3 Tips for a More Effective Donation Form

Donation Form

As a nonprofit, donations are likely your lifeblood. They’re pivotal to your continuing to do good work. So I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, creating donation forms that people will actually finish filling out is probably pretty important to you.

Americans donated over $335 billion to U.S. charities in 2013—72% came directly from individuals. It’s not huge organizations filling out your donation form—it’s real people. And, they’re busy. They’re constantly on the go. They have other things to do. Think about them the next time you take a look at your donation form. Is it something a potential donor could get through quickly?

The average donation form abandonment rate for nonprofits is somewhere between 50% and 70%. That means more than half of the people who click on your donate button aren’t actually donating. We’ve all been that person. You know how easy it is to bail. You start the process, realize how much time it’s going to take and quickly leave the page. We all have the intention of going back to it later, but how often do we actually follow through?

You need to look at your donation form through the eyes of a potential donor. Making changes that benefit your supporters benefits your nonprofit. Improving their experience can increase in your conversions.

Here are some tips to shrink that abandonment rate and help your donation form be a little more user-friendly.

With Questions, Less is More

Think of your potential donors like new friends. Bombarding them with personal questions can be overwhelming and even off-putting. They’re trying to help your nonprofit—let them!

Nearly 1/3 of nonprofit and charity websites ask 20 questions on their donation forms. That’s too many! Think bare bones. What information do you absolutely need from a potential donor?

As the number of questions on a form increases so does the abandonment rate. Fewer questions means less time and less effort. According to one case study, reducing the number of questions on your donation form could increase conversions by 35%.

Avoid Relying on Placeholder Text

Sometimes, in our efforts to make things easier for users, we wind up making them a bit more confusing. Placeholder text is a prime example of this.

Located inside the field, placeholder text is often used to provide further instruction as to what sort of information is required. Sounds helpful, right? Not necessarily.

If you’re currently using this on your donation form, you might consider getting rid of it. Usability testing shows placeholder text tends to hurt more than it helps. By removing this text and keeping field labels outside of the box, you’re making it easier for potential donors to navigate your form. Without placeholder text, it’s much easier for people to quickly scan to see what fields they still need to fill out and review the form before submitting.

Make Mobile Giving Easy

There are around 1.4 million nonprofits in the U.S. and 84% of them don’t have mobile-friendly donation pages. That’s pretty crazy when you think about how much we use our smartphones nowadays. You should be making it as easy as possible for people to give to your nonprofit.

When a site is responsive, giving on mobile devices doubles. Let me repeat that. It doubles.  Why wouldn’t you want to create a smoother experience for potential donors trying to give from their phones? Make donating more convenient and you just might see an uptick in your conversions.

It’s important to remember that your donation form is as much about creating the best user experience possible as it is about getting the information you need. Hopefully, these tips help you adjust your donation form to be a bit more user-friendly.

What has your experience with donation forms been like? Do you have any insight or tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Photo courtesy of Alejandro Escamilla