How Charitable Groups Can Use Pay Per Click for Fundraising, Part 2

  • by Shala Graham
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Not long ago, we gave you a few thoughts on the (somewhat unconventional) way that nonprofits could use pay-per-click advertising as part of their online fundraising strategy. By paying small amounts for a better ranking on Google and the other major search engines for specific terms, they could use PPC ads to sell more products or invite more impulse donations to help with a major tragedy.

As powerful as those ideas can be, however, they come with one very important caveat: If you're going to use PPC for your nonprofit organization, it is absolutely critical that you know the value of each visitor. That's because if you don't, you could end up losing money on your PPC campaign very quickly.

This isn't an issue that only nonprofits have to worry about. In fact, in the business world, this remains a major challenge—so long as a PPC campaign is bringing in more than it's costing, then it's efficient, but if you simply let your ads run without any follow-up, then you could end up spending more than you take in.

The answer, then, is to keep a close eye on the metrics for your nonprofit website, and especially for your pay-per-click campaign. The more money you are devoting to it, the harder you'll have to work to ensure that you aren't paying for traffic that isn't a good match for what you're offering, and to test your pages to ensure that they are bringing in as many donations as possible.

The value of each specific donor to your nonprofit website is going to be a variable thing, but by looking at the trends over a few days, or even a few weeks, you'll start to notice solid patterns emerging. Use these to calibrate and experiment with your pay-per-click fundraising campaign. It's great to turn clicks into new revenue for your nonprofit, but only if you're getting more from them than you're paying to attract visitors.