3 Strategies to Improve Website Conversion in Nonprofit Marketing

These days most nonprofit marketing teams are tasked with driving more traffic to their websites.

The hope is that traffic will convert into donor leads for the development department to nurture and grow into long term donor investors.

Once this process begins to bear fruit, marketers then try to generate even more traffic, and hopefully even more success.

Few marketing teams focus on getting more from existing traffic.

That’s where conversion rate optimization (CRO) comes in.

In this blog post I’ll outline the basics of CRO—what it achieves, why you should do it, along with several strategies to start testing.

What is a conversion rate?

According to Chris Goward, the founder of Wider Funnel a digital marketing agency on the leading edge of user testing and research for website conversion, conversion rate represents the percentage of visitors who complete your desired action, which may be to fill out a contact form, make a donation, or call your organization. 

It’s calculated as follows; leads generated divided by website traffic times 100= conversion rate.

Let’s say that your website has 10,000 visitors per month that generates 100 leads and subsequently 10 new donors per month. The website visitor to lead conversion rate would be 1%.

But what if you wanted to generate 20 new donors each month? Would you try to get 20,000 visitors to your site, OR would you try to get more donor leads from your existing traffic by optimizing your conversion rate?

Conversion rate optimization is about getting more from what you have and making it work even better for you.

 Here are three simple strategies you can start with for your conversion rate optimization program;

  • 1
    Create text-based CTA’s within blog posts; a text-based CTA is a standalone line of text, linked to a landing page, styled as an H3 or H4 header tag. Try this approach and position them in the upper part of your post to see if these CTA’s convert more traffic into leads rather than the regular CTA’s at the bottom of the page.
  • 2
    Test your landing pages; landing pages are an important part of your nonprofit marketing digital tool kit. Landing pages are where a website visitor becomes a donor lead, or an existing lead re-converts on a different offer and becomes more deeply engaged with your organization. You can easily test website copy, content offer, image, form questions and page design.
  • 3
    Optimize high performing blog posts; if you have been blogging for more than a year, its likely that you have some blog posts that outperform others. Most of my monthly blog views and leads come from posts published more than a month ago. With posts that have high levels of traffic but low conversion rates, check to make sure the content offer is aligned with the context of the blog. Also check to make sure that your CTA is clear.


A CRO program will help you convert more website traffic into donor leads in nonprofit marketing. 

Ultimately you will need to test to find out what your donor prospects respond to.

Once you begin testing with your CRO program do yourself a favor and take a break from watching the results for a few days. You aren’t going to make the testing finish any faster and you might be tempted to draw early conclusions that could be erroneous.

Most CRO experts recommend a testing period of 10 days to two weeks.

Many nonprofits believe that marketing should be confined to the for-profit business world.

This simply is not true because nonprofits are competing with each other for donor interest and need to implement an effective marketing strategy to truly stand out.

To help you get started with your marketing program we've created a guide entitled 10 Questions to Ask Your Marketing Team About Donor Acquisition.

You can download it here.