While donation pages should not be the only means for your nonprofit organization to accept donations, they are still a critical part of the overall fundraising strategy.
Getting the donation page right will ultimately bring positive dividends for your nonprofit.
However, putting up a donation page just so people can give online isn’t entirely about having that payment portal up – there’s a whole design and science behind ensuring the experience is frictionless, and that conversion rates are maximized.
Usually, donations are the lifeline of nonprofit entities, and they’re critical when it comes to increasing impact and ensuring the organization is sustainable financially.
There are a number of factors that contribute to creating a solid base for donation, from finding and/or attracting new donors while building those relationships as well as the current ones, to thanking the donors and ensuring the donation size is maximized.
Optimizing your nonprofit’s donation page, therefore, is a very important piece of the puzzle. When it comes to fundraising, it often tends to be overlooked in its design, navigation, and organization.
This defeats the purpose of increasing donations and ensuring a steady stream flows into the organization.
In order to bring out the best practices for nonprofit donation pages, we looked at a few top nonprofits and below are 10 distilled recommendations on the best practices for your nonprofit’s donation page.
1. Make your page easy to find and navigate through
No matter how good your donation page looks in terms of design and functionality, if it cannot be found, it isn’t helpful to you or the donor community.
Have all your links, widgets, and other important buttons located where they can be easily located. You can place links on the top navigation area of your website, also known as the header.
To make it stand out, use bright or eye-catching colors. Ensure it leads straight to the donation form without adding explanations, registrations, or solving captchas, as these lower conversion rates.
For buttons, place attention-grabbing calls to action such as ‘Donate Now’. This increases the likelihood that donors or supporters will come to your page. Ensure this button is placed on all your site’s pages, social media posts, and content.
2. Have a brief, enticing and compelling ‘why’
People visiting your website come with different intentions, and not all of them come with an intention to donate towards your cause.
Some need more persuasion, which is why including a short, sweet, and compelling message that explains the ‘why’ helps to convince them.
Your donation page should also create more of a gentle reminder of why people should, and have, decided to give, and less of a payment processing form.
3. Employ the use of online fundraising software
Online fundraising software make the design and building of donation pages easy, and give you a variety of benefits and features.
These include recurring giving options, accepting donations on social media, PDF receipts, pre-filled custom amounts and descriptions, optimization for all devices, and integrated employer donation matching, among others.
4. Have your page branded and aligned to your website
Your nonprofit’s brand takes a lot of time, patience, and work to build, but your donation page is just a part of your brand.
A branded donation page that is aligned to your website helps increase your credibility and the trust people have in your band, such that they will easily be converted into donors as they visit your site.
Ensure branding is consistent as this makes your page look better, while showing donors that their contributions go to your nonprofit organization and cause, and it’s not just a money mining page.
Donation pages that are custom-branded also, on average, help raise up to six times more money. Younger donors also like visually appealing pages, with 75 percent getting turned off by static and dated websites.
5. Optimize Your Donation Page
Google requires that your website has to be mobile-responsive and mobile-friendly.
This goes for all websites, so your nonprofit site has to be optimized and resized for the devices so that it delivers optimal viewing.
Smartphones are being used increasingly today for connecting, sharing, and accessing information, including making donations. This means that people also expect your donation page to be optimized.
Mobile giving donations are on the increase, as people make more donations via mobile devices, so incorporating a responsive design can increase donations. However, frustrated visitors will end up leaving your site without giving.
6. Make donation amounts stand out on the page
This is important while ensuring there are no distractions on this area, so that your donation form stands out.
The general recommendation is to give donors different levels of giving, letting them decide how much they want to give.
A common thing around nonprofit donation pages is giving suggested donations paired with options to enter custom amounts.
The values could range from as low as $25-50, to as high as $1000, or a range of $250-$5000.
7. Offer recurring donations on your donation form
Retention of donors is important to any nonprofit organization, but more so are the retention rate metrics.
Of value to nonprofits are recurring donors, because they bring in most of the donations, but more importantly, they’re easier to cultivate, compared to gaining new donor relationships.
It is one of the simplest, best practices you can offer as an option on your donation page, as it also makes it easier for donors to keep giving, while boosting the rate of retention.
Automating the process also makes it easy for donors, who hardly have the time to keep logging back on to donate each month, to keep giving monthly.
8. Have different options for payment
This helps to enhance the experience for donors.
By outlining the different options for making payments, you make it more convenient for donors as they can select the option, or options, that suit them the most.
The more payment options you give, the more you accommodate donor preferences, thus you increase their likelihood for donating to your organization.
List the different payment options on your donation form and make sure they are the ones acceptable to your nonprofit organization.
9. Stick to one page
For a simple and straightforward donor experience, ensure your donation page is kept at one page with enough of the required fields.
An easy process ensures the donor is likely to move from start to finish, but if you cannot keep it to one page, let them know and let them see how many pages they should expect.
10. Keep it clear and simple
This makes sure that your nonprofit’s donation page is focused on directing the donors to your page, with a simple and clear but exciting experience for the donors.
Always aim at allowing those visiting your donation page to follow through and make their donations.
Ensure the amount of media, copy, images, and links are limited, and that they are necessary and organized in a logical way.
Any extra steps are bound to make donors get distracted or have second opinions over their decisions.
Fundraising consistently, for many nonprofits, is an important goal of their websites. Donation pages are important parts of the design of nonprofit organization websites.
Most people may not manage to attend your meetings, rallies, marches, or volunteer to your cause, but they can come to your donation page, with the hope of getting a rewarding experience.
These 10 best practices will help your nonprofit donation page increase conversion rates, while looking more appealing and delivering this rewarding experience.
APPS WHICH ENABLE COMMUNICATION
Priyanka heads the Client Servicing team at Wehelpforce. She has been helping Nonprofit organisations for the last 12+ years to create and implement strategic solutions based on cloud technology, specializing in Salesforce.com. She specializes in implementing successful fundraising programs, working with NGOs of all sizes and helping them build strategy to track their donors, projects and volunteers information which becomes overwhelming to manage as the Nonprofit grow.