Put yourself in a prospective donor’s shoes, and take a close look at your donation website.
Can you easily find the resources you need? Does it compel you to give?
If not, it may be time to rethink your website. After all, your donation website’s usability and overall experience could mean the difference between acquiring a gift and losing a contribution.
A donation website won’t capture the attention it needs if you don’t put the care and time into it that your donors deserve. Once it’s caught users’ eyes, you’ll need to compel them to give, because visits mean nothing if your conversion rates are low.
If your nonprofit is new to the digital world, don’t worry too much! High conversion rates are a straightforward concept to understand (but difficult to master). In this case, a conversion rate is simply the number of visits your donation website receives versus the number of actual donations made through it. Think of it this way: you want to convert your visitors into secured donors.
Thinking of the donation process in these terms helps you to stay focused on the small adjustments needed to make huge differences in your revenue.
To boost donation website conversion rates, follow these effective steps:
User experience (UX) should be your main priority. Put yourself in your prospective donors’ shoes, and think about how they see your website. Is it easy to complete a donation? Does the content on your website flow and include relevant information? Does it get to the point, or is there too much to read? These are the kinds of questions you should keep in mind when creating your donation website, or any website for that matter.
It’s safe to assume that visitors at this stage are here for one main reason: to financially support your nonprofit. However, they won’t stick around forever if you’re bombarding them with demanding, long-winded tasks.
For the best results, optimize your UX design. Consider the following optimization tips to do this effectively:
With a growing dependence on mobile technology, mobile-optimized donation websites are more important than ever. In fact, half of all website traffic comes from mobile and tablet users. To account for this, make sure your organization’s donation website is optimized for mobile users in every possible way. For instance, make sure to:
After optimizing your donation website, you must actively facilitate website engagement for users. UX should encompass every element on your website, especially the donation page. From here, you’ll need to continuously encourage visitors to complete your target action (i.e. donating). Sure, you’ve caught their eye, but that’s only part of the equation. Do everything you can to keep them engaged so that they’ll finish the donation process. Otherwise, their interest may fade.
Putting the user experience first means taking a closer look at your donation website and refining even the smallest details. Every organization has a unique supporter base, so improving user experience varies from organization-to-organization. Imagine how your donors will perceive your donation website before you make it available to them.
Regardless of your nonprofit’s unique needs, there are a few common UX best practices. During the web design stage, ask yourself the following:
To test functionality and speed, have a few of your team members make test donations. Then, refine the process based on their feedback.
As a general rule of thumb, don’t sacrifice quality for speed. Rather, find the perfect balance to increase conversion rates and secure those much-needed donations.
It can be easy to overlook and neglect your website at times, but you should make a conscious effort to regularly check in. That way, you’ll ensure your donation website has baseline functionality as well as smooth UX.
Need inspiration for efficiently designing your site? Check out Double the Donation’s list of top nonprofit websites.
Your nonprofit’s digital strategy encompasses more than just your website. Once you’ve considered the usability of your site, think about the role your donation tools play in the process. Do they give you the quick donation process and customization options that you need? You may have a flowing and well-designed donation website, but that means nothing if your conversion rates are subpar due to incomprehensive tools.
To be rendered effective, here’s what a donation website’s tools must accomplish:
If a donation tool doesn’t check all of these boxes, it might not be worth the investment. New fundraisers typically invest in the first donation website solutions they encounter, like crowdfunding sites. However, these tools don’t really give you enough control over the donation experience. You’ll lose potential donors without even realizing it.
Instead, research and invest in a free donation website tool that puts your nonprofit and supporters first. Don’t be deterred by the word “free” as some of the best donation tools come at no upfront cost to organizations like yours. Working with a free donation website that gives you customization options is the smarter choice over the long run. This is especially true if your organization will be fundraising a lot and not just for a single project or campaign.
Luckily, Snowball offers free a donation website to get you up and running with professional-grade tools. These tools are sure to make a great impression on donors and can help you maximize conversions.
The donor experience starts from the moment a prospect accesses your donation website and doesn’t end until they exit the site. In fact, if you have an effective retention strategy, the donor experience never truly ends. Your donation website should always leave them wanting more.
