The idea of your Donate page not being donor-friendly is pretty crazy, but you’d be surprised how often it happens. It’s easy to get wrapped up in internal priorities and forget to consider what the person actually making the donation would prefer. And, unfortunately, the less you think about your donors in the development of this page, the higher the odds are that you’ll lose people before they make a donation.
It takes more than a user-friendly donation form to create a donor-friendly experience. Your form is incredibly important, but you need to get people to start filling out that form in the first place. And, your Donate page is just one more stop along the way to getting potential supporters there.
Your Donate page needs to continue driving visitors to take action by making a donation. It needs to establish your credibility. It needs to maintain the trust you’ve gained. It needs to reinforce the need for their support. It needs to inspire them to act.
Keep It On Your Website
When people click the “Donate” button on your website, it needs to take them to a Donate page on your website. There’s nothing more unsettling than donating to a nonprofit through a third party site. The trust you have in that nonprofit does not carry over to this unknown website.
You need a page to cover your donation information. If you’re going to throw someone to a third party site, you have to tell them first. Addressing this hand off helps to maintain some of the trust when potential donors travel there to make their donation. But, really
Drive People to Action
Just because someone is on your Donate page doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. You still need to inspire them and drive them to take action. Your Donate page should contain a compelling call to action.
Give a Gift that Empowers. Give an Orphan a Family. End the Education Crisis. These are just a few examples of compelling calls to action that remind people why their support is needed. This is often the moment that either convinces visitors to make a contribution or leads them away from your website without giving. Make it powerful.
Explain the Options
Most nonprofits offer multiple ways to give. Much like letting supporters know all the different ways they can get involved, it’s important to let people know all of the ways they can give. Giving them options allows them to choose the route they’re most comfortable with – the way that best suits their situation.
It’s important not to overwhelm them with information when you do this though. Link to a subpage with more in depth information about each way to give if necessary. Create headings for each method and include a short blurb underneath. Explain the options as succinctly and cleanly as possible. Just make sure you clearly identify the different ways a donor can make a gift to your nonprofit.
People like knowing where their money is going. Provide information on how donations are being used to establish your credibility and gaining the trust of potential donors.
There’s a lot of discussion about how much transparency is enough. Some nonprofits break it down to the cent. Others give specifics on the initiatives donor contributions are funding.
You might also consider linking to any financial reports you have on your site. High-wealth donors love checking those out before making large-scale gifts.
So this isn’t everyone, but there will be people who will undoubtedly have questions. Be prepared. Provide a link to your contact page, or include information if there is a specific person they should get in touch with. You want to be as accommodating as possible.
It’s important to provide your website visitors with a pleasant experience that will hopefully inspire them to become a supporter of your nonprofit. This experience shouldn’t end with your donation page. You need them to take that final step and actually make the donation, so make sure your Donate page is truly donor-friendly.
How is your nonprofit’s donate page providing potential donors with a pleasant experience? What have you found to be effective? Have you taken a unique approach you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.