3 Ways To Set Up Google Analytics ECommerce Tracking For Nonprofits


Nonprofits don’t usually get associated with, well, making a profit. But in our 8+ years of experience working with nonprofits of all shapes, sizes, and verticals, we’ve learned that even organizations that aren’t created for the sole purpose of making money, sometimes have opportunities to do so. That’s why it can be helpful to set up Google Analytics ecommerce tracking.
One of the main use-cases for nonprofits when it comes enabling ecommerce tracking is that it can help you track donations people are making on your website. In addition to real-time data on how much they’re giving, you’ll be able to see what pages drove them to give and what type of content draws in your highest-giving donors. Here are 3 (slightly imperfect) ways to start tracking ecommerce in Google Analytics.

1. Use Google Tag Manager To Track Donation Form Clicks

One of the simplest ways to start exploring the world of ecommerce tracking is to understand donor behavior on your website. By setting up tags in Google Tag Manager that fire whenever a visitor performs an action where money is involved, like clicking on a donate button or reaching a confirmation page, you can start learning more about types of content or pages that drive users to push that button. Make sure you have the right events and destination goals configured in Google Analytics so you can measure and sift through the data.
The pro of this method is that it’s relatively simple to set up, requires no coding, and allows you to use event data to form stories around intent to donate. However, using this method won’t actually allow you to see any transactional data or revenue numbers. Which brings us to option #2…

2. Connect Google Analytics to Your Donation Platform

If you’re already using a third-party tool to collect your donations, like Donately or Fundly, you can usually integrate them with your Google Analytics account by adding your org’s GA tracking ID directly in your donation platform. This is the type of ecommerce tracking set up we see most often in our work with nonprofits. While this will allow you to view ecommerce data such as total revenue and average order value, the major pitfall is that when you integrate, you’ll lose user acquisition and behavior data if you deploy Google Analytics through Google Tag Manager. This means you won’t be able to connect specific user journey from when they first entered your site and tie it directly to their donation. A solid work around for this blip is to combine method # 2 with method #1 and have goal tracking setup so you can see the big picture (even if you have to connect some of the dots manually).

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3. Set Up An ECommerce Tracking Tag Using Google Tag Manager:

Warning: This method requires either knowledge of coding (HTML and Javascript) or the help of a web developer. The major benefit of this method is that you’ll be able to see where users fall out of the funnel, like when they click the donate button but don’t actually make a donation. It can be separated into two parts:

First: How To Enable Google Analytics ECommerce Tracking:

  1. After signing into Google Analytics, toggle to the view in which you want to see ECommerce data. Note: If there are multiple views for which you want to collect data for ecommerce transactions, you’ll have to set up tracking individually for each one.
  2. Go into Admin → View Column → ECommerce Settings
  3. Make sure the Enable ECommerce switch is toggled to “ON” and click “Save”

Second: How To Set Up ECommerce Tracking Tag Using Google Tag Manager:

To create an Enhanced ECommerce tag within Google Tag Manager using data layer implementation:

  1. Add specific ecommerce information to the data layer
  2. Create a Universal Analytics tag in Tag Manager and set the track type to either “Page View” or “Event” (depending on the action you want the user to take)
  3. In your Google Analytics settings variable, under More Settings, find the ecommerce tab and set Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Features to True.
  4. Select Use Data Layer

While there is value to be had in setting up ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics, we understand it can be frustrating. If you’re looking for an alternative, check out Fundraising Report Card. It’s completely separate from Google Analytics, and connects with your donor database or CRM to deliver KPI’s and trends specific to your organization’s donor base.
Have more questions when it comes to setting up and tracking ecommerce in Google Analytics?  Tweet them to us @WholeWhale!