It has to be said that online donations are "the" most effective way to collect revenue for your nonprofit organization. However, while the world's population is traveling at the speed of light toward the online way of thinking, competition for nonprofits is growing as a plethora of charitable organizations of all shapes and sizes fight to get their piece of the pie over the Internet.
Attracting visitors to your website is always work in progress and the cost is either your time or hard earned cash. So, it's important that your donation page is ready to spring into action when a donor is in a donating state of mind.
With that said, we thought it would be a good time to help you make sure your donation page is in tip-top condition and ready to do its job. Now we will share five "Must Haves" for your online donation page and the great news is, you can implement them in less than one hour.
A compelling why
When a visitor lands on your donation page, it is a clear sign that they are emotionally driven toward your cause. However, it does not mean that their mind is made up.
Therefore, it is the job of the donation page to succinctly reinforce why their donation is important. A powerful way to emulate such a message would be to describe your cause as it is today, and how the impact of donations make life-changing differences. The clarity of your "why" will capture the emotions of the donor and will most likely influence a higher one-off donation amount and could potentially transform a one-off donation into a recurring donation. Your compelling "why" does not have to be a painful essay, 60-80 words will work perfectly.
Attention Grabbing Call to Action Buttons, Images, and Links
Although this is not necessarily relative to your donation page, it is the very means that take the website visitor to the page that will convert them from a potential donor to a paying donor.
Using buttons, images and simple text links to donation pages is imperative. Placing a donation button in the top right of a menu is probably the most attention-grabbing position on your website, so if you have not got a donation button in that position, adding one would be the first task on my list.
Adding several calls to action within your content is as equally important whether they be buttons, images, link text or a combination of all three.
When adding a call to action within your content ensure that they are noticeable and remain relevant within sections of content.
On a website page, we would recommend at least three well-placed donation call to action points.
Keep it Simple
Like any sales page, a donation page is very much the same. It is important to break a donation page into simple logical processes each tasked with clear objectives, bearing in mind, a donation comes with high levels of emotion and passion.
Remove potential distractions from the donation page. Put yourself in the shoes of a donor and focus "content" on what you think would or should be important to them.
Offer clear explanations as to how their money will impact your cause and provide helpful choices to help them decide exactly what they want to donate.
It's important to remember the well informed will be better connected and in a position to make bigger and better commitments.
User-Friendly Donation Form
So many nonprofit organizations overlook the way in which they receive donations online. Ultimately, your donation transaction process can mean the difference between winning a new donor or not. So if you do not take action points 1,2,3 & 5 we strongly recommend that you ensure that your donation page has a credible and professional donation transaction process.
Here are some quick checkpoints:
a. If you collect payments via PayPal, avoid using a PayPal donation button as the direct process of making a donation. Instead, integrate PayPal with a professional online form where you can collect donor information and demonstrate your care about your donor. Using a form will help foster more trust and confidence between your organization and the donors, not to mention help suggest innovative donation options using drop-down or multiple choice features.
b. Keep online forms as less intrusive as possible. Collect only the information you need to collect. Ask yourself the question: Do I need to collect this piece of information? If the answer is "no" don't include it on your form.
c. Ensure your donation form is mobile friendly. This is probably the most obvious thing of all. But it's worth a big mention because it's surprising how many online donation forms are not mobile friendly.
d. Ensure your donation form looks professional and is not surrounded by distracting content. Once a donor gets this far it's important to give them a clear runway.
Donations Amounts & Explanations
As everyday consumers "online or offline" we all like choices. That's why donation options are extremely successful. However, the way in which we present these options require a technique that will allow the donor to connect emotionally and make an educated decision as to how much they will donate and how long they wish to donate?
So here are a couple of tips that will make all the difference when it comes to your donation form.
Offer a selection of amounts with explanations defining the impact each donation amount will have on your cause.
If you operate a multifaceted nonprofit organization show a list of causes so that the donor can choose the one donation they are most passionate about.
Always offer a recurring payments as a more long term commitment option to your cause. You will be surprised how many donors are willing to take part in the bigger picture.
We believe that all of our suggestions can be implemented quickly and effectively. If for any reason you are unable to implement one or more of our suggestions we invite you to contact us for support via our live chat located in the bottom right corner of our website, we would love to help you!