Securing Support Through Your Online Donation Page
by Mike Montalto
February 25, 2021

There’s no doubt about it, we live in a digital world. The coronavirus pandemic may have accelerated the trend, but fundraisers have been putting an emphasis on digital strategies for some time. And an optimized and effective online donation page is a key part of your fundraising strategy.

In fact, revenue from individual online gifts grew by 19 percent during 2020, according to Double the Donation. So, if your online donation page is not up to par, you’re going to be missing out on donations that can further your mission!

So, how do you know if you’re making the most of your online donation page? And what can you do to optimize the online giving experience for your supporters?

Here’s what you need to know:

Calculate your online conversion rate.

Your online conversion rate.

First, it’s important to get a feel for the effectiveness of your online donation page. After all, you can’t improve if you don’t know where you stand now.

Analyzing donations alone can be misleading. Instead, you need to calculate your online donor conversion rate to get the full picture.

Luckily, it’s easy to calculate your online conversion rate, as long as you are tracking your web analytics. Just take your total number of online donations and divide it by the total number of visitors to your online donation page during a given time period.

This makes it easy to grasp how effective your online donation page is at securing support. The average online conversion rate for nonprofits is just 17 percent. So, you have some work to do if your conversion rate falls short.

READ MORE: 5 Key Data Points to Evaluate Your Fundraising 

Emails eBook CTA

Make it easy to give.

Your online donation page needs to work for you, not against you. This means making it as easy as possible for donors to give once they arrive on your site. You can’t afford to frustrate potential donors with an overwhelming or unoptimized giving page.

Start by cutting the clutter from your online donation page.

There are plenty of other pages on your website where supporters can learn about your initiatives and the details behind them. Keep it focused on securing support and make sure the action you want donors to take is clear.

And don’t forget to make it easy for donors to give by limiting the amount of time they need to spend on your online giving page. Keep forms short and only ask for information that is essential to securing a donation. Long forms can intimidate donors and cause them to leave your page before they donate.

READ MORE: Why Your Nonprofit’s Call-to-Action Doesn’t Inspire Donors

Use impact-per-dollar comparisons and mission-focused CTA buttons to raise more online.

Make it feel real.

You don’t want to throw too much information at donors on your online giving page. But it is helpful to briefly remind donors of the impact they are about to make with their donation.

Impact per dollar comparisons in your ask make a donors support more tangible. And it’s best if you can tie your example into your mission and the stories you’ve been telling in your outreach.

Remember, a food pantry’s mission isn’t to give out food. It’s to make sure those in need don’t go hungry.

Your call-to-action buttons are another way to help a donor understand the difference they are about to make.

Too many organizations opt for “Donate” or “Give Now”. And they’re missing out on an opportunity to be more mission-focused.

Something like “Feed Our Friends,” “Save a Life,” do a better job of reminding donors of your shared goal. Or you can be more donor-centric with something like “Make a Difference” to remind the donor of their role in making your mission a reality.

READ MORE: 7 Ways to Improve Your Fundraising Today

54% of nonprofit emails are opened on a mobile device

Mobile is mandatory.

Here’s a scary statistic: 84 percent of donation pages are still not mobile friendly according to MobileCause.

But here’s the good news: Today, most web hosting services know the importance of mobile optimization.

So, most offer responsive web designs that are created with mobile users in mind. These sites are intended to read well on a desktop or any mobile device.

The days of m.yournonprofit.org are behind us. Responsive website layouts have made creating a separate mobile version of your website an unnecessary step when optimizing for mobile users!

Responsive websites automatically determine and accommodate a user’s screen resolution and size. That’s why they look great no matter what device you view them on!

If you have a relatively new website, chances are your site was built with a responsive design in mind. If not, the most common web hosting services, including WordPress and Wix automatically incorporate them on new websites.

Switching to a responsive design is the easiest way to alleviate the need for users to pinch, scroll, and zoom to navigate your website.

Still not sold? Don’t forget, 54 percent of nonprofit emails are opened on mobile devices, according to Nonprofit Source.

We’ll say it one more time. Your online donation page needs to be mobile friendly!

READ MORE: How to Approach Mobile Optimization for Nonprofits

Show them the way.

However, all of this advice won’t be helpful if your online donation page stands on its own. Afterall, your online giving page is just one piece of your digital strategy.

You can’t trust that likeminded supporters will find their way to your page on their own. You need an effective outreach strategy that uses emails, social media, peer-to-peer campaigns and other digital communications that drive visitors to your online donation page.

And non-ask communications are important too.

If your message inspires donors to want to learn more on their own, their first stop will be your website. And your homepage should give them the information they are looking for while directing them to your online donation page.

And even if your not focused on digital-first strategies (you should be), don’t forget that direct mail is a huge driver of online giving!

So, do yourself, and your mission a favor. Make sure you aren’t missing out on support because of a poorly performing online donation page.

Like what you see? Stay in touch!