Strangers Won’t Support Your Rescue…

As part of our T-shirt fundraising program, we give groups a free t-shirt mini-website, which they promote and earn $$$ off of every sale.

Each page has tracking info on it, so we can see just how often it is promoted, how many people click through to the page, etc…

Just this week, one of our cat rescue groups started getting many, MANY hits to their t-shirt page… but No Sales.

It turns out, their t-shirt link was put on a popular discussion board, as a public service announcement… that said “Buy a shirt, feed a kitten…” or something like that.

However, this discussion board was not animal rescue related…

It was a perfect example of what we have known for a long time.

It is not strangers who support your rescue groups… it is the fans, who have found your page, learned what you are doing, believe in your mission, and want to help your group out… that will support your efforts.

Every company that sells stuff online, keeps track of their “conversion rate”. In simple terms… a conversion rate tells you how many people need to “see” a product or click through a “link” to result in a sale.

For instance, the conversion rate for our t-shirts ranges from 1-20 to 1-30.

So we know… that if rescue groups promote their t-shirt page on a regular basis… to their “fans” (not strangers or the general public at large…) they can see 1 sale for every 20-30 people who click their link.

Now contrast that to a weekend where 300+ people clicked through this cat rescue’s page, and no one purchased anything.

So what went wrong?

Well… plenty of things.

Blindly trying to “Sell stuff” or “Solicit Donations” from the public at large, is the wrong approach.

You see… people are not really going to be supportive of your group… if they know nothing ABOUT your group and/or have no “connection” with your group.

It is OK to get exposure for your group… even to a large none-rescue related audience… as long as you do it the right way.

Posting and saying “please buy something and support our rescue” to people who know nothing about your group, may simply fall on deaf ears.

However, if you post something like this:

XYZ Kitten Group helps rescue and find homes for felines in need. Do you like cats? Visit our FB page (or website) to see how you can help us with our mission.

Once a person clicks through to your page… learns about what your group is doing to help out pets… they now have a connection with your group… and may be more inclined to buy a t-shirt, donate to a chip-in, etc…

Simply posting a link on a discussion board, that goes directly to a fundraising page, is often a wasted post.

Bottom line… Make a friend “first”… THEN show them the ways they can support your group.


PS…  I can’t end this without sharing a little more about conversion rates. People are really surprised when they find out that most people who click thru to their t-shirt page, don’t purchase anything. There are much more detailed tracking methods that also have shown that some people need to see a fundraising offer/link several times before clicking on them… or even visit a link a few times, before they decide to purchase, donate, etc…

If every rescue group, followed the advice on this page, we would be making many, MANY more donations each week. Conversion rates are pretty steady… it’s the promotion of the fundraising page (or lack thereof) which seems to affect the sales/donations the most.

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