Today’s post is brought to us by Abby Jarvis of Qgiv
Your nonprofit’s website and donation page give first-time donors and lifetime supporters a peek inside your organization. You can write blog posts, upload images and videos, and ask for donations from supporters who live halfway across the world or just down the road.
But what if your donation page is getting in the way of a great conversion rate?
For those who don’t know, a donation page conversion rate is the number of people who land on your donation page and make it to the end of the donation process.
This article is going to cover just a few of the many tactics that your nonprofit can employ to give your donation page the conversion rate boost it may need.
But before taking a look at these strategies, read this article that talks about what a great nonprofit website should look like.
Take a look at the top five tactics you can use to boost your donor conversion rate.
And for more tips and tricks to make your donation page the best that it can be, check out these 20 best practices from Qgiv.
1. Simplicity Spells Success
This first point captures a lot of minor details about donation pages, but we’re going to try to cover as many as we can.
Keeping your page simple means:
- Removing sidebar menus and navigation.
- Using whitespace to direct donors’ eyes.
- Ridding your page of extraneous links.
- Limiting yourself to one image.
- Keeping only relevant and important copy at the top.
Let’s cover each one briefly:
Removing Sidebar Menus and Navigation
This one directly relates to your donation page’s conversion rate.
If your donors are clicking back to other pages, they’re not completing the donation process.
You can remedy this situation by removing sidebar and other menu navigation buttons from your donation form.
The one exception to this rule is for a link back to your homepage via your logo. Other than that, your donation page should remain relatively free of navigation and menus.
Using Whitespace to Direct Donors’ Eyes
This point can be applied to any aspect of your website, but it is especially important for your donation form, and therefore, your conversion rate.
Keep your donation form free of clutter and overwhelming amounts of text. You should also keep fields adequately spaced to prevent donors from getting overwhelmed.
Instead, use whitespace to your advantage!
Keep the sides of your donation page free of text and focus on the central material: the actual donation form.
This will keep donors from getting sidetracked and will keep them engaged throughout the donation process.
Ridding Your Page of Extraneous Links
Similar to the first point, you should remove extra links from within your donation form.
You might really want to promote your capital campaign or advocacy event, but your donation form is not the place to do so.
If you want to promote other events or share other information with your donors, do so:
- During your in-person meetings.
- Within your emailed newsletters.
- Within your direct mail letters.
- On social media.
- On your blog or website.
- And more!
Keep donors focused on the task at hand and don’t lead them away from your donation form.
If you’re running multiple fundraising campaigns at the same time, consider creating donation forms specifically for each project. You can link to those donation pages in their correlating campaigns, which will keep your main donation page free of distraction.
Limiting Yourself to One Image
Your donation page doesn’t have to be devoid of any emotional appeals or images.
On the contrary, you should remind donors of why they’re giving to your organization by incorporating a captivating, colorful image at the top of your donation page.
We stress the importance of only using one, high-quality image. They say pictures are worth 1,000 words, but you don’t want to say too much or your donors may become distracted.
Try doing what this example nonprofit does:
See how the top of their donation page looks clean and only uses the one, powerful image to capture the user’s interest?
They also include a few lines of copy as well as contact information for donors who have questions about the donation process.
The top of your donation is what your donors will initially see. You only get one chance at a good first impression–make sure your first impression is one that will encourage donors to complete the donation process.
Keeping Only Relevant & Important Copy at the Top
We just briefly mentioned this point above, but it bears repeating:
Your donors don’t want to read a novel when they reach your donation page.
They want to know how they can quickly give to your organization without having to sift through paragraphs of explanations and bulleted lists.
Save that content for your website and blog; leave it at the doorstep of your donation page, though.
Bottom line: Keep your donation form simple to boost your donation page conversion rates. Your donors will thank you!
2. Make it Mobile
Did you know that in the past year alone, mobile giving has grown by over 200%?
You heard that right!
More and more donors are turning to their iPhones, iPads, Androids and tablets as an easy way to give to their favorite nonprofit causes.
