Using Google Analytics to Further Nonprofit Fundraising
Using Google Analytics to Further Nonprofit Fundraising
You’ve finally started to make sense of fundraising for your nonprofit and the direction you’d like it to go. At least, you think you do. In truth, you may be lacking in one very specific area, Google Analytics, and it’s the one that tends to trip up nonprofits. Google Analytics is key to figuring out what is driving your internet traffic, whether you are using your fundraising dollars efficiently, and how to increase website traffic.
Running a non-profit is more difficult than many people realize. As a not-for-profit organization, you must focus your energy, time, and resources to further the goal or your mission. This is why having a good handle on your fundraising and marketing ventures can be the difference between success and failure for your non-profit.
Using Google Analytics to Monitor Nonprofit Fundraising
When it comes to running a nonprofit’s development department, one of the hardest things can be figuring out how successful or unsuccessful your nonprofit is. Considering how important sources of funding are for your non-profit, ensuring that you have a stream of income is of paramount importance.
And, as if monitoring the funding wasn’t stressful enough, there are so many other factors to keep track of, such as if you’re turning a profit if you’re gaining traffic, if you have enough finances to cover the overhead, and many more elements.
Trying to keep all these elements straight in your head can be a logistical nightmare, one that even the most business-savvy individual would struggle to handle. And, trying to keep all these elements in mind can only be more difficult when you’re doing so for the sake of your non-profit.
If you or someone in your life is interested in more convenient ways for handling their nonprofit – ways that won’t result in them tearing out their hair and wishing for a career change, then it might be time to look into Google Analytics.
As you might be able to gather from the name of it, Google Analytics is a tool for nonprofits and business owners to use to keep track of who is doing what on their website. It measures website visitors, conversions, sources of website traffic, demographics, and specific keywords. Rather than trying to guess if your nonprofit is successful and bringing in the visitors that you want, Google Analytics will do the work for you.
To describe it in another way, Google Analytics is a free web analytics service that offers you the necessary tools for analyzing the traffic to your website, checking how effective your current marketing strategies are, and offering insight into possible ways you’ll be able to manage the promotion of your nonprofit. If you have all this knowledge, you’ll figure out ways to be more effective in earning external funding.
The goal of attaching Google Analytics to your nonprofit is to, hopefully, increase the chance that your nonprofit will manage to optimize its digital presence in such a way that it can turn any traffic that comes to its website into registrations for events, applications from volunteers, and – perhaps most importantly – donations from wealthy sponsors.
Although those are the goals, you’ll also be given the tools that will help your nonprofit evaluate your ROI (return on investment), help determine which strategies will yield the best results depending on your goals, and inform you of which of your ventures is bearing the most fruit. This data can then be used to assess the viability of your staff and ultimately determine what is and isn’t working.
All of this is valuable information that many nonprofits either don’t have access to or don’t understand the importance of.
When Using Google Analytics, You’ll Gain…
Many benefits. As with most things that have Google’s brand attached to them, one of the goals of the service is to make things easier for whoever is using the service. In this case, that means you.
When it comes to the Google Analytics platform, you’ll be able to determine the best ways to increase the traffic to your nonprofit and, from there, increase your donations. You can do this based on the information that the tool gives you. This tool will offer insight into your:
These are the individuals who access your site. Whether they end up contributing or otherwise, they are the ones who you have the largest chance of turning into supporters, donors, and volunteers. They’re the ones who will support your mission and help your nonprofit to continue existing.
This is the period during which an individual who is accessing your site is on your site. Many sites – such as banks and other ones that require a more secure set of protocols – will automatically close down your session after thirty minutes.
With Google Analytics, it’s very similar in that if the Analytics stops receiving pings from the user, it’ll stop logging that they’re interacting with your site and that their session is still active.
This can help determine the average time that people spend on your site and if there are specific pages that seem to be turning them away from becoming customers.
Interactions and Conversions
Interactions are how a visitor to your site interacts with it. This can be clicking through the information on your site, switching between pages, any events that they click on your website, or even donation forms submitted. You can set up any event as a conversion and track it so you will know what these important events are generated by.
Again, this is a good metric to learn what is and isn’t working on your site when it comes to engaging with your visitors/potential customers.
The source is where the visitor to your site accessed your site from. This could be from a Facebook link, an Instagram link, or even just a generic Google search. You may not believe that this could be important information, but that’s where you’d be wrong.
Knowing where people are accessing your site can honestly make or break your nonprofit. For example, if you find that people aren’t coming to your site from Google, this can possibly indicate that your search engine optimization terms aren’t strong enough to compete with other, larger names in your field. If you have a Google Grants account or a paid search account, you want to make sure those ads are converting.
(Quick note: if you do not know what search engine optimization/SEO is, it is in your best interests to give yourself a crash course on it, straight away. SEO is extremely important to success with your nonprofit and slacking off in this particular sphere of knowledge will set you back more than you might realize.)
The medium is intricately tied to the source. The medium is what tells you what type of source is leading the traffic to your site. For example, if you’re paying for Instagram ads to promote your nonprofit, that would count as a “cost-click-per-paid search,” whereas someone who just happened to Google and stumbles across your website would be an “organic” search.
All of these are extremely important bits of information to have that will help bring your nonprofit to the next level and/or keep it afloat. And, so long as you work with Google, you’ll gain free access to this information.
Why Use Google Analytics
Although this article has already discussed the benefits of having access to your analytics, you might still be on the fence about using this free service. This is understandable if you’re still uncertain about which direction your nonprofit needs to take or where you need to go, and that’s okay.
