When you’re fundraising online, your nonprofit donation page is often one of the first interactions people have with your organization, so it’s important to create an effective donation experience. Your fundraising software should allow you to build a custom donation page that encourages people to complete the donation process and is easy for your donors to use. The most effective donation pages are simple, impactful, and quick to complete. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when building an effective nonprofit donation page.
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Best practices for building an effective nonprofit donation page
1. Brand your donation page
Branding is a key part of your organization’s identity. Each element of design you include on your donation page helps your supporters recognize your nonprofit as an organization they can trust, which is why branding is so important. Include your logo and brand colors on your nonprofit donation pages so your donors immediately know who they’re giving to.
While visual branding makes your forms easier to recognize, you should also include your organization’s voice on your forms. Include your mission statement on donation pages to inform people exactly what your nonprofit does to help the community. Tell your potential donors how their gift can make a difference.
2. Use impact images and statements
Humans are visual creatures—we’re drawn to images, especially ones that feature other humans. Using impactful images that show your organization’s work is a great way to motivate people to give to your cause. When choosing images, consider your branding and what tone you want to set for your donation page. The goal is to create an emotional response to your cause without overwhelming your donors.
Impact statements are another way to tell your donors exactly what their money is going towards. Write a short statement explaining what your donor’s gift can help your organization accomplish. For extra impact, tie the impact statements and images together to suggested donation amounts on your donation page so people can visualize what $100 can do for your organization.
3. Include a fundraising thermometer
People are more likely to give if they feel the need for funds is time sensitive, and one way to encourage this sense of urgency is a fundraising thermometer, which helps your donors see how much more you need to raise for your campaign.
Including a fundraising thermometer on your nonprofit donation page increases your donors’ excitement and lets them visualize how much they can help your campaign progress. You can also embed your thermometer on different web pages to share your progress with more of your supporters.
4. Customize field options
For your donation page’s field options, customize fields for your donors, but keep your form as simple as possible. Offer custom fields for tribute or memorial donations to be made in someone’s name or create fields for additional details you may need to collect from your donors, such as volunteer options.
To keep your donation pages simple while asking for extra information, use conditional logic. With conditional logic, some fields will stay hidden unless a donor answers a different field to provide more information. For example, if your donor chooses to hear about volunteer opportunities, you can add a conditional logic field to ask for their phone number or other details.
Another way to add custom fields while keeping forms easy to fill out is to use multi-step forms. Multi-step forms allow you to ask for information in chunks rather than in one long form, which makes the form feel less complicated for your donors to go through while still being able to collect extra information.
5. Allow donors to choose where their donation goes
Your donors want to know where their money is going and how their generosity helps to further your cause. Give your donors the option to choose a specific project within your organization that they want their gift to go toward within your donation page. This ensures your donors’ gifts help the projects most important to them.
With a multi-restriction system, you can give your donors the option of picking further sub-restrictions within the project they decide to support. For example, if your organization works in different locations, your donors can choose which area receives the funds for the project they decide to support.
6. Use recurring donation CTAs
Recurring donations are a great way for your donors to give to your cause year-round. Offering recurring giving options helps you engage with your donors more frequently while building a more reliable source of income for your cause. Plus, giving plans help your donors continue their giving through economic instability.
Add a recurring donation call to action to your donation pages to encourage your donors to make their gift monthly instead of giving a one-time donation. Your recurring donation call to action can be a simple static image on your donation page or a popup prompt to upgrade their gift that appears before your donors finish their transaction.
7. Offer matching gift options
One way to double the amount of funds you raise is to offer your donors the option to have their gift matched by their employer. Matching gifts increase the impact your donors have on your nonprofit, which helps your overall engagement between you and your donor. The higher your donor engagement is, the more likely your donors are to give again.
Matching gift integrations allow you to automate the matching gift process for your donors, which increases the likelihood of donors completing the process. You can also send reminders to your supporters about your matching gift program, which helps increase your matching gift response rate.
8. Optimize for mobile
Use your donation pages to reach donors no matter where they are by optimizing your donation pages for mobile devices. You don’t want to miss out on gifts because your page is hard to use on a smartphone. Over 91 percent of Americans use a smartphone, and around 28 percent of online donations come from a mobile device. Luckily, many fundraising platforms are mobile-friendly by design.
Mobile-friendly pages also help your SEO results, making your donation pages easier for your donors to find online. Capturing more website traffic helps increase your donations, as more than half of all website traffic comes from mobile devices.
9. Automate thank-you receipts
Donor stewardship is crucial to retaining your first-time donors, as people are more likely to give to your organization if they feel appreciated for their support. Not only can you thank your donors directly after they donate with a thank-you note on the donation confirmation page, but you can also customize your automated donation receipts to thank different donor segments for their generosity.
Take advantage of your fundraising software to automate your gratitude to your donors and customize the experience to include their names using tags. Add an extra thanks in your receipt to donors who opted to cover processing fees for their gift.
10. Provide digital wallet payment options
As technology grows, more convenient payment options become available for you and your donors. It’s always a best practice to keep your donation pages as short as possible because your donors are more likely to give if the process is quick and easy. One way to make your donation pages more effective is to provide digital wallet options.
Digital wallets, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and Venmo, allow your donors to give without the need to fill out any extra billing information. This speeds up the donation process, ultimately leading to more donations. Check out your fundraising platform’s digital wallet providers and their requirements to enable the option on your donation pages.
11. Share your page on social media
Social media is one of the greatest tools you can use to grow your organization. Not only does it allow you to quickly reach a global audience, but it also offers you a space to interact with your donors more, giving them a more personal connection to your organization and the work you do.
While you may already share your donation page through a link on your social profiles, adding a button on your donation form to link to Facebook or X (formerly Twitter) makes it easy for your donors to share your donation page to their social networks directly from your page, expanding your audience reach.
Final thoughts on building an effective nonprofit donation page
An overcomplicated nonprofit donation page could prevent you from reaching your fundraising goals. A simple donation page makes it easy for your donors to give to your cause. Use your donation page to encourage giving by showing your donors how they can help your organization make a difference.
What are some considerations your nonprofit has when building an effective nonprofit donation page?