A few weeks ago we asked our Facebook friends what obstacles they saw in online fundraising. One friend noted that some nonprofits make it hard for donors to donate on their website, with too many clicks in the middle.
There are simple solutions to this, so if you’re thinking about revamping your nonprofit’s website, take these tips into consideration:
1. Use Big, Fat Donation Buttons
There’s no shame in asking your supporters for donations. If they’re your supporters, they know you need the money, and if they’re willing to give it, they just need to know how. When they arrive on your homepage, make it obvious for them to know where to go to donate.
2. Tell Users What You Need
If you need money to purchase pencils and notebooks for a classroom in Honduras, tell your donors how much you need. And if you can offer them a visual, that’s even better. It also doesn’t hurt to offer preset amounts in increments like $25, $50, $100, and other, and tie each of them to what they’d directly support. For example, $50 buys pencils and notebooks for a whole year.
3. The Easier, the Better
Donation shouldn’t be something hard to do. Even though the three-click rule doesn’t always apply, don’t add unnecessary steps in the way. Make it easy for your users to donate. Invest in a simple donation processing system that’s familiar to users and where they don’t have to set up an account to donate. And if you can, offer a mobile-friendly version.
4. Security Should be Top Notch
Everyone needs the peace of mind when they’re donating online, so be sure you’re offering your donations a safe place to process their credit cards.
5. Quickly Acknowledge
It’s good to provide a thank you page to confirm that the donation was submitted successfully, and it’s also good to automatically generate and email that confirmation for tax purposes. But remember it doesn’t replace the thank you letters you still owe them; these dry, tax purpose-written letters aren’t personal and won’t make your donor happy to come back to support you even more.
This Smashing Magazine article has other nonprofit website best practices you should look into, along with good examples of real nonprofit websites that make it easy and appealing.