To quote Lisa Hirsch, author of the Iron Tongue of Midnight,
Make it as easy as possibly for people to give you their money.
KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID
The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complex; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.
Number of steps required to make an online donation to local arts organizations here in Columbus:
- Opera Columbus: 5
- ProMusica Chamber Orchestra: 5
- Columbus Symphony Orchestra: 20 (More if you have to set up an account and more if you change your mind about the amount halfway through the process.)
5 steps vs. 20-plus steps. Which seems simple to you?
Persistence, I hope, pays off
Every month I give $5 per month to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Is it a lot? Heck no. It doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what they need in order to keep up their operating budget – 70% of which relies on donations.
Yeah. 70% of their entire budget.
I did research for this blog and after half a dozen attempts, I LEARNED how to make an online donation to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. It is unnecessarily cumbersome. Their online donation portal, simply put, is not efficient. It’s not user-friendly and puts an undo burden on the donor, who will most likely give up prior to completing the intended donation.
I’d love to see the conversion rates.
And to be quite honest – had it not been for this blog and a desire to have actually tried something I say I don’t like, I probably would not have donated. Like some CSO musicians, I gave up, too, the first few times, then the next couple of times as well because I just couldn’t figure it out. Sad thing is? I’m computer savvy – I’ve created blogs, websites, I work on computers all day long – PC at work, Mac at home…this should not be a challenge.
Why so many hoops?
Having a computer and knowing how to turn it on should be the only prerequisite to being able to make an online donation. I shouldn’t have to LEARN how to make a donation. I should only have to go to your website, click a button, fill in a few blanks and be done with it. Casual donors are going to send their money elsewhere once they discover how much is required of them up front.
As for my $5? I wish I did, but I just don’t have more to give, so I give that much. I give it because I love the music and for a non-profit organization constantly having to raise money, every little bit helps.
Imagine if the CSO/CAPA team would consider making a change from this cumbersome process to a legitimately good process?
My research on this comes from open source material. You can check it out yourself and see if you agree or disagree. Here – www.columbussymphony.com. Try to make a donation and let me know how far you get.
And how many tries it takes you to get there.