Although events, mail, and phone are still valid ways to acquire donations, online contributions are becoming ever-more important. According to Nonprofit Source, online giving grew 12.1% in 2017, and it has had consistent growth year after year.
But you can’t just put up a donation page and expect the donations to come pouring in. It is essential that nonprofits use certain optimization strategies to get the most out of their donation pages.
These 9 donation page tips will help you increase your contributions and therefore the impact you can have on the world…
9 Donation Page Tips to Increase Contributions
1) Make It Easy for People to Donate
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many organizations get this wrong, so don’t skip over this one! We put it first for a reason.
Your donation page should be the primary link on your site, and it should be accessible from every page on the site. Add a donate button to the top navigation menu on your website and consider making it stand out by putting it in a different color.
But don’t just add a donate button in the top navigation menu and leave it at that. Add CTAs (call to actions) all over your site as well as in emails, videos, and social media posts. Include it in the following areas:
- In any side menus on your site
- In your footer
- On your “Ways to Give” page
- In all of your blog posts
- As your Facebook call-to-action button
Also, make sure that once a visitor clicks on the donate button, they are taken right to the donation page, not to an information page that then requires them to click again to donate.
Remember, every additional step a person needs to take on a website lowers the conversion rate.
Keep your donation page to one page and make it easy to fill out. Use autofill so that your donors have to fill out as few fields as possible and don’t ask for anything that isn’t necessary.
2) Make Your Donation Page Personal & Compelling
You don’t want your donation page to feel like a cold exchange of money. Put some personality into it and reiterate why a person’s donation matters and how it is going to do good in the world. Make people feel really good about giving you their money.
Put some life into it and make sure it is an extension of your branding. Donorbox.org says, “Custom-branded donation pages on a nonprofit’s website help raise up to 6 times as much money on average.” That’s crazy! It’s also an easy way to receive more donations.
Be sure to include your logo on your donation page and include visuals that help tell the story of the impact you make, further compelling your visitors to donate.
3) Track Your Conversion Rates & Seek to Improve Them
Pay attention to your donation page conversion rates. If you get 1,000 visitors to your donation page and your conversion rate is 1%, you will only gain 10 donations, but if you improve your rate so that it is 3%, you’ll get 30 donations.
What a difference that could make for your nonprofit!
So, test out different elements of your donation page one at a time so you can optimize your page and improve those conversion rates.
4) Make Your Donation Page Shareable
While donations via mail, phone, and events are still valid types of fundraising, none of them is shareable, at least not like online donation pages are. Take advantage of that aspect and encourage others to share your donation page by adding share buttons to it.
Even better, create a fundraiser hashtag and use it in all of your social media marketing efforts. Encourage people to use the hashtag when sharing it to add more vitality to the share.
5) Ensure Your Donation Page Is Technologically with the Times
At this stage, this point is pretty obvious, but just in case, it is important to note that a large amount of people are using their smartphones to access pages online, make purchases, and give donations. In fact, NP Source says 51% of the people who visit a nonprofit’s website do it on a mobile device.
It is essential that your site be responsive, which means it resizes to function effectively on mobile devices. Also, make sure your donation page is using https to secure your donations. This means that you have an SSL and that all of the donors’ confidential information is safe and secure.
6) Offer Donation Levels & Recurring Donation Options
When people have too many choices, they tend to freeze and make no choice at all. That’s why successful nonprofits offer donation levels that their donors can choose from. But, always include a custom field where they can enter their own amount if they don’t want to donate at one of the donation levels.
Another thing successful nonprofits are doing is offering an option for donors to make their donation recur every month. For people who want to donate every month, they love this automated option and for those who don’t, they will just ignore it. Either way, it will bring in more donations for you in the end.
7) Offer Multiple Payment Options
By offering more ways for your donors to make their donations, you accommodate more people, thereby getting more donations.
List your payment options clearly on your donation page and make sure to offer as many as you can. This is one area where you don’t want to hold back giving them choices.
Topnonprofits.com suggests defaulting to a credit card, while also offering PayPal, E-check, and even Bitcoin.
8) Use a Custom Thank-You Page
Make sure you go above and beyond on your thank-you page so you can demonstrate your appreciation appropriately. Be heartfelt and express your deepest gratitude. Consider giving your donors an added thank-you gift, such as a free download or a ticket to an upcoming event.
9) Use These Donation Page Layout Tips
Use the following tips to help you lay out your donation page in a way that gets people to donate:
- Place all of the important elements (the ones that will keep your visitors scrolling down) above the fold.
- Remove all sidebars and even consider removing all navigation menus. There should be no confusion as to what you want them to do on your donation page, and that is to donate. Removing these things takes away all other distractions.
- Add a great headline that compels your visitors to act. Make your headline short, intriguing, and clear.
- Experiment with different CTAs on your submit button (HINT: never use “Submit”). Try “Donate Now” or something more creative such as “Help Us Change the World” or “Support the Homeless.”
- Make sure your donation page isn’t cluttered, confusing, overwhelming, disorganized, or difficult to use.
Let’s Sum It Up
Donation pages aren’t as simple as they may seem, but once you understand the best practices, you can greatly increase your contributions. Follow the tips outlined in this article and you’ll set your organization up for a much different outlook than you’ve had in the past.
As long as you are getting traffic to your donation page, each tweak that you make based on the tips we have presented here will greatly enhance your results. When in doubt, scout out the donation pages of the most successful nonprofits to see what they’re doing. Use what they do best as a guide, put your own personal spin on it, and your results will speak for themselves.