Pop quiz: What's your donor identity?

Advancement staff struggle to identify which gift designations best align with alumni affinities. Whatever information they may have on donor interests quickly grows out of date as donors develop new philanthropic interests. As a result, staff cannot proactively reach out to donors with suggestions about giving options that they would find meaningful.

In addition, donors who visit the giving page encounter difficulties when trying to find those meaningful causes for themselves. The university buries specific gift designations in long drop-down menus that few donors go through the trouble of navigating. Consequently, donors fail to see something they feel passionate about supporting. They ultimately leave without making a gift.

To help solve the problem, Advancement and IT staff at some colleges have overhauled the institution’s giving page to better guide donors to the cause that motivates them to give. The new layout groups gift designations by their overarching cause or theme. Designations sit side by side regardless of their home department or college.

User-friendly layouts present website visitors with cause photos, customized cases for support, progress bars, and other multimedia elements that elevate the giving experience and help sustain momentum through the completion of the gift.

For example, Colorado State University has built an alumni persona web quiz into their giving page. The quiz assigns one of six giving personas to alumni. The personas map to funds on campus that stretch across divisional siloes. For example, a “healer” could browse a fund to combat the ivory trade in Africa and save elephants, a fund to support future veterinarians and doctors, and a fund for an anti-suicide scholarship endowment.

Learn more about winning donor mindshare in today's attention economy


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