A simple equation to always remember

19 Nov


Last week I attended a local seminar entitled “Growth Hacking”. It was all about how marketing is changing from one dominated by print and digital media to one that now includes the immediacy and share-ability of social media in an always-on world.

In the seminar a great deal of attention was paid to the funnel of getting people to use your product. The funnel here is the path from discovery to use. In the nonprofit world this path would be called the “donor journey”. (Although it’s called a journey there’s plenty of research from folks like Blackbaud that suggests the journey is more of a short walk than a journey since not much research goes into the donor’s gift-making process.)

Either way, in the online world buying and giving is an impulse for the majority of individual purchases and gifts.

So I was really struck when the presenter at the seminar showed the equation above.

Its companion in the for profit world it reads as:


This simple equation embodies everything facing a nonprofit when it comes to making themselves ready to take online gifts from any screen-phone, tablet and PC. Friction must be reduced to zero.

And yet, per this shocking and informative piece from Chronicle of Philanthropy in February of this year this equation is being ignored:

The groups take too long to ask for money, and they make it too hard to give online.

As a result, according to the researchers, those nonprofits may be missing out on billions of dollars in online gifts.

In addition, two powerful findings in the article are:

  • Sixty-five percent of their websites required visitors to click through three pages or more to give online
  • Eighty-four percent of nonprofits, including many of the nation’s largest charities, haven’t made their donation websites easy to read on mobile devices

This is way, way too much friction in the giving process. And both points above are costing you donations everyday. In fact high friction can terminate the impulse to give if it’s too much.

Every financial transaction benefits both parties when friction is removed. This is, in my opinion, one of the reasons that online giving is the only channel that’s growing in the nonprofit world; as poor as the online giving experience is reported to be by the article mentioned herein it is still preferred to the friction of responding with cash in-person or via a check by mail.

Another case-in-point: Amazon spends a great deal of time peeling milliseconds out of its shopping experience because they LIVE BY THE EQUATION! Frictionless shopping translates to money straight to their bottom line. The same obsession should apply to all nonprofits.

This is also why Amazon (and Apple for the same reason) let you store your credit card and shopping information securely for future frictionless purchases.

This is what inspired us to create giving to any cause on our platform in the most frictionless way we could develop. Donors can make repeat gifts on any internet screen (tablet, phone and PC) in 15 seconds or less. In reality, our nonprofit customers enjoy a giving experience is more defined by the donor’s internet connection strength and speed than it is the process itself. Our giving process is that frictionless.

Variations of this equation abounded in the growth hacking seminar. I realize the need nonprofits have to engage donors but even that practice benefits from absorbing the equation. Make the engagement frictionless and one they’ll want to share and talk about with family and friends.

So yes, engagement is important. But when it comes to giving, removing as much friction as possible, like we do for RAZ Mobile customers with the any screen, fast, secure and easy giving experiences like the ones their donors enjoy on our platform means tapping into the lost billions of dollars the Chronicle article cites.

Dale Knoop is part of a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a great platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. Any cause can create an content-rich mobile presence, share it through text messages, social media, QR codes, advertising and more and best of all-quickly and securely process donations from motivated supporters. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting, negative QOS and a mnemonic device QR code alternative.

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