manage all of these items.
While HubSpot doesn’t have these capabilities out of the box, DepositFix was designed to provide them. Learn more about how DepositFix reduces barriers in your donation process and provides greater transparency and ease of use across the board for your team.