Recently, I reviewed constituent performance and support usage data for one of our clients who hosts an annual walk event and utilizes Charity Dynamics email and phone support services. Our support services offer an on demand way for constituents to ask questions and get help using the event website whether they are a donor or a participant. The data revealed four key insights into the habits of constituents that utilize these support channels to help them register, donate or raise money during their event experience.

1) Support empowers your top fundraisers

Participants that contact support raise more than five times the amount of money that participants who do not utilize a support channel do. These participants are SUPER USERS who are utilizing every tool made available to them online. They need these digital tools to work for them so they can meet their ambitious fundraising goals. Having responsive email, phone and chat support allows them to stay focused on their mission of raising more money.

We can tell from the data that these top fundraisers achieve their results by using the online system more than anyone else. These users are two times more likely to make a self-donation on the website, three times more likely to update their personal page and four times more likely to send emails from their Participant Center. In the end, they get four times as many gifts than other participants.

2) Donors who use support give more

Donors who contact support give nearly two times more money than those who do not contact support. These donors want to make sure their large gifts are credited to the correct participant or team, and they want to make sure their donation is processed correctly. Access to support means these donors can move quickly from the website to completing the donation, without getting sidetracked by a website problem or question about donation credits.

3) Quality support drives revenue

Commercial websites increasingly deliver high quality support experiences for customers at key moments during a transaction process. A few examples we see a lot are a chat box popping up and offering support or personal phone calls to individuals when credit card processing has failed. In both of these cases, providing support is not simply a cost of doing business – it is a source of additional revenue from increases in conversion rates on transactions.

Nonprofits should be making similar investments for their own donation and registration forms in 2016 to maximize revenue. Our data shows that when constituents are able to work through all their website issues quickly, they repay your organization with larger donations and more fundraising engagement.

4) Organizations should be doing more

Making high quality support available to donors and participants is essential. Providing avenues for your constituents to reach out such as phone, email or chat is just the bare minimum. Constituents that reach out to your organization to help answer questions and solve website issues are your MOST engaged constituents. But there are many more folks who may not take the time to contact you when a problem arises.

The next level of support organizations should be providing are self-service, pro-active engagement tools, and social support that take the support experience to the next level. These types of support meet constituents where THEY are on your digital platforms.

You may imagine a caricature of a hapless internet user calling support for help with opening a browser when you think of customer support for your event website. Dispel that myth from your mind now. Our data shows that the users contacting support are your most engaged, savvy, and valuable constituents. High quality, on-demand website support helps your organization raise more money by empowering these users to complete their donation, finish registration, send email from the participant center, update the personal page or complete a self-donation.