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Why Donation Pages for Nonprofits Usually Suck

The EveryAction Team

Right now, thousands of donors are being scared, confused, bored, or straight up turned away from donating online.

Your organization might be missing out on critical support from visitors that are turned off by badly designed donation pages.

The money you need is out there - you just have to make sure you’ve got the door open and the welcome mat out.

Futurama Frye holding money

Turning your donation page into a sleek, donor-converting, fundraising machine might sound difficult, but it isn’t.

We’ve put together a couple of tips for making donation pages for nonprofits perform better right from the get go. Any one of them should have a real impact on your fundraising stats.

 

1. Don’t block them

This seems like an obvious tip, but it’s an important one.

There are over 116 million mobile users in the United States, and globally, the number of mobile users will surpass desktop users this year.

The trouble is, over 80% of donation forms aren’t set up to be viewed on a mobile device. Millennials are driving this trend, and if you want their help, you’re going to have to meet them on their turf.

If the online giving process is frustrating, potential donors are more likely to give up and play Candy Crush instead. That’s not good news for you, and it’s not good news for the future of your organization.

Optimizing your forms (and for that matter, your whole website ) for mobile will open up a massive new pool of potential donors - now and in the future. As they say, it’s best to get in on the ground floor.

 12 Best Nonprofit Donation Page Examples

 

2. Don’t scare them

Giving online is inherently uncomfortable for some.

Think of all the people (or maybe just think of your parents) who are scared or uncomfortable doing things online. Between scams, identity theft, and Rebecca Black, the internet has collected a bit of bad press. Don’t worry though!

Fostering trust online is easy if you deal with a couple of common problems.

First off, make sure your page has a security certificate, and that it’s up to date and sufficient.

Over a third of donation forms either have no security certificate, or a compromised one. Having that friendly green padlock next to the donation page URL isn’t just a security necessity; it’s reassuring to anyone thinking about handing over sensitive information.

Branding your page is also important. If visitors arrive on your donation page and all it says is“enter in payment details”, they’re liable to wonder if they’re giving their info to you, or these guys.

Seeing your logo and a design consistent with the rest of your website will make users feel more secure.

Finally, it’s important to reassure donors that you won’t play fast and loose with personal data.

Have a handy link to your privacy policy, and consider promising your donor that you won’t be calling or emailing them unnecessarily.

 

3. Don’t bore them

Why do you hate doing your taxes - even if you’re expecting a nice big return? Forms. Long, confusing, boring forms.

Thankfully, a lot of smart people have worked very hard to make charitable giving a more enjoyable experience than filling in a W-4.

The best forms break up the process into bite-sized chunks, first asking for your donation amount, then your name and email (or whatever else is wanted or needed), and finally your payment information.

Many successful organizations spend a lot of time and money building these forms - but fear not! Why build your own, when you can use the experience and expertise of others?

The EveryAction platform has a funky fresh donation page - get a demo here.

 

4. Tell a story

Giving is good. Giving makes people feel good. Helping out charities has even been shown to have psychological and social benefits.

Emphasizing that goodness on your donation page means telling a story - a story that shows your donors why they’re giving, and gives them that warm fuzzy feeling inside.

The best stories combine evocative imagery, personalization, heroism, and impact.

When you’re showing that impact, tell a personal story with your donor as the hero. Instead of talking about 500,000 youths you’ll be educating, tell your donor how their donation will give Tara the education she needs to get out of poverty, and improve her life.

Incidentally, showing millennials the impact of their gift in real, concrete terms is one of the best strategies to convince them to give.

As an increasingly digitally-native demographic, your donors like to know where their money is going, and what you’re going to achieve with it.


Using any one of these tips (but hopefully all of them!) will let you capture a bigger slice of the growing online donation pie.

 Remember: optimize for mobile, help donors feel secure, keep things easy, and tell a good story.

 Download the Essential Elements of Digital Storytelling guide