Don’t let your donation page be the reason your nonprofit isn’t getting those donations! Check out the top ways to improve your page and the donor experience.
When’s the last time you updated your nonprofit’s donation page? Though it’s probably the page you made and never looked at twice, your online donation page is actually critical. It can either encourage potential donors or drive them away. It is your round-the-clock, hardest working fundraiser. So, why not make sure that your top fundraiser has all the necessary tools?
A nonprofit’s donation page is made up of simple boxes and forms to fill out. As long as you have a payment and name component, you should be good, right? Well, not quite. Read on to correct these common mistakes your donation page may have:
- Lack of Donation Options
- Donation Process Takes Too Long
- Donation Page is Not Updated
- Not Optimized for Mobile Use
Donors are becoming more technology savvy and internet dependent everyday—and so should you. With just some simple tweaks, you can make your donation page the standard that nonprofits strive to live up to!
1. Lack of Donation Options
Deciding to donate to a nonprofit is a big decision. There’s no easy way to let go of money, so why does your donation page insist on making it so hard? When your nonprofit has a mission-based fundraiser, you should be doing all you can to make the donor experience easier.
A common mistake is your page not offering enough options to donors. With the lack of visible options, your form may seem too open-ended or broad, driving away those who need a little push. Read on to learn about the importance of online donation forms and the different options you can add to your page, ranging from suggested amounts to a gift matching search tool.
Display Suggested Amounts
If a someone is at your donation page, it probably means that they’re already interested in giving. Maybe their problem is simply just, how much should I give?
Often times when people donate, they’re not exactly sure how much money to donate. Or maybe they are in a rush and want to make the donation as quick as possible in between their appointments. To help these donors out, display buttons with suggested donation amounts on your donation forms.
Simplifying your donation page in this way encourages people to make that final decision without that extra effort. Years of multiple choice tests have taught us that it’s way easier to make a choice when someone else is giving you the options.
Recurring Gift Options
Sometimes, donors want to give multiple times but don’t want to fill out the form again. Or maybe they want to give a certain amount but don’t want to deplete their funds all at once. Now, with the right nonprofit software, you can configure donation forms to have an option for recurring gifts!
Recurring gifts are when a donor will consistently contribute a set amount to your fundraiser on a monthly (or whatever set time) period. Having this option available will increase donation revenue while also taking a load off of your donors’ backs. Even if donors don’t go into the process wanting to donate more than once, visibly seeing the choice might convince them!
Gift Matching Data
If you really want to boost donations, you should be looking into gift matching programs. Corporate gift matching is when a business will match an employee’s donation and is a great way to double or even triple a donation, all without nagging the actual donor.
To make use of gift matching, it makes sense to invest in a gift matching database of different businesses that participate in the program. A lot of donors don’t even know that their employers will match their contribution. Having a database on your donation page will not only encourage larger donations but educate donors.
How do you utilize this database on your donation page?
- Embed a matching gift database tool. Some nonprofit software provides features that allow users to look up their affiliated business in a search tool, which can be embedded into the donation form. This informs people that they’re eligible without them having to go to a different page! Check out Double the Donation for more on matching gift database tools.
- Include corporate gift matching guidelines. Each business will have their own set of rules when it comes to matching gifts. Make sure to state the specific rules depending on the employer the donor indicates.
- Outline various deadlines. A lot of time gift matching gift programs will have a deadline for businesses to match a gift by. Make sure to inform your donors of these dates. Send reminder emails closer to the due date to be extra helpful.
Multiple Payment Options
As your donation page is closing the deal, the annoying payment process is often the final straw that turns people away. A way to combat this donation shopping cart abandonment is to make sure that you give plenty of options in online payment processing so that donors don’t have that excuse to click away. These can include:
- Card payments
- Payment software like PayPal or Venmo
- Direct mail payments
- In-person donations
If you want to know more about payment processing, click here for a great resource.
With just a couple of tweaks, you can make your page more inviting and user friendly. Now no one can say that your donation page has too little options!
2. Donation Process is Too Long
If your donation page doesn’t have the problem of being too simple, it might just be the opposite issue. A common mistake with donation forms and the whole process is that they’re just too long. Read on to learn some tricks to keep your donors happy and shorten the process.
Make Donation Button Clear
Sometimes your page just needs a simple fix. Try making your donation button a little more prominent. You don’t want the reason that you lose a donation to be because it took too long to find the button. Make sure that it is the most distinguishable button on your page.