Is your organization on that mobile giving train?
If not, then it’s not too late!
All you have to do is make sure that your donation page is mobile-responsive. Mobile-responsive means that your donation page can be viewed on laptops and desktops as well as smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
Let’s take a look at an example:
See how this mobile donation form looks simple (they took a cue from point 1!) and has larger buttons than you would see on a standard donation form.
Donors don’t want to be pinching, resizing, and scrolling through your mobile donation page.
Bottom line: Make your donation form mobile-responsive to receive donations from supporters on the move.
And check out how your nonprofit can raise more and spend less!
3. Keep it Consistent
Your donation page should be an extension of your branding. If you’ve worked hard to craft an image on your fundraising materials, your website, and your email campaigns, you’ll want to mirror that image on your donation form.
Any fonts, images, slogans, or colors used on your website or elsewhere should have a prominent presence on your donation form.
You may be asking yourself why this is such a crucial component of donation page conversion rates.
It has to do with creating a seamless giving experience for your donors. If they spend any amount of time on your website or reading your emails, they’re going to get used to a certain type of design, layout, tone, etc.
Perhaps you always include the same colors and fonts in your emails.
Maybe you have a signature saying, phrase, or slogan that you use at the end of every blog post.
Whatever the case is, make sure that the brand you’ve crafted for your nonprofit gets carried over onto your online donation page.
Bottom line: Your donors expect a seamless giving experience when they donate online. Meet and exceed those expectations by keeping your branding consistent across all communications.
4. Offer Other Opportunities
Donors like to give online because it is an efficient and easy way to give to causes they care deeply about.
But what if you have a major gift donor or matching gift donor hiding right under your nose?
While you can (and should) be reaching out to donors on a regular basis to find out if they’d be interested in other giving and volunteering opportunities, you can also capture this information on your donation form.
Let’s take a look at an example:
This particular part of this donation form encourages donors to get involved with:
- Planned giving.
- And more.
You can include other opportunities that are appropriate for your organization.
Remember though, that none of this information should be required to complete the donation process.
The more information you require donors to plug into the donation form, the less likely they’ll be to complete the process, driving your donation page conversion rates down.
Bottom line: Let donors know about other giving and volunteering opportunities, but don’t force them to fill in more information than they need to.
5. Ditch the Demands
If you truly want to see your donation page conversion rates go up, you need to let donors give freely and without unnecessary demands.
The biggest hurdle that comes to mind is requiring donors to create an account in order to donate.
Imagine this: Instead of landing on a great donation page, donors are greeted with a stern, “You must create an account to continue” page.
Are all of your donors willing to create an account just to give to your organization?
Instead, give them the option to create an account and explain the benefits of having a donor account.
Take a look at this example:
Notice that this nonprofit doesn’t require donors to login or create an account to continue with their donation. They simply make the option available.
There is also a small pop-up window that tells donors why they might want to create an account.
Donor accounts aren’t the only demands that your donation page should ditch.
You should also limit requirements related to:
- Other giving opportunities.
- “How did you hear about us?” fields.
- Phone number (some donors will be hesitant to give this out).
- Newsletter and other outreach opportunities.
- Captchas (those pesky boxes with fuzzy letters and numbers that are frustrating to fill out).
You can make these fields optional if you really want to. But the more fields that donors have to fill out, the lower your donation page conversion rate will be.
Bottom line: Keep your donation form easy to use and limit the number of hoops that donors have to jump through for a higher donation page conversion rate.
And there you have it–the five strategies you can use to amplify your donation page conversion rate.
Of course, there are many more tips, tricks, and best practices that you should consult in addition to this article.
For a good starting place, check out the secret ingredient every fundraising program needs the most.
Abby Jarvis is a blogger, marketer, and communications coordinator for Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider. Qgiv offers industry-leading online giving and peer to peer fundraising tools for nonprofit, faith-based, and political organizations of all sizes. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can usually be found writing for local magazines, catching up on her favorite blogs, or binge-watching sci-fi shows on Netflix.