When it comes to your organization’s online fundraising efforts, there’s no better recipe for success than designing an attractive and optimized donation page. Nonprofits of all shapes and sizes now fully rely on the internet as a staple in their fundraising efforts and it’s becoming quite the competitive playing field. After all, your donation page serves as the last point of engagement before donors give, so it’s important to make a great impression.
From creating an intensive social media strategy to automating solicitation communications, standing out in the digital sphere is growing more involved by the day. Not only can a great donation page make the difference between a passive supporter and a dependable giver, but it can also set the tone for your organization online. However, did you know that you can stand apart from your online competition by merely optimizing an existing platform in your nonprofit’s digital toolbox?
We are referring to your online donation page and with the following tips you’ll stand out in the crowd in no time:
1. Make the page easy to find
2. Ensure the page looks attractive
3. Keep all important information above the fold
4. Write copy that tells a story
5. Embed tools for supporters to amplify their gifts
6. Don’t forget to optimize
Before diving into the tips, check out Donately’s guide to donation page best practices for a primer on how to make your giving page shine. With that, let’s dive in!
1. Make the Page Easy to Find
The eight steps following this one are moot if supporters can’t find your donation page, to begin with. Across your website, include a few elements pointing directly to your giving page:
• Eye-catching call-to-action (CTA) buttons at the top and bottom of popular pages, such as blog posts and informational content
• Brightly-colored “Donate Now” buttons prominently displayed across the website
• A direct link to your donation page in your main navigation bar
• A “Ways to Give’ page that points back to your donation page
Link back to your donation page from the other platforms you’re using to communicate with donors. This might include email newsletters, donor text messaging, and even the various social media platforms you use to engage supporters.
2. Ensure the Page Looks Attractive
Choose an online donation tool that’s fully customizable to ensure you’re providing a familiar and comfortable giving experience for supporters who visit your donation page. Reaching the attention and interest of visitors to your site, thanks to an attractive visual appearance and good ergonomics, is essential to make them want to stay on your site.
First and foremost, maintain your organization’s familiar branding on the donation page — don’t direct donors to an unfamiliar, third-party site to make their gift. However, successfully implementing these tips could improve your website, increase its traffic and therefore increase the visibility of your associative activities. This means using the same color scheme and logo across your digital tools and outlets, so supporters can trust that the donation they’re making is going to the exact nonprofit they’ve chosen.
Use images intermittently across the page to build the interest of your visitor and keep them on the page. Avoid using stock images; instead, put a face to your work. Tell a story with images, just as you’re about to learn to do with text.
3. Keep All Important Information Above the Fold
Once upon a time, when newspapers were still in regular circulation, it was a huge deal for a writer’s story to be printed above the fold. This is the portion of the front page of the newspaper that’s visible before it’s unfolded and is the most read part of the paper, featuring the most important story of the day.
This phenomenon also applies to web pages, with above the fold referring to the portion of your web page that’s visible before scrolling. Ensure the essential information on your giving page is visible in this section. Even if a supporter doesn’t scroll at all, they should have all the information they need to give to your cause.
This information must include a compelling story from the last section, as well as all donation form fields necessary for your organization to process a gift. You can accomplish this by keeping your form simple and only asking for what you need — not asking supporters to fill in every section of your donor database.
4. Write Copy That Tells a Story
More than ever, donors are citing compelling appeals and tangible impact — rather than a sizable tax deduction — as their primary driver for charitable giving.
When making a donation appeal to supporters, you may consider email newsletters, social media posts, and any other communication methods you regularly use for outreach. However, did you know that making a strong appeal on your online donation page is just as important? Tell a story on your donation page to ensure those potential donors — directed to the page via emails, newsletters, or social media — make it across the giving finish line.
Tell the story of your nonprofit and the cause you’re working for. Explain how your organization uses the donations you receive concisely and in detail, on your donation page. Do so in a way that’s urgent, but don’t guilt. For example:
Can your nonprofit’s mission be summed up in a way that’s concise, compelling, and detailed? Include that statement on your donation page.
5. Embed Tools for Supporters to Amplify Their Gifts
Did you know you can receive two gifts for the price of soliciting one, with no extra contribution on behalf of your supporter?
Corporate matching gift programs are an incredible opportunity to amplify the gifts of your donors. Through these programs, an employer pledges to make a donation matching that made by their employee to an approved nonprofit. However, this is only possible if both your organization and your donors are aware of the opportunity!
Luckily, there are tools to help your organization and supporters discover these opportunities. Consider embedding a searchable matching gift database directly on your donation page so donors can search their eligibility.
Not only will this inform you and donors of existing opportunities, but it might even encourage supporters to give more if their initial gift falls just under the match requirements. Learn more about matching gift programs through Double the Donation’s guide.
6. Don’t Forget to Optimize
You could have an effective outreach strategy, create compelling content, and display all information clearly, but your giving page will still deter donors if its technical aspects aren’t in order.
Ensure your page is easy to navigate, regardless of the type of technology or device your donor uses to visit your website. Consider the following:
• Optimize your donation page for both mobile and desktop use, so the information can be viewed and forms easily completed no matter the device the donor is using
• Make sure your giving form is tab-friendly so supporters can navigate between fields by simply hitting the “tab” button on their keyboard
• Ensure a fast page load time by resizing oversized images and fixing cluttered code
Long wait times and clunky navigation are a deterrent for even the most patient of supporters. Optimize your page for basic navigation best-practices so no donor has to postpone their generosity.
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