Your donation page is arguably the most important part of your organization’s website. Without donations, your organization would not exist, right? Even though online giving still only represents a small percentage of total giving, the fact of the matter is people are giving online and online giving continues to grow year-after-year. More notably, 64% of all online giving is given through charity giving pages, which means you had better pay attention to how well your donation page functions. The last thing that you want is for a donor to show up on your website and then get frustrated with your donation page and decide to just give up and leave. But don’t worry! There are a few simple things that you can do to improve your donation page.
1) Minimize the Number of Form Fields
How much information do you really need from your donors? For example, how often do you call donors – do you really need a phone number? What about donation options – do you really need 15 options or could you make it easier for your donors by limiting it to three? These are good questions to ask when looking at your donation form. By only including the essentials for your donation form you will result in a higher likelihood that your donor will complete it. Shy away from the non-essentials such as title, company name, website, etc. Here’s an example of a donation form we like:
2) Eliminate Body Copy
When your donor reaches your donation page, it’s because they already love your organization and are interested in giving. Bombarding them with a lot of body copy (that they most likely will not read) does not help your case. If a user wants to know more about your organization they would have clicked on “about us” rather than “donate” so allow your donation page to do what it is supposed to do; let the people donate.
3) Include Tangible Giving Levels
Donors are more likely to give when they see tangible levels. This could be shown in a graphic or banner or it could be in the form itself saying something like “$25 pays for one week of summer camp.” It’s easier for donors to visualize where their money is going when you give them options. It also generates a personal connection between the money and the people or cause your organization is helping.
4) Brand It
Branded donation pages receive 6 times more dollars than generic donation pages. What does this mean? A branded donation page is typically focused on a raising funds for a specific project or campaign. For example, you may be fundraising for a new playground at your community center, so the branded website might show playground equipment that a donor could sponsor, a campaign update on how much you have raised so far, and an image of what the final playground will look like. Just as I mentioned earlier, donors like to know where their money is going and branding your donation page is one way to do that.
5) Test It
Try out your donation form yourself! This is something that is easy to overlook but can make a world of difference if you are able to identify frustrations with your donation page before your donors do. If a donor has to click too many times to get to your donation page or if it takes too long to fill out or if they cannot find your donate button in the first place, you end up shooting yourself in the foot. Another way to test it would be to ask a friend to go to your organization’s home page and navigate how to donate. As you watch someone who is unfamiliar with your website, you will be able to note what is intuitive and what is frustrating in the process. Ask them to talk out loud as they navigate your website. Then be sure to go back and fix the things that were frustrating.
If you are interested in seeing more online giving trends from 2013, check out this awesome infographic by Tech Impact.