The biggest challenge we heard in 2021 from charities nationwide (big and small) is the need for more donations.

However, to scale your charity, the first thing you need to understand is how your marketing efforts are helping (or hurting) your fundraising. Each charity is going to be different and some smaller start-up charities may feel like everyone is wearing multiple hats... and that's okay!

What remains consistent across the board is that EVERYTHING we do online is data. So repeat the following formula with me:

Traffic to your website + Conversions = Money (+ Retention = GROWTH)

There's so much we can measure and with these incredible tools you can better understand how your donors (web visitors) interact with your charity online to make more informed decisions. Looking at conversion data is useful for taking a closer look at what pages might be underperforming.

I've used many paid and free these tools in my career and the FREE tools we bring you today stand up against their paid counterparts and will remove the guess-work charities sometimes feel to help better understand what's going on "behind-the-scenes" on their website and hopefully scale marketing efforts. Let's goooo

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1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a tool I've used for the bulk of my career as a marketer, and personally think it should be on every website.

This tool has been around since 2005 (wow, 17 years already!) and used to be considered difficult to use. Google heard our cries and have evolved to be more user friendly, and also allow users to breakdown information as nitty-gritty as we need to get a full picture of what we're doing right (& wrong).

All you need to do is create a Google Analytics account for your charity and follow the instructions to Copy/Paste the Google Tracking Code in the right place on your website.

This varies depending on what your website is hosted on, but don't worry - we like to make it really easy for you.

Google Analytics is mainly divided into 5 sections:

  1. Realtime Reports (my favorite) - the "how many people are on, right now?"
  2. Audience - the "who are the people on my website?"
  3. Acquisition - the "how did they get to my website?"
  4. Behavior - the "what are they doing on my website"
  5. Conversions - the "are they donating as I hope they are?"

Again, ALL FREE

If you feel you need some extra lessons on Google Analytics, click here.

For Harness Giving customers, we have an easy setup option in our platform that allows you to add your code within a users Admin Account. For instructions, click here. Some examples we provide include: GoDaddy, Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace, & custom websites

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2. Facebook Insights

(Analytics are no longer available)

Facebook (now under the Meta umbrella) notorious for making lives easier, and naturally has more digestible data reporting.

Facebook Insights give you consolidated data on who's interacting with your social media posts, visiting your Facebook page and gives you the ability to advertise to specific audiences.

Here's what Facebook Data Sources give you:

  1. Actions on Page
  2. Page Views
  3. Page Previews
  4. Page Likes
  5. Post Reach
  6. Story Reach
  7. Recommendations
  8. Post Engagement
  9. Responsiveness
  10. VideosPage
  11. Followers

Personally, I think every nonprofit website should have BOTH Google Analytics tracking code AND Facebook Pixel (a Facebook Data Source) on their website. Business Page. Collecting this data will come in for future campaigns.

Having both Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel setup on your website will come in handy if you decide to do retargeting down the line.

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3. HotJar Insights

🔥 Heat maps, tracking & user behavior - it's going to be fun!

First, let's get the lay of the land.

Say your website has gotten about 1000 unique visitors, but you've only received donations from 100. Can you currently tell us why your donors aren't donating? The answer is usually, "no".

This is where tools like heat-maps give you a "look-over-the-shoulder" view of how people interact on your website to better understand why those 900 other people didn't convert (aka donate on your website).

HotJar is a tool you add to your site like any other analytics tool (ie Google Analytics), and gives you a way to visually analyze how users use your website and identify what changes need to be made.

With 🔥HotJar, you can view reports on:

  1. Mobile vs Desktop View
  2. Click data vs scroll data
  3. Watch REAL recordings of users navigating your site
💡Add the HotJar Tracking Code ( installation guide here) to your website (Or add to your Google Tag Manager if you have it setup that way).

Two things to note: With recordings, all of the data is anonymized, so no contact info or contact data is recorded. Any personally identified numbers are blurred out with asterisks to protect user data. ALSO, HotJar is not able to track iframes on your site. Meaning if you have a window that's embedded on your site, you wont be able to see what happens in that window

💡 HotJar offers nonprofits FREE Business Accounts. To discover HotJar discounts and other discounts available to Nonprofits, click here.
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4. Leadfeeder

I'm adding this tool to the list because I think a tool like Leadfeeder could be helpful to charities who depend on Company Matching each year to reach their fundraising goals.

Your nonprofit might have a good website, you probably have implemented the tools listed above... but if part of your marketing and outreach plan includes Corporate Gift goals, figuring out what companies are visiting your website could be a "shot-in-the-dark".

Leadfeeder has a Lite version of their product that is FREE and gives you data up to the last 7 days and up to 100 leads. This means that if you get over 100 leads to your website, it will only track 100 in the last 7 days.

There is also a CRM integration if your nonprofit has one to connect to.

Key reason for using this too? See what companies are browsing our website and use that information to reach out to them.

Think about all of those missed Corporate Gift opportunities.

Company information that you can identify with Leadfeeder that would be helpful to nonprofits:

  1. Company location
  2. Website
  3. Industry
  4. Company size
  5. Phone
  6. Description and more

Add Leadfeeder to your website or watch below to add to your Google Tag Manager:

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5. Bitly

Bitly is a free easy-to-use online service that allows you to take any web link and shorten the character count (regardless of how long your URL is) and track link activity (how many times its clicked, where it was clicked, and more).

Reasons why nonprofits should use Bitly:

  1. Efficiency - Reduce the character length in your social media posts by shortening really long title links or additional tracking like UTM codes.
  2. Build Trust - Avoid looking like spam with long urls
  3. Optimize - Link Tracking to optimize fundraising efforts

Bitly is best used when you're sharing links on social media channels that have a specific character limit, like Twitter that allows only 140 characters, and will give you a little more freedom to use more content that will help you get your post message across.

Bitly really shines when you add additional tracking to your links and need to hide the long link you're left with after adding UTM codes to your link to track which channels get the most clicks.

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What is a UTM code? UTM stands for Universal Transverse Mercator, which helps you label links you want to use with parameters that better organizes your shared links and how they are used in your Google Analytics "Acquisition" report.

Code looks like this:
?utm_source=_____&utm_medium=____&utm_campaign=______

The Bitly platform also allows you to build those tracking parameters within the dashboard when creating your link (as shown in the image above).

Every effort you put into growing your donor base and donations should be tracked, and CAN BE. Whether your nonprofit is big or small, has a large marketing budget or not, there are many ways to get the job done with little to no budget.

We hope you find these 5 FREE Analytic Platforms helpful, and continue to scale your nonprofit with efficient marketing decision making based on data.

To continue your 2022 Marketing journey, we've created a Social Media Planner template for you to organize your social media strategy for this year. To download your free template, click below!

About Harness Giving

Harness Giving is the Nonprofit industry leader in Recurring Giving and Donor Experience Automation - We look forward to working with you and your organization to improve your fundraising experience for you and your donors while helping you raise more with less stress!

Harness comes loaded with features to help build, launch and grow your Subscription Philanthropy program from end-to-end. Learn how our program can help your organization cultivate new donors, increase donor retention and maximize donations for years to come!