The Charitable Giving Report 2020 found that online giving grew 20.7% in 2020. This upward movement has been the trend for the last couple of years. And it surely isn’t reversing anytime soon. But since most nonprofits are just getting started with online fundraising, they make fully avoidable mistakes when designing their donation pages, leaving plenty of money on the table.
In this article, we will cover some of the best practices to ensure you maximize the fundraising capabilities of your donation page.
10 best practices to optimize your donation page
1. Be consistent with your branding
Donating on your website is like any online transaction. People want to be sure that you are who you say you are and that you will keep their financial information safe. This is why you need to keep your branding consistent—it’s the simplest way to build trust.
All donation pages should have the same branding as the rest of your website. According to Network for Good, having a branded donation page can help you raise 7x more than having a generic page.
Also, you must use donation forms that can be embedded into your website to avoid taking people to third-party websites that may appear untrustworthy.
2. Experiment with ticket pricing strategy
One of the best ways to raise money online is with online charity raffles such as 50/50, Catch the Ace, or Sweepstakes. People donate knowing they are helping a good cause while also standing a chance to win prizes.
Since the sale of tickets is how you make money, you need to figure out a pricing strategy that maximizes revenue while selling as many tickets as possible.
Generally, a higher price means selling fewer tickets (although you will make more money per ticket) and a lower price will allow you to sell more tickets.
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Here are some of the pricing strategies you can try:
- Fixed pricing: All tickets will be priced the same, it doesn’t matter how many tickets a person buys.
- Discounted pricing: The price will decrease as the donor buys more tickets. This is a great way to encourage participants to buy more tickets
- Pay-what-you-want pricing: With this, the participants buy a ticket for a fixed price and then you ask them to make an additional voluntary donation.
3. Ensure tech is properly integrated for ticket sales
If conducting an online charity raffle, the software you use also greatly impacts your success. Good software will allow easy integration of all the other tools you use—CRM, email service, payment processor, etc.
You need to ensure that all tools are properly set up and that the donation journey is as you planned. Thank you emails, for example, need to go out when someone buys a ticket. And cart abandonment emails should be triggered automatically the moment someone abandons the process of buying a ticket.
Choosing software that’s easy to use means there will be fewer occurrences of glitches that may require hours to fix and cost you donations.
4. Focus on capturing relevant donor data
The donation process is also an opportune time to acquire donor data—their name, email, phone number, and address. All this information will be essential while planning future campaigns or teaching them about your cause so they can become engaged donors.
But make sure that you do not ask for more information than is necessary. Ask only for information you will use.
For example, if you don’t do phone solicitations, there is no need to ask for a phone number. Remember that asking for too much information may affect your conversion rate.
5. Focus on above-the-fold content
Research has shown that when users land on a webpage, they decide whether to scroll down or click back based on the above-the-fold content (above-the-fold refers to the section you see when you get to a webpage without having to scroll down).
So, make sure you have the most engaging information here. This is your chance to show visitors why they should give you their time.
Focus on crafting compelling copy to hook visitors and make them want to be part of your cause. In most cases, you will need to test different versions of copy to find the right messaging for your nonprofit.
6. Use clear CTAs
The call to action (CTA) is one of the most important things on every page. So make sure that you take time to develop it properly. It should be clear and to the point. Also, you should only have one call to action per page. If it’s “Donate Now,” don’t also have “Follow Us on Facebook.”
And if running a raffle, experiment with highlighting the “pot size.” You might incorporate this in the CTA with words like “Win $5 million.”
7. Provide multiple payment options
The best part with online fundraising is that it gives users the option to donate via their preferred form of payment—most users have come to expect this. They prefer to give with a credit or debit card, PayPal, or bank transfer. Other popular forms of paying include Apple Pay and Google Pay.
8. Add a thank you page
Whenever someone donates on your page, remember to thank them—this is one way to convert them into repeat donors. Additionally, the thank you page also serves the function of informing them if their donation was successful.
Apart from this, you can also use the thank you page to build a relationship with them and nurture them into becoming engaged donors. Or you can ask them to volunteer. Or even ask for more information about them to enhance your donor database.
9. Optimize for mobile
It’s no longer a secret that mobile website browsing has surpassed desktop browsing. This is why you should also focus on making your donation pages look good on mobile by adopting a “mobile-first” strategy when designing pages.
Page structure should follow the recommended dimension for mobile usage. While mobile screen resolutions differ, the most commonly used is 360×640 (aspect ratio 9:16).
Also, you must ensure that you have optimized the donation page for portrait mode, as this is how most people view websites on mobile. The page must also be thumb-friendly.
Consider having menus that collapse so as not to take up additional screen space.
10. Adhere to accessibility guidelines
The goal of every website is to ensure that everyone who lands on it can use it. This is why following accessibility guidelines is so important. Conditions you should take into account include hearing or visual impairments.
Basics include: Adding ALT text to images and making the website navigable with keyboard-only controls.
Impactful donation pages are an outcome of a well-thought-out strategy and proper planning. A full-lifecycle service provider like Ascend can help you achieve (and exceed) your fundraising goals by guiding you every step of the way.