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Donor Participation Project

Put Yourself in Your Donors’ Shoes Through User Testing

Many nonprofits struggle to identify what information donors really need to know about their organization. As fundraisers, we work inside the nonprofit daily, so we see everything from an internal perspective. We may not fully grasp the crucial information that’s missing for outsiders—the vital gaps preventing them from engaging with us.

User experience (UX) testing is a simple yet powerful way to get inside donors’ heads. Think about the journey a donor goes through with your nonprofit. Are there any points of frustration with finding information or a clear next step? Take a guess at some obstacles, then recruit donors to walk through that journey and provide feedback.

Start by mapping out a typical donor scenario, like making a first gift or attending an event, step by step. Come up with questions to ask at each point, such as “Where would you look for details on how we used funds from your last donation?” Or, “What made you hesitant to buy a ticket to our gala?” Then conduct in-person or virtual interviews with donors as they go through that scenario. Ask follow up questions to get them talking about their perspectives and priorities.

What you learn through UX testing can directly inform how you develop more impactful video and other content. If a donor struggles to find information about your impact and outcomes, create a video highlighting key success stories and statistics. If the process for becoming a monthly donor is confusing, make an explainer video walking new donors through how to set up a recurring gift. Addressing these “pain points” and vital gaps will make donors’ experiences with your organization much more satisfying and help turn them into vocal advocates.

Nonprofits often have the best intentions to be donor-centered, but may operate based more on assumptions than hard evidence. User experience testing offers a way to ground your communications plans and content creation in the real needs and voices of your supporters. Make the time for regular UX testing, and your nonprofit will build deeper connections with donors through video and beyond.

View the full recording of this session in our Resource Library.

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