However, even before you consider the life-changing analytical information that Google Analytics will give you access to, you must figure out some things about your nonprofit. There are some very specific questions you should have the answer to before you get into the nitty-gritty of the analytics.
Some things to ask yourself are:
- How important is it that you know how your users are engaging with your site? Is that information that can help you?
- What are you looking for when it comes to your nonprofit? What type of success are you hoping to gain by the time you can call your nonprofit a “success?” Is it only donations? Volunteers? Years of presence on the Internet?
- What do you need to know to achieve these goals? What are your nonprofit’s needs?
- Have you set up your nonprofit website in such a way that it’s easy and convenient for the user to navigate? Are the pages you’ve spent time on and are promoting useful and relevant to your end goal?
- Are you at a place where analyzing the traffic to your site will be beneficial to you? Will you be able to take actionable steps following the acquisition of this information to make changes in your nonprofit?
Although there are many other questions you are likely asking yourself about your nonprofit, these are good ones to have a handle on, especially if you’re thinking of looking deeper into analytic data to further your marketing ventures.
Other Benefits of Google Analytics
Hopefully, by now, you’ve determined that going the route of the free Google Analytics system will only be beneficial to you. As such, it’s now time to talk about additional benefits you might be able to tuck into your belt when it comes to your nonprofit.
Google is constantly iterating its Analytics service so that it can continue to serve its users in the best possible way. Their most recent iteration is called Google Analytics 4, and it’s been streamlined to specifically help nonprofits improve their online marketing services, which can be a boon to how you handle your donations and interact with new donors!
Analytics 4 will open up new doors to the nonprofit, such as helping to provide a multi-channel view of the lifecycles of the donor. The customer lifecycle is the term used to encompass the whole of potential customers becoming aware of your organization and then buying into said product or service. This can be as easy as a simple e-commerce transaction, or it can be becoming a volunteer or donating money.
The hope is that your customer lifecycle will be long, as it means that you will have repeat/return customers who will hopefully give you continued attention. Once you have this information, you will then be able to use that information to improve how you run your nonprofit. If you don’t have many return customers, perhaps there is something wrong with your product/mission or how you’re presenting it – you have to find ways to bring your customers back to you.
Whether that’s adding discount coupons or having promotions on your site, you have to be strategic with your methods to entice the customer’s attention back onto you, rather than the new and shiny site they may have stumbled upon since leaving your website.
As mentioned above, one of the great things about Google Analytics is that it will give you the information required to analyze the individual data of your users. From this, you’ll be able to determine the return on your investment, which is the comparison between how much you’ve spent to get a particular venture off the ground, and how much profit you’ve secured because of it.
Additionally, Google Analytics 4 can track this data across all platforms and devices that users use, meaning that you’ll have a wider breadth of information to use when it comes to determining your next action. For example, if you’re not getting enough traffic from mobile users, perhaps it’s a sign that your website is harder to navigate on mobile than you expect.
This is a very specific example, but having data means you can make informed choices.
How To Learn Google Analytics
When it comes to Google Analytics, you’ll also gain access to a wide breadth of FAQ services as well as tips and tricks that are meant to help you have an easier time of it when it comes time to use whatever data you accrue.
Google Analytics has an entire page dedicated to helping nonprofits that might be struggling to maintain their presence in the world. On this page, you’ll be able to find in-depth tutorials that are meant to help you:
- Improve your chance of gaining fundraising and increasing awareness of your nonprofit.
- Determine the best way to connect with other nonprofits within your field and your customers/potential donors when most of the world has switched to a remote/digital model. You may not think that changing to this type of model will affect your nonprofit, but that is where you’d be wrong.
- Figure out the best way to move your nonprofit to be online so that you can compete with larger, and more established, nonprofits that have a large donor base and storied history.
- Create events and training to help your employees get their feet under them while also allowing you to plan out events that might draw the attention of potential customers (ties into improving awareness, as mentioned in the first bullet point).
- Align your nonprofit journey with the journeys of those who came before you. Google Analytics offers “nonprofit stories,” that will help you realize that, although you may feel alone in all of this, you can do this, as the people who came before you did, too!
As if all of those bonuses aren’t enough, Google Analytics will also offer you additional resources that are meant to help make the already difficult process of being in charge of a nonprofit even easier.
Grant Republic Can Help
You can save yourself the time and effort and reach out to us at Grant Republic. Here at Grant Republic, we’re acquainted with the Google Ad Grants program, and we want to help you achieve your funding dreams when it comes to your nonprofit ventures.
Whatever your goals are (more donors, more traffic, a greater presence on the Internet), we’re here to help. We make use of numerous tools including Google Analytics to make your fundraising and marketing more effective.
Working with the Google Ad Grants program is a great boon when it comes to managing all the aspects of your nonprofit so that it can compete in the same arena as well established organizations. Through this connection to Google, we’re able to work with numerous charitable organizations that will back smaller programs to help them reach a wider audience.
This helps with the acquisition of additional donors, volunteers, and other employees who will work tirelessly with you to increase how much impact you’re able to enact on a wider audience. If this sounds like something that would help you in regard to your nonprofit, then reach out to us so we can start our partnership.
Hopefully, you’ve found this article to be informative and beneficial and have a better sense of how to increase funding and draw additional traffic to your nonprofit’s website. Getting funding for a non-profit is not an easy task. Hopefully, this has provided some help on how to make it a little easier and get better results.
If you’re interested in learning more about topics that will help your nonprofit fundraise more effectively, then you can read any of our other articles. If you’d like assistance using your Google Ads account more effectively or need help managing your Google Ad Grants account, contact us today.