The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Website Donation Button

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Website Donation Button

donation button

Donation buttons are the easiest and one of the most powerful tools a nonprofit can add to its website. A colorful button and a few short words remind donors why they visited the website in the first place. Most online donation tools include an easy process to help you along the way.

This article will help you understand why donation buttons are a crucial part of your website, how to easily add one, and a few final things to check before making it public.

  1. What is a Donation Button?
  2. Why are Donation Buttons Essential?
  3. How to Get a Donation Button
  4. 5 Donation Button Best Practices You Can’t Miss
  5. 9 Essential Checks Before Making Your Donation Button Public

What is a Donation Button?

donation button

The primary way nonprofit websites differ from for-profit companies is through a donation button. Donation buttons are one of the primary reasons people give or don’t give to a nonprofit. Imagine you’re ready to give to an organization. You’ve taken a few minutes out of your busy day to visit their website, but don’t see a donate button right away. Do you spend time looking for it or move on to something else? People have short-attention-spans and if your organization’s donation button doesn’t catch their eye, you will lose any chance of their gift.

Donation buttons connect supporters to a nonprofit’s donation page or form and make it easy to give. Website donation buttons have been so successful in inspiring gifts, that companies like Facebook and Instagram have jumped on board. These companies now offer nonprofits the chance to add a donation button to their social media page. Nonprofit supporters are used to seeing a donation button on a website and social media. When it’s not there, it sticks out like a sore thumb.


Why are Donation Buttons Essential?

donate button

People who visit a nonprofit website are there for a few different reasons. Some want to learn more about the organization before committing to a gift. Other website visitors are competitors looking for ways to connect or compete. Finally, some visit your website to donate. This final group of website visitors should be a dependable source of income. And that is why donation buttons are a vital part of a nonprofit website. Let’s have a look closer look at the benefits.


1. They multiply donations

Adding a donate button that stands out on your website can increase donations by 190%. That is an astronomical number and one that nonprofits may have trouble believing. If you think about it, though, it makes sense. If the first thing you see when you visit a nonprofit’s website is a donate button, there is a better chance of you sending a gift. This is especially true if you’re using a mobile device.

When visiting a mobile-friendly nonprofit website, at the top of the page, you will likely see a colorful button that asks you to donate. You are likely searching the website while doing something else and only went to the website to donate in the first place. If the nonprofit makes it easy to click on the button and donate, you are going to feel better about the organization and maybe even a little more generous.


2. They make finding the donation page easy

Most nonprofits do not have the donation form right on their website homepage. The homepage is more for raising awareness, highlighting stories, links, and the impact. It’s the donation button right at the top or a more significant position that helps find the donation form/ donation page easily. Your potential donors appreciate the convenience when they have other important work to do alongside.


3. They improve branding

Branding is vital to promoting your nonprofit to a new audience. One of the most obvious ways organizations cement their brand in people’s memories is with specific colors and fonts. Your donation button is one of the best places to use your organization’s primary color, use a striking contrast to make it stand out, and a font to help spread brand awareness.


How To Get a Donation Button

Adding a donation button to your website is not as difficult as you may think. Many online donation tools include a donate button with their features. When researching different online donation tools, visit their website to find out how easy it is to create one with their service.

Donorbox offers two embeddable donation button types for nonprofits; one links to the organization’s donor page and the other will make a popup donation form appear on the screen. Each of these donation buttons can be customized to fit your nonprofit’s branding. Plus, these buttons can be easily set up on most website builders.

The Salvadoran American Foundation does an excellent job of including two donation buttons on their homepage. The one at the top links to their donation page and form and the one on the hero image makes a popup form (2nd image) open right on the homepage.

how to add a donate button

how to add a donate button

Pro tip: If you want a highly customized design for your donation button to match your website, an online design service like Canva can be very useful. After creating the desired image, organizations can add them to their website home page and link it to their donation page.


5 Donation Button Best Practices You Can’t Miss

donate button

Anyone visiting a nonprofit website is aware the organization wants and needs their donation. They are not surprised or disturbed by a colorful button asking them to donate now. This expectation is a gift to nonprofits. Since organizations do not have to worry if they should ask, the next question is how to ask.


1. Where do you put your donation button?

The location of a donation button is a question without an agreed-upon answer. Some nonprofits place it on the top right corner of their home page, others on the top left, still, others will place it in the middle. The point is, a donation button must be easy to see and find within seconds of clicking on a website.

When creating your donation button, make sure it isn’t only on the home page. Your nonprofit wants to make it easy to find the donation page wherever a person lands on your website. So, ensure your donation button is on the top navigation bar and website footer so it can be found on every webpage. For example, For the Love of Alex’s website has the donation button right at the top right corner and is sticky throughout all the pages.

donate button


2. What are the best colors for a donation button?

The color of your donation button is another area of contention. The reality is any color is fine. The goal is to stand out. If your website is primarily blue, you may want to make your donate button red or orange. Regardless of the color you choose, you’ll want to surround it with white space to draw the eye.

The bright red color of St. John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group’s donate button is hard to miss against the yellow background.

donation button


3. What should your donation button say?

Finding the right words for your donation button doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Some nonprofits use Donate, others choose “Support Us” or “Make an Impact”. It is important to keep it short and clear. If people are confused by what you’re asking, they are much less likely to give.


4. Make sure it’s connected

The most important thing about your donation button is that it links to the right page. When creating your website donation button, ensure there are no broken links and it doesn’t take long before visitors are transferred to the donate page.


5. Ensure your donation page loads quickly

More people visit nonprofit websites on their phones. As per the latest statistics,1 in 4 website visitors will leave the website if it takes more than 4 seconds to load. An easy way to increase donations is to research your site and see where you may be losing website visitors. If people are leaving because it takes too long to get to the donate page, speak with your website manager, and make the necessary changes.


