Reports regarding abandonment of nonprofit donation pages are startling. DonationPay reports an average donation page bounce rate of 67%, and npENGAGE says the range for donation form abandonment on nonprofit sites is 50-70%. There can be many factors that contribute to abandonment, but redirection to a third party site for transaction processing may be chief among them.
Eric Yee is a runner and creator of the online running log RunningAHEAD.com. I came across his blog post “The Cost of PayPal” and immediately thought, “I have to share this with nonprofits using a PayPal Donate button”. Eric has built a great collection of tools to help runners train, track, and analyze their workouts. The users of his site appreciate the value of what he has made; in fact, years ago, they wanted a way to financially support the site. So, Eric went with PayPal because it was a quick and easy way to collect money from his supporters.
About a year ago, he began to evaluate data relating to transactions on his site, and he found that many transactions progressed through data collection forms on his site but were abandoned when the users were re-directed to PayPal to complete the transactions. The abandonment rate – 36%! In March, 2013 Eric modified his site to include branded transaction pages with no re-direct to a third party. I touched base with Eric this morning, and he indicated that now, about 7 months after the modification, his abandonment rate has dropped to less than 1%.
Are you redirecting to a third party site to collect donations? Check your abandonment rate and let me know what you find!