The role of a nonprofit fundraising professional, albeit at times seemingly simple, is becoming more complex. In a fast-paced world where the competition is fervent and everyone is vying for the attention (and dollars) of consumers and donors – it’s increasingly harder to stand out and reach your nonprofit fundraising goals.
As a result of this, it’s become imperative for nonprofits to invest in online fundraising. Online giving has seen consistent year over year growth.
The Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact‘s Charitable Giving Report: How Nonprofit Fundraising Performed in 2017 found that online donations accounted for 7.6 percent of total fundraising revenue, up from 7.2 percent in 2016, and that 21 percent of online donations were made on a mobile device, up from 17 percent.
To successfully drive online donations, an online donation page is essential. While an online donation page presumably shouldn’t be your only path to accepting donations, it should be an important part of a holistic fundraising strategy.
Without a good donation page, your chances of raising funds online are slim. However, even if your donation page passes with flying colors – what really matters are your conversion rates.
A conversion rate (in this context) is the percentage of visitors to your donation page that complete a desired goal (a donation) out of the total number of visitors. A high conversion rate is indicative of successful marketing and a good donation page – it means people get what you’re trying to do, and they want to support your efforts.
There are many reasons why visitors don’t end up donating: too many choices, feeling overwhelmed, not understanding what an organization does, feeling like their donation won’t make an impact, and more.
Luckily, there are ways to increase your donation page conversion rates.
Below, we detail ways to turn your supporters and website visitors into your donors (and hopefully recurring donors!)
So, your supporters have landed on your donation page. Great! Now, how do you ensure that a donation is made?
1. Answer Your Supporters’ Questions
It’s very important to make your supporters feel comfortable and confident. Trust is the essential ingredient when it comes to giving, especially online.
By making the process as transparent as possible and answering all of your supporters’ questions, you’ll build trust and credibility and increase the chances of your supporters feeling confident enough to donate to your nonprofit.
People want to know what their money is going towards. Your supporters likely wonder how exactly their money will be used. Consider adding a “Our Impact” page on your website where you’ll outline your activities and projects and how the donations are used to fund those.
Give your future donors as much information as possible about what their donation will be used for. Consider linking the suggested donation amounts to a specific, tangible outcome/impact.
E.g. A $50 donation will buy school supplies for one child in Kenya this year.
Also, provide your website visitors as much information as possible on how to make a donation.
Consider adding an FAQ page to answer all common questions (e.g. around how the money will be used or the technical practicalities of making a donation).
For example, UNICEF in its FAQ section explains its mission and budget, as well as instructions on how to make a monthly donation.
2. Make It Easy to Donate
Your donation page shouldn’t feel like extra work for your prospective donor.
Keep your donation page text to a minimum (and make it meaningful). Do your best to stay to the point and format the text properly, so that it’s easy to read and understand.
For example, bold or underline important instructions so donors don’t miss out on key information (or try changing the font size or color like MAP International does, as seen below).
Your supporters are already considering donating, so try to avoid any confusing or daunting instructions on the donation page that might turn them away.
This also goes for the donation process itself. Make the process as simple as possible for the donor. If possible, don’t make your supporters create an account or confirm their e-mail address.
Here is how the donation process could look like for a donor:
Donate -> Enter your payment details -> Thanks for donating
This process has significantly fewer steps, and therefore hurdles to donating, than the following one:
Donate -> Create an account -> Confirm your email address -> Enter your payment details -> Thanks for donating
3. Collect Only the Essential Information about Donors
Collecting information about donors is crucial to good data and donor management.
However, you don’t want to make this process an additional hurdle to making a donation. Think twice whenever you consider adding a question to your donation form – stick to the basics if you can.
Truthout makes donating a breeze by requiring only the necessary information from donors. Donation amount, name and email, and payment information are safely and easily collected, as shown in their Donorbox donation forms below.
4. Let Them Know It’s Tax Deductible
It can’t hurt to let your supporters know that any donation they make is tax deductible.
Click here to learn more about the laws surrounding tax-deductible donations. Some organizations opt to provide their EIN on the donation page as well as a statement about being an approved 501(c)(3).
This way, donors will know that you are an approved nonprofit, reducing hesitation to donate even further!
Nonprofit /dev/color does this at the top of their donation page, letting donors know instantly that they are an approved nonprofit and that any donations to them will be tax deductible.
5. Use a Fundraising Software for Your Donation Page
When it comes to increasing your donation page conversion rates, an online fundraising software will make your job much easier.
An online fundraising software provides you with a number of features and benefits, such as:
- Pre-filled custom amounts with descriptions to let your donors feel great by knowing what they’re contributing to.
- Integrated employer donation matching.
- Recurring giving options. Place a recurring giving option on your form to see higher donor retention rates.
- Optimization for desktop computers, mobile phones, and tablets.
- Accepting donations on your Facebook Page.
- Donation ‘thermometer’ to encourage more donations.
- PDF receipts, and other features that will help you raise more money in 2018.
Check out the Donorbox solution to donation pages!
These Donorbox features (and many more) are all designed to help you increase your donation page conversion rates and receive as many donations as possible.
6. Optimize For Mobile
From NP Source, we learn that by the end of 2018, mobile devices will account for 57% of all Internet traffic. In 2017, mobile giving donations have increased by 205%. 51% of people who visit a nonprofit’s website do so on a mobile device.
Your donation page should be mobile-friendly/responsive. This means the donation page will resize according to the device being used, allowing for optimal viewing.
Our phones are an, almost inevitable, way to connect, share, access information, and donate. Because of this, we have come to expect beautiful and mobile-optimized websites.
By incorporating mobile-responsive design, nonprofits can increase their donations by 126% on average.
If a visitor becomes frustrated when attempting to make a donation to your organization via a mobile device, chances are that they will leave your site without giving.
There are many other steps you can take to increase your donation page conversion rates:
– Don’t Hide It
Your donation page should be easy to find from anywhere on your website. Whether your supporter is reading a moving blog post on your website or watching a compelling video – make it easy for them to get to your donation page.
– Offer Different Giving Amounts
Including suggested donation amounts can encourage donors to make a gift that’s greater than the one they originally intended to make. However, always leave the option for them to donate whatever amount they want.
– Make Your Donation Button Prominent
Like with the donation page, your donation button should be easy to see and find. Make it eye-catching (potentially by using bright colors) and prominent.
– Don’t Distract
While it might be tempting to invite your supporters to volunteer, attend an event, or read a blog post, this might distract them from the main purpose of a donation page – which is donating. Your donation page should be devoid of distractions.
A Final Note
Every nonprofit is different and every donation page is different. This makes it difficult to know what exactly is going to increase conversion on your specific page.
We hope you found our tips useful, but don’t forget that it’s absolutely critical to think of new ideas, test them, and update your donation page accordingly. This reiterative process is the only way you will truly know what works best for your nonprofit.
Pro tip: There are many ways to do your A/B testing). Visual Website Optimizer, Optimizely and Google Content Experiments are some of the available options.