9 Essential Checks Before Making Your Donation Button Public

donation button

The purpose of a website donation button is to link supporters to your donation page. But as it is clear already, the ultimate aim is to inspire them to make a donation. Hence, before adding a donation button and making it public, nonprofits must ensure the page is set up to entice, not repel gifts.


1. Does your donation form branding match the rest of your website?

Donors must trust an organization before they’re willing to give. One of the best ways to encourage that trust is with branding. If your donation button takes them to a different website, to keep their trust, your donation page should match the colors and fonts of the rest of your website. You can make this process easier if you choose a donation tool that allows your nonprofit to customize donation pages.

The Sobriety Foundation has included the same image and colors on their donation page as their website home page. This branding assures donors that they are giving directly to the organization.

donation button


2. Is it mobile-friendly?

33% of all online donations took place on mobile phones. If your online donation form was not created for this audience, you are losing a significant amount of money. It is essential to check with your online donation tool to ensure it includes a mobile-friendly version. You should also check the donation form yourself on a mobile phone to see what issues may come up. It may be time to create your donation form and other website pages for a mobile audience first.

Donorbox forms and hosted donation pages are automatically mobile optimized. The below image depicts what a Donorbox-hosted donation page looks like on desktop and mobile.

donation button


3. Can donors make recurring donations?

Recurring donations are an excellent source of dependable income. Recurring donors are often passionate supporters of the organization’s mission, give more throughout the years, and may even become major donors or leave a percentage of their estate in a planned gift. Nonprofits benefit greatly by encouraging donors to give recurring gifts.

One of the easiest ways to encourage these gifts is by including a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual donation option on your donation form. Many online donation tools allow donors to manage their own recurring gifts. Donors appreciate this control over their gifts and are more likely to sign up. Check out Muso’s recurring donation form in the image below. They’ve also highlighted the preferred recurring interval to inspire more monthly donations.

donation button for website


4. Does your donation form include donation tiers?

Visitors to your donate page may be interested in giving, but may not have a strong feeling about the amount. This is why having donation tiers is an excellent addition. When supporters click on your page and see a list of five different giving amounts, they are likely to choose a higher amount than they originally planned. By targeting donors with specific campaigns and donation amounts, you can choose donation tiers that start with the average donation and increase from there. The result is an increase in gift amounts and income for the organization.

Check the donation form and its tiers in the image below. The impact is clearly written under each amount to help increase donations.

donation button for website


5. Have you included the option of a matching gift?

Donors may be unaware that their company matches donations. More companies want to make a difference in their community and are strongly aware of how their involvement looks to clients and employees. Your nonprofit can take advantage of each company’s desire for involvement by adding a matching gift option to your donation form.

This option will not only catch the donor’s attention but the company’s interest as well. You may be able to form relationships with your donors’ employers that benefit all organizations.

Donorbox integrates with Double the Donation to give its nonprofit users the chance to add a company matching widget to their donation forms. Vibrant’s donation form should be your ideal example of that, shown in the image below.

donation button for nonprofits


6. Are you collecting donor information?

Collecting donations is not the only purpose of a donation form. Nonprofits that collect contact and demographic information, along with a supporter’s interests are developing a way to build and strengthen relationships with their donors. While it is important to not ask for too much information and scare away donors, your nonprofit should collect as much as possible in a short time.

Pro tip #1: This information must be stored in a donor management system to allow nonprofits to use it wisely. When searching for an online donation tool, make sure a donor management system is offered.

Pro tip #2: More donor information collected allows your nonprofit to segment donors into different tiers and target future campaigns towards each donor type. This targeting strategy will increase funds and help your organization better develop relationships for the long term.


7. Can your donors choose from ongoing campaigns/programs to donate?

Most nonprofits have different programs or campaigns going on to boost impact or improve their facilities. Giving your donors the chance to choose from them and designate their donations will increase the sense of control, trust, and transparency. Plus, it will help you receive and designate funds to priority programs and campaigns, market the options, assess and create impact reports against donations received, and more. Here’s what one of our nonprofit users does to implement this right through the donation form.

donation button for nonprofits


8. Do you have various payment options?

Many recent fundraising trends revolve around an increase in donation payment options. Some of your organization’s major donors may want to use Automated Clearing House (ACH) because of the lower fees associated with larger amounts. Millennial donors have become used to using tools like Google Pay and Apple Pay, PayPal, Stripe, and Venmo because of safety and convenience. Including more payment options on your donation form, gives your supporters a good feeling about their experience and your nonprofit.

donation button for nonprofits


9. Will your donors receive an automatic email receipt?

Finally, it is vital to set up an automatic system for donors to receive a donation receipt after giving online. The IRS requires nonprofits to send a receipt for every donation. By creating an automatic system for this practice, your nonprofit can cut out this mundane task. Many online donation tools include a template that nonprofits can use to create their own receipt, keep donors happy, and remain tax compliant.


Final Thoughts

donation button

Donation buttons should not be difficult to create, but the importance of including one on your website cannot be overstated. An easy-to-find donation button is a way to encourage more gifts and strengthen relationships with your donors. Adding a donation button includes the button and the donation form it’s connected to.

Remember to check that your donation button is linked to your donation page or form, and check that the donation form is created to best serve your donors.

If you need a donation button for your website, a popup form, or a simple but effective donation page for your fundraising needs, check out our website for a list of features we can offer at affordable prices.

For additional fundraising support, tips, and nonprofit management resources, check out our blog here. Subscribe to our newsletter for a curated list of the best resources delivered to your inbox every month.

Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.

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