Donations are the lifeline of nonprofit organizations. For many, their website is a core means for collecting those much-needed donations. But if a donation page is unorganized, unprofessional, or confusing, it can be more harm than good.
Your website might help your brand in many ways, like sharing your mission, telling your story, and getting people involved. But donation pages accomplish only one goal: to collect money. So here are our top ten ways to increase donations from your nonprofit website.
- Make sure the donation page is easy to find, especially in your main navigation. A donor should be able to find your donation button within a couple of seconds of your website loading. It should look different from the rest of your navigation to attract extra attention. It should also be consistent, and on every page, so they don’t have to keep digging.
- Keep your donation form at the top of the donation page. Many successful charities have their donate form within the first view of the page loading. This reassures the donor that they are in the right place, reducing their need to hunt to give money. Don’t make it difficult for people to put in their credit card number.
- Create a compelling “why.” If you don’t visit any other page, the donor should understand why your nonprofit needs support within one statement. Bali Pet Crusaders uses a simple message, “$22 pays for one sterilization, preventing thousands of unwanted births. With a full team of vets, we sterilize 200-300 animals per month. Help us create a healthier environment for the animals and people of Bali.” It’s easy to understand how the money is being used for the mission.
- Give purpose to an amount. People like being guided. This includes making donation amounts simple to grasp. Have a donation amount preselected (if you can within your platform) and breakdown different options for people to choose. “Give $25 today for one kid to stay in school for the month” creates clarity and gives someone an idea of how much money is needed for how much impact. It also suggests an amount potentially higher than what they were orginally planning, encouraging them to make a more significant gift.
- Suggest recurring donations. Donor retention is one of the most important metrics for a nonprofit. Gaining new relationships or reminding old donors to give again can be costly. If you can with your donation platform, make sure that there is an option for monthly giving. Alternativaly, you can encourage yearly giving (perhaps around a holiday or anniversary) and push campaigns hard around that time of the year.
- Optimize your page for mobile devices. More and more people are using mobile devices. Don’t miss out on a giving opportunity because your donate page doesn’t work correctly for them.
- Make it easy to share the page. We are still social creatures and like using technology to tell our friends and family about good causes. Add sharing icons (including email) to your page to increase effectiveness. Even better, add social sharing and email icons after the checkout to encourage others to donate.
- Give social proof. This includes stories from people you care for, testimonials from other donors and the impact it had on their lives, or frequently asked questions. Reduce their barrier to giving by showing support from others.
- Show other ways to get involved. If someone can’t give, show other options like volunteering, creating a campaign, or donating their birthday. There are lots of ways for people to give and if you can encourage them through ideas they didn’t consider, you will see an increase in participation.
- Encourage donors to cover your processing fees. If your donation system allows for it, another simple way to increase online donations is to allow for the donor to pay the processing fee. This might only be a couple of dollars, but it’s a couple extra dollars that goes towards your mission.
It is crucial to have a well-organized and professional donation page to collect donations from potential donors. It’s the first impression potential donors will have of your nonprofit organization, so make sure it is up to par!