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Donation Page Do’s and Don’ts

Lori Halley 04 December 2013 0 comments

Your terrific year-end fundraising campaign is ramping up. But did your planning include looking at your donation page, form or donate button?

If your year-end messaging is designed to drive droves of supporters to your website, it’s imperative that you make it easy for them to give online. That means ensuring your donation page and donate button are easy to find and functioning perfectly to optimize year-end giving.

Want some guidance on donation page do’s and don’ts?

I found two articles in the Network for Good Learning Center that offer some great do's and don’ts for donation pages that are share-worthy.  Here are some excerpts:

Donation page “Do’s”

In her article - How to Ask For Donations on Your Website - Rebecca Ruby Higman outlines “six "dos" of asking for donations on your website”:

  1. Make it painfully easy to find the "donate" option.
  2. Show where the moolah goes.
  3. Explain the how of your mission (not just the what).
  4. Appeal to donors' ideals and values.
  5. Show your connection to or presence in the local community.
  6. Don't forget to ask.

To check out all of the “do” details, you can read the entire Network for Good article here.

What to avoid - the “Don’ts” for your donation page:

In another great Network for Good article - 7 Online Donation Page Mistakes to Avoid - Caryn Stein offers some suggestions to help you “whip your donation form into shape before the year-end stream of donations begins.” Here are Stein’s 7 things to avoid:

  1. Too much text.
  2. Too many options.
  3. Inconsistent branding.
  4. Outdated information.
  5. Lack of testing.
  6. No suggested giving amounts.
  7. No recurring gift options. Your donation page is a good opportunity to let people know about your monthly giving program, as an easy way to support your organization with manageable amounts.

To check out all of the “don’t” details, you can read the entire Network for Good article here.

Insight for optimizing donation pages

A whitepaper that Convio and Donordigital published a while back - Beyond Best Practices: What seven organizations learned  about converting more donors on their web donation forms - looked at best practices on donation forms across a number of U.S. organizations and identified strategies for optimizing donation pages to raise more money online.

Their research identified three key elements that “meaningfully affect user behavior on forms most of the time:”

  • Form length: One-page forms generally do significantly better than two-page forms.
  • Columns: One or two? Let your audience decide.
  • Trust seals: Placement above the fold (where they are highly visible to users) often provides a significant lift to donor conversion, and two may be better than one.

The whitepaper also suggests that “to optimize a web donation form ... you must evaluate how well it answers a user’s top three questions:”

  1. Where am I?
  2. What can I do here?
  3. Why should I do it?

Don’t forget to test it

If after you’ve read through the “Do’s and Don’ts”, you think your donation page and donate button are “good to go” (e.g., easy to find and use) - Claire Axelrad (Clairification) suggests you test it. In her post Button, button, who’s got the button? Claire suggests you ask someone who doesn’t know your organization to go to your website and try to make a donation.

Then test it again!

And once you’ve figured out what needs to be tweaked on your donation form or page and you've made the edits - go ahead and test it again to ensure your revisions do the trick.

Good luck with your year-end fundraising.  If you have any other “do’s” or “don’ts” to add, please drop us a note in the comments below.

Recurring donation in post banner

Image source:  Green donate button - courtesy of BigStockPhoto.com
Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Wednesday, 04 December 2013 at 9:05 AM
Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.

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