A common problem with donation pages is that they’re just too busy. Your donor’s eyes won’t know what to focus on if there’s a constant stream of distracting images and unnecessary information in front of them. Designing your donation page minimalistically might not be on the top of your priority list, but it should be up there.
Here are two ways to keep your page simple:
- Incorporate dropdown menus. As we said earlier, having lots of options on your page can greatly increase donations. Using dropdown menus is a way to still have variety but keep the look clean.
- Use your nonprofit’s branding. Each nonprofit is going to have a specific look to it. Whether that is a color scheme or a well-known logo, make sure to keep your donation page branded to your cause. This way, people will recognize the page and it’ll keep the donation process streamlined from the donor’s perspective.
No One Wants to Create a New Account
The last thing your nonprofit wants to do is force users to make an account with a password. Back in the day, one-factor authentication, like requiring a password, was probably the safest way to protect donors. However, these types of security factors have been getting hacked more and more.
So what about two-factor authentication? Two-factor authentication is the process of allowing users to be on a site after they provide two out of these three elements: knowing something, having something, or being something.
- Knowing something can refer to already recognized accounts such as Facebook or Google. These are online accounts that are very commonly used and you can get authentication software with access to these databases in order to confirm donors.
- Having something is usually pointing to having a phone. To confirm who you are, a site may require you to put in your phone number and then submit a code sent to it.
- Being something is utilized when a website asks you to input something like your fingerprint. As technology becomes more advanced, devices are going to be taking advantage of fingerprint and facial recognition.
As you can see, there’s a sweet spot that your page should hit where it simultaneously presents a variety of options but also needs to be simple and efficient. Hopefully, with these tips it’s a little clearer on how to get there.
3. Donation Page is Not Updated
Now that you’ve cleaned up the obvious details on your donation page, it’s time to look underneath the hood. You may not even realize it, but your page probably needs some updating. Whether it is the software or the content, your donation page should be as current as possible.
Update Donation Software
There are two main ways for you to best utilize your donation software:
- For financial management. If your donations are getting a little unorganized and you want to keep track of them better, you should look at recent updates in nonprofit fundraising software. Look out for ones that will keep track of your nonprofit financial data on a unified platform and pull out relevant information.
- For donor data. We don’t always realize that the data your donor gives is essential for attracting more! Having software that tracks key pieces of information on your supporters will help you formulate strategies for future campaigns and start prospect donor researching.
Update Page Content
Your donation page shouldn’t have all your nonprofit’s information on it, but it should still have something! It makes sense to keep specific information and your nonprofit’s history on separate pages, but what should you actually put on your donor page?
Here are some things to include:
- Mission statement. Your nonprofit’s mission statement is a short but sweet description of what your goals are and how you are going to reach them. Including this on your donation page will be an extra reminder as to why that donation is important!
- Upcoming events. In order to keep people as updated as possible, you should include some information about upcoming events or fundraisers. This way donors can see what else you do and how they can help in the near future.
- Fundraiser money tracker. Having some sort of tracker to show how much has been donated can encourage people to donate as it gets closer to the goal as well as show others how successful you have been.
For more on what content to add, Snowball has some great tips on the perfect donation page.
After making sure your software and content is up-to-date, no one is ever going to go on your donation page and notice that your last event announcement was for 2005. Read on to learn about how you can further modernize your page.
4. Not Optimized for Mobile Use
As you’re reading this guide, you should be wondering how this is all going to look on a cell phone. Your donors use their cell phones every day. They’ll probably look at your donation page from that phone screen more often than a computer’s. It’s important to keep your website and donation page mobile-friendly so that it can be accessed on the go.
Here is what you should look out for:
- Keeping the layout proportional to mobile screens
- Having mobile payment options
- A small amount of multimedia (video, pictures) so that it loads fast
You should now be able to accept donations on your website from mobile users! People can donate to your cause with ease and efficiency, all as they’re waiting in line for coffee, on their commute to work, or winding down before bed.
Now that you’re done reading this guide, you should be set with the right knowledge to help your donation page thrive. Good luck and go increase your fundraising with these simple solutions!
About the Author
John Killoran is an inventor, entrepreneur, and the Chairman of Clover Leaf Solutions, a national lab services company. He currently leads Clover Leaf’s investment in Snowball Fundraising, an online fundraising platform for nonprofit organizations.