This is a guest post from our friends at Qgiv. We’re very appreciative of them for putting this great content on online donations and nonprofits together for us.
Is your organization looking to raise more money this year?
Are you turning to online giving as a solution?
Most importantly: is your website ready to collect online donations?
If not, you might run into more than a few roadblocks and hiccups when donors try to give to your great cause.
But not all nonprofits are seeing this same trend. There are many reasons your organization might not be seeing skyrocketing online donations:
- You might be a fairly young nonprofit.
- Your donors might prefer mailing in their donations.
- Your online donation form might not be up to par.
Regardless of the reasoning, your nonprofit should still consider re-doing your website so that it is more conducive for online fundraising.
Instead of getting left behind in the dust, you’ll be leading the online fundraising pack.
What do you have to lose?
Check out the top four ways to optimize your nonprofit’s site for online donations.
Make it easy for donors to give.
An individual who has found your website either through a random search, an email you sent, or a link they discovered on another site might fall so in love with your nonprofit that they feel the need to donate right then and there.
But what if your site only has a “Donate Now” button on the homepage and on your “Ways to Give” page? Your passionate would-be donor is busy sifting through your blog posts from two years ago, entranced by the positive change that you’re creating in your community.
How can this person, fueled by goodwill and charity, give immediately if there is only one button on your entire site that directs them to a donation page?
The short answer is that they can’t. Now, this particular donor might sift through your site to look for a “Donate Now” button, but others might not be so enthusiastic.
One of the easiest ways for your nonprofit to optimize your site for online giving is by making it simple and easy for every would-be donor to give.
Include compelling calls to action and donation buttons on your blog posts and pages to encourage users to easily support your cause.
Spruce up your donation page.
If you ask for donations online, you’re going to need to give donors a way to actually make contributions.
Making your online donation page user friendly will help ensure that your donors make it all the way through the donation process without getting frustrated or confused.
Some general tips for making a good donation page better, include:
- Minimizing the number of fields. Studies have shown that the more information you require donors to give, the less likely they’ll be to complete their donation.
- Making suggested giving amounts. You can still let donors choose what they’d like to give, but offering suggested giving levels usually leads to larger donations.
- Keeping your form secure. No one wants to have their data compromised. Give your donors peace of mind and include security certification info on your donation page.
Your online donation form might become a main source of funds for your nonprofit. Make sure you aren’t driving donors away with a less-than-amazing page!
And for more information, check out the top four tools for processing donations on the internet.
Include pictures and videos of your nonprofit’s projects.
You’ve heard it before: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
The cliché can be overused sometimes, but it really does hold up when talking about online donation pages and nonprofit websites.
If you bombard your users with a block of text, they’re probably not going to read it all. Instead, use your website as a platform to display the good work your organization is doing.
Do you have a video of the kickoff event for your capital campaign? What about pictures of your volunteers helping the members of your community? Feature these on your website to show donors and supporters what their dollars and time are going toward.
You can also display images on your donation page, though you should be careful not to overdo it. Sidetracking donors with multiple images and videos can lead them away from completing the donation process.
Try placing a single powerful image or video at the top of your donation page that tugs at the heartstrings and encourages donors to give.
Make your website mobile responsive.
Next time you’re in a public place, whether it’s in line at the coffee shop, at a shopping mall, or even in church, take ten seconds to look around and count how many people are on their phones.
You’ll likely find that the majority of people, young and old, are texting, talking, and tweeting away.
It’s a well-known fact that, thanks to mobile technology, our world is rapidly changing. Not too long ago, nonprofits had to rely on checks and cash donations to fund their mission; now, a millennial donor can give to your annual fund on their smartphone.
How is your organization keeping up with this trend?
If the answer is, “We’re not,” then now is the time to start!
Making your website and your online donation page mobile responsive is the key to breaking into the mobile giving scene. Donors can’t have an amazing giving experience if they can’t properly navigate your site on their cell phone, tablet, or other mobile device.
If you want to optimize your site for online giving, that means including mobile fundraising in your strategy.
Online giving should not be viewed as a replacement to offline and traditional fundraising tactics. In fact, large donations like major gifts should be pursued in person rather than via the internet.
However, online donations can be an easy and efficient way to raise money for your cause. By following these four best practices, you’ll be able to attract more donors to your website, keep them on your donation page long enough to complete a contribution, and ultimately generate more revenue for your organization.
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.