11 Simple Suggestions for a Better Donation Form

Better Donation Form Suggestions

There’s a lot of advice out there about the best aesthetics for a donation form, like have a blue donate button instead of a purple one or use Arial font instead of Times New Roman.  However much of this advice is driven by personal preferences.  And although personal preferences do have a role to play, there are a few more objective factors you should consider for your nonprofit’s online donation form design.  Check out the eleven simple suggestions below.

1. Keep It Simple

A clean and simple donation page not only looks professional, but it also removes any possible distractions.  Take out any unnecessary text, photos, menu bars or tabs that might divert donors’ attention.

2. Remove Links

Take out any links that might accidentally take potential donors back to your website and away from the donation page.  You want people who visit your donation form to do one thing: donate.

3. Match Your Website’s Design

Although you want to keep it simple and remove links, your nonprofit’s donation page should have the same look as your website.  If prospective donors feel as if they’ve left your nonprofit’s website, they may no longer feel comfortable donating their money.  A donation page that is formatted like every other page on your website gives prospective donors more confidence that this money is truly going to your nonprofit and nowhere else.

4. Make It Easy to Read

Readability is integral to converting potential donations into actual donations.  If your donation form is easy to read, it will be easier to fill out.  Ensuring readability relies on having large enough print and proper spacing.  If users have to zoom in and squint to read your donation form, they will most likely just leave the form without making a donation.  So make the labels on the field boxes easy to read.

5. Make It One Page Whenever Possible

Does the length of your donation form really matter?  Turns out it does.  Convio and Donordigital’s study Beyond Best Practices found that one-page donation forms ultimately result in more donations than forms that have a second page asking for more information or confirmation.  If you can, design your nonprofit’s donation form so that all necessary information is given on one page.

6. Indicate Progress If Multiple Pages

If for whatever reason you must break the donation process onto multiple pages, show your donors their progress towards completing the process.  The frustration of not knowing how long the entire process is might cause some potential donors to give up.

7. Ask for Minimal Information

You want the donation process to be as quick and easy as possible.  Once you have prospective donors on the donation page, don’t scare them away by asking for extra information.  Streamline the donation process by only collecting information that’s absolutely necessary.

8. Plan the Order You Request Information

Don’t start the donation form by asking for sensitive information like credit card numbers.  Put the name and address field boxes first, then handle the donation amount and credit card numbers.  Not only is this the order potential donors expect, but it also eases donors into the process before requiring credit card information.

9. Ensure Proper Tabbing

As users fill out your donation form, many will use the “tab” key to move between fields.  Test the tabbing functionality of your nonprofit’s form to ensure it works properly. It can be pretty disorienting to push “tab” and get bounced all over a web page.

10. Showcase Security

Donation forms aren’t only about making the process as simple as possible.  They should also give off a professional impression, letting your donors know that they can trust your nonprofit with their credit card and personal information.

Do whatever you can to reassure your donors that they can trust you and your nonprofit to keep their credit card and other personal information safe and confidential.  Prominently display security and encryption information.  Perhaps consider attaining a trust seal from The Better Business Bureau, VeriSign, e-icon, TRUSTe, or another security service.

11. Use Photos and Captions

As a personal touch, consider including a simple photo of the difference that your nonprofit is making in the world.  With a single photo, you can remind potential donors what their money is contributing to and reassure them that their donation goes straight to the cause.  Consider adding a sentence or two caption explaining how the donation money is used to support the cause, and reinforcing the difference that this donation can make.

Test It Out

These eleven suggestions can help you have a better donation form, but the best donation form will vary from organization to organization and from audience to audience.  If you have the time and resources, consider experimenting with your nonprofit’s donation form to see which factors lead to the greatest number of donations.

Have you had a chance to experiment with your nonprofit’s donation form?  What’s worked?  Or have you ever come across a donation form that made you leave instead of giving?  Let us know in the comments.

Related Reads

3 Tips for a Better Donate Button on Your Website

7 Common Barriers to Online Giving

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How to Maintain Relationships with Donors Using the Internet

How Your Nonprofit Can Accept Donations Online Right Now

Image courtesy of Sean McMenemy, Flickr