According to my friends at NextAfter, only 50% of giving pages offer a clear value proposition.
So what if you’re one of the 50% but your conversion rate goals are still not met?
Why isn’t your value proposition motivating more donors to give?
More than likely, something is sabotaging your value proposition of the impact it could be having on donors and their giving.
Here are 3 common scenarios that I’ve seen undermine value propositions time after time.
1. Your Marketing Channels Communicate Different Value Propositions
Email, blogs, newsletters, website, and three or more social media platforms – it’s not easy to keep all of them in sync when it comes to your value proposition!
When donors see the same style and messaging in your social media post as they see in your email, they are reassured across all your channels.
If one platform communicates a different value proposition, it throws the donor off because it feels like they’re talking with two or more different organizations.
Are multiple teams or people responsible for different channels? That may be a clue as to why it’s hard to get your value proposition consistent across marketing channels.
The person responsible for the blog isn’t always the person in charge of your social media, for example. If those people aren’t communicating about the value proposition, they’re likely to diverge from each other, and your message fragments.
To bolster the impact of your value proposition, standardize your messaging across all of your content teams:
- Social Media
- Phone Calls
Using similar language, the same case for support, and the same relevant facts across all your marketing channels will ensure your value proposition maintains its impact.
2. The Content Feels Like a Sales Pitch
Donors want to be inspired, not pressured to give.
Even if we want something, our reaction is often skepticism or irritation when someone tries to sell it to us.
We try to find their angle, the strings attached, or an excuse to get out of the conversation.
If the content feels pushy or slick, it can fail to connect with donors as people feel used and unappreciated.
Treating donors like human ATMs will always sabotage the impact of your value proposition.
Donors give for deeply personal and emotional reasons.
If giving to your cause feels right to them, they will give.
But when your fundraising language feels too forceful, they’re likely to walk away.
The value proposition needs to be compelling, not coercive.
So how do you strike that balance?
Next After’s study of 127 nonprofit value propositions revealed that “organizations that scored high in clarity also scored high in appeal.”
In other words, a clear, straightforward message is appealing to donors.
Clarity communicates authenticity. You’re a nonprofit they can trust.
That’s the opposite of what a sales pitch feels like.
Here are some other tips on avoiding the “sales pitch” trap:
- Make sure every claim in your proposition is true.
- Avoid exaggeration and overly-polished words.
- Avoid creating undue urgency when the situation doesn’t need it.
3. The Donor Doesn’t See Why Your Nonprofit Is Special
A good value proposition shows the donor the impact they can have for the cause they care about if they decide to give.
Like the chance to be a hero in a child’s life, or an opportunity to right a wrong.
However, a great value proposition also shows donors why they should give to you rather than anyone else.
This is important because when you clearly differentiate yourself, donors can identify with your organization and all its wonderful qualities.
Is your nonprofit passionate and uncompromising?
Passionate and uncompromising donors will be motivated to give.
Is your nonprofit steady and faithful?
Donors who value longevity will be moved to give to you.
They identify with that unique part of your nonprofit brand.
There are lots of donors who respect organizations that have weathered storms and are reliable.
They want that steadiness and dependability in their lives as well.
Are you really good at something? Have you innovated a new way to get something done with better results?
If so, your value proposition should demonstrate how your approach sets you apart from the others.
When your value proposition clearly differentiates you, donors see how special you are.
While this may not be so attractive to all donors, it will attract the donors who identify with your cause and your organizational values.
Bonus Tip: Take the Time to Listen and Respond
So let’s say your value proposition motivates a potential donor to call your office.
But no one answers their call.
Or, when they get someone, that person isn’t trained to handle the situation and doesn’t know how to help.
Bad donor interactions can definitely sabotage your value proposition.
Stewarding donors is crucial to maintaining the integrity of your value proposition.
“Lazy responses communicate to your donors that you really don’t care about them. Don’t just leave people hanging or send them somewhere else when they’ve come directly to you for help. Take the time to listen carefully and realize that every conversation is a brand impression.”—Tim Kachuriak, NextAfter
Proper stewardship training for all office staff, even those who’re not considered “fundraisers,” will help make sure donor interactions support your value proposition and inspire future giving.