There’s no doubt about it. We live in a digital world. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly accelerated the trend, but fundraisers have been emphasizing digital strategies for some time. And an optimized and effective online donation page is a key part of your fundraising strategy!
In fact, most (63 percent of) donors prefer to give online with a credit or debit card, according to Double the Donation.
So, if your online donation page is not up to par, you will miss out on donations that can advance your goals, further your mission, and make the world a better place!
We’re not talking about overhauling your entire online fundraising strategy. After all, that takes time, work, and buy in from your organization’s leadership.
Instead, we’ll focus on small tweaks you can make on your own that make it easier for donors to support you and advance your mission!
So, how do you know if you’re making the most of your online donation page? And what can you do now to optimize the online giving experience for your supporters?
Here’s what you need to know:
Determining where you’re at.
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.
Luckily, it’s easy to calculate your online conversion rate as long as you track your web analytics. Just divide your total number of online donations by the total number of visitors to your online donation page during a given 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 about 17 percent. So, you have some work to do if your conversion rate falls short.
READ MORE: Can you improve your donor conversion rate?
Donating should be easy.
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.
So, start by cutting the clutter! There are plenty of other pages on your website where supporters can learn about your initiatives and the details behind them.
Keep your online donation page focused on securing support, and make sure you have a clear call-to-action.
And don’t make giving a longer process than it needs to be! 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: Does your nonprofit make it easy to give?
Remind donors of your mission.
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 donor’s 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.
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” or “Save a Life” does 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.
Optimize for mobile users.
Here’s a scary statistic: 84 percent of donation pages are still not mobile friendly according to MobileCause.
But there’s good news! Today, most web hosting services know the importance of mobile optimization.
So, most offer responsive web designs created with mobile users in mind. These sites are intended to read well on a desktop or mobile device.
Still not sold? Don’t forget, 54 percent of nonprofit emails are opened on mobile, according to Nonprofit Source.
We’ll say it one more time. Your online donation page needs to be mobile friendly!
Just a piece of the puzzle.
However, this advice won’t be helpful if your online donation page stands on its own.
After all, your online giving page is just one piece of your digital strategy.
You can’t trust that like-minded 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.
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 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.