If a first-time visitor lands on your nonprofit’s donation page, you want to do everything in your power to keep them there. And yet, only 17 percent of users who land on donation pages actually make a gift. How can this number be so low?
In a review of 200+ nonprofit donation pages, NextAfter reported 40 percent of nonprofits required non-essential information to process donations, 55 percent included distracting links on their page, and 30 percent had three or more steps to complete a donation. Ultimately, including unnecessary information, distracting links (AKA taking them anywhere else besides completing their donation), and multiple steps can lead to donor abandonment and decrease your conversion rate.
We’ll let you in on the secret to success: keep it simple. Investing time to optimize your donation process is essential to improve efficiency, streamline donations, and ultimately increase conversions. The more swift the process, the higher likelihood a first-time giver will be ready to donate on the spot.
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
1. Avoid Unnecessary Distractions
Make the giving process as simple as possible. Find ways to strip down your donation form to the bare minimum required fields. For example, donors should not have to answer how they heard about your organization, inform you of their gender, or log in to an account to give. You can always follow-up after a donation to learn more about their preferences. In fact, we encourage building that relationship after you collect the cash!
Prioritize eliminating these common distractions:
- Remove any pop-ups or videos on your donation page
- Minimize the number of redirects within the page
- Keep required fields to a minimum
2. Mobile-Friendly is a Must
In 2018, mobile giving donations increased by 205 percent overall, where 51 percent of people who visited a nonprofit’s website did so through a mobile device. Optimizing your mobile pages for those who prefer to donate-on-the-go is a crucial step to maximizing donations.
Consider adding suggested donation amounts, increasing the size of the text and buttons for your mobile donation form, and keep branding consistent.
3. Keep Imagery Simple
Moving images of your impact, videos, and stories are best kept off the donation page. Don’t run the risk of supporters getting lost in the sauce – stick to the meat of what your organization needs to keep going. This doesn’t mean removing images altogether, just don’t go overboard. In fact, images are a great way to keep the text on a donation page to a minimum, while still communicating impact.
Communicate your value proposition and show how a supporter’s donations can positively impact your organization. Boys and Girls Club of America accomplishes these tasks with one sentence and one image.
4. Communicate Your Value Proposition
Of the nonprofit donation pages studied, only 1 out of 3 nonprofits communicated their value proposition throughout checkout. This is the simplest and most effective way to demonstrate why a prospective supporter should feel motivated to donate. Once all of the fluff is removed from your donation pages (excessive input fields, video or imagery, lots of steps), bring your text back to basics. Why should someone feel motivated to give? What does a donation translate to in terms of impact for your organization?
5. Keep It Secure & Provide Social Proof
Social proof is a way to communicate that your organization is trusted and valued by your community and the greater nonprofit sector. Action Against Hunger incorporates this on their mobile donation page in a very subtle way, with icons in the header of the page that coincide with minimal but motivating text. They also include a lock icon to communicate that the donation process is secure, another factor that can lead to donor abandonment.
6. Communicate Donation Amounts in Terms of Impact
This is a sneaky and simple way to highlight what a donation amount translates to, in as few words as possible. In addition to your value proposition, how many trees does $50 plant? How many people can $100 feed in your community? Communicating your impact through donation levels lets your first-time visitor know exactly what their money would be going to support, without having to provide great detail around programming.
7. Say Thanks
It’s not a bad idea to let your supporters know you’re grateful for their gifts, even if it comes before they’ve made the donation. Follow-up with an automated email with a personalized thank-you to let your valued supporters new and old know that their gift is appreciated.