The Epic Rules of Online Fundraising

Is your online donation form optimized to maximize conversions?   

Your nonprofit website is one of your best fundraising tools.  One important element of your site is the donation page. Your donation page specifically should be a factor in your overall fundraising strategy.  

Optimizing your nonprofit’s donation form is a great way to capitalize on your site’s fundraising potential.  So, here are the two epic rules (and seven useful tips) to help you get the most out of your online donation form.  

Epic Rule #1:  Make it easy to give!

This sounds obvious, but it’s big!  Your donation page shouldn’t be more than an easy click away from every page of your site. Supporters should not have to “figure out” how to give to your organization. Your donation page should be easy to find and easy to navigate.  Each step should feel seamless to the user.

Best practice:  try to keep your donation form to one page.  Once they get to the donation page, keep the donation form short and simple.  How much donor information do you need? What donor information do you plan to use for campaigns or outreach efforts? 

Ease decision making for donors by including pre-selected donation amounts.  When there are too many or open-ended options decision making can become subtly stressful.  A fascinating article by Business Insider expands on this idea.  The article summarizes that people innately like to have choices, but not too many choices.  Research suggests that three is the magic number.  

Offer to set up a recurring donation.  Recurring donations are an easy way to generate long-term support for a nonprofit organization.  By including the option as part of your donation form it makes the process easy for supports to get started.

Let supporters know their payment options.  Do you process payments from my checking account? Debit card?  What types of credit cards do you take? The goal is to make it convenient for donors to give to your organization.       

Epic Rule #2:  Make giving a good experience.

Getting their donation into your hands is only one half of the donor experience.  Don’t roll over and go to sleep once you get the goodies! Stewardship should begin the second your donor hits the submit button on their donation form!  Hopefully, this process is the beginning of a long-lasting relationship between you and the people who support you. 

Consider the post-donation experience your organization wants to create.  Plan it. Make this part of your long-term strategy to grow and nurture your relationship and engagement of your supporters.  It starts with a simple “Thank you” page. Tell them how much you appreciate their contribution. Make them feel good about giving to your organization.       

Outline some next steps.  What goals do you have for stewardship and outreach?  This is a good time to share them with your supporters.  Tell them how they can stay connected with your organization.  What are some other ways that they can get involved in supporting your mission?  Are there other ways they could give?  

Offer a share option.  We are social creatures living in a culture of connection.  People love to share their lives and the things that are passionate about.  Finding a way to have an impact on an issue that’s important to them fits in with that.  So why not allow your supporters the option to share their support, donate in honor of a loved one, and invite others in their circle to do the same?

That’s it.  Two epic rules of online fundraising.  Only two. They’re pretty simple, but sometimes the simple things are so easy to overlook.  These little details are important to enhance your users’ experience and increase the engagement and perception of your nonprofit organization.   

Interested in a beautiful nonprofit website platform without the technical headache?  We can help you use the power of strong web design to level up your engagement and drive your mission.  If you are in the process of designing (or redesigning) your nonprofit organization’s website, consider a website from D3FY.  We’d love to talk more about your specific needs and how we can help. Contact us!

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