While your site’s overall goal is to accept donations, you’ll likely offer resources on your site that encourage donors to support your organization in other ways. Because of this, you’ll need to put special care into making the donation page visible across your site. To start, have a clear link to the donation form in the navigation bar. Then, call attention to the form on multiple pages when appropriate.
Once you’ve drawn prospects to your donation form, retain their attention and secure their donations! To get started, use the following donation page design tips:
At this stage, your sole priority is securing each donation. This enables your nonprofit to begin ongoing conversations with donors to boost their support and develop long-term relationships. In short, avoid the temptation to clog up this process with unnecessary steps that donors don’t view as important.
When designed with users’ engagement in mind, your donation website will likely see more conversions. Start with straightforward navigation. Sure, a website may be visually compelling, but this means nothing if prospects can’t find the donation form.
To do this, use a navigation bar that’s visible on every page of your site. This makes traveling through all your content easier, so long as it’s kept to the essentials. If you give users too many options to choose from, they may overlook your more important pages (i.e. your donation form).
Navigation titles should be as concise as possible while still conveying what the landing page is. Make sure you feature pages like your:
Once you’ve established clear navigation throughout your site, consider these extra visual components:
While it’s important to engage visitors with your donation website, NEVER slow down the actual donation process. People get easily sidetracked, so eliminate distractions. To start, don’t reroute them off of your website for any reason. Instead, encourage them to stay on your donation website and click through to the main form.
As previously touched on, the donor experience never truly ends. To secure the long-sought-after golden donation (click here to learn more about it!), your nonprofit will have to optimize the post-donation experience. It’s much easier to retain donors than it is to acquire new ones. Plus, with recurring donors’ growing support and loyalty, you may even receive larger, more substantial donations over time.
To grow your donor retention rates, think about what happens immediately after a donor completes a donation. Are they rerouted to a confirmation page? Do they receive an automated thank-you email?
Once you initially thank them, follow up with additional options and features, such as:
You may want to put additional thought into post-donation appeals. For instance, don’t bombard donors with gift requests. If they just gave a few days ago, they may feel unvalued if you immediately ask for another donation.
Because your donors’ perspective is immensely important, don’t forget about the steps your nonprofit needs to take post-donation. This encompasses more than tossing out a simple “thank you” or an occasional newsletter.
A successful conversion is only the first step in building a long-term relationship with a donor. It’s what you do after-the-fact that matters the most. Take more of a hands-approach by looking into data reporting. Using Snowball’s free donation website tool, track the following for each supporter:
Conversions are all about two things: providing excellent UX and learning about what motivates donors. The data you gather will be invaluable for this second part. For instance, use your donation data to guide your fundraising strategy and future efforts by:
Sometimes, it’s easy enough to set up an automated “thank you” email and move on, not giving it any more thought. However, this will get you nowhere in retaining valuable donors. Take the time to optimize the post-donation process, and increase the likelihood of future conversions.
As you now know, you can’t expect conversions if you’re not getting traffic on your donation website in the first place. There are multiple proven methods for making your site more visible and therefore more likely to drive conversions.
To reiterate, start by optimizing your donation website. Drive traffic from other parts of your website with clear CTAs that articulate the need for participation. However, the donation website itself is not the only place you can encourage donations.
Increasing traffic (and conversions) on your donation website is all about effective marketing. When launching a giving campaign, keep these best practices in mind:
In short, don’t limit yourself to one marketing platform. Rather, harness the power of multiple mediums for more effective marketing. Drive traffic to your donation website from multiple outreach platforms, and you’ll see an increase in conversions in no time.
Boosting your donation website’s conversion rate is entirely attainable. It just takes attention to detail and a bit of patience.
To recap, remember to create a quick donation process, use comprehensive fundraising tools, create a visually-engaging site, and use effective marketing to drive traffic. Remember, the donation experience is never truly over, so consider the post-donation experience to secure future conversions, too.
NEVER sacrifice quality for speed and vice versa. Rather, find the perfect balance to engage users and increase the likelihood of a conversion.
Above all else, always put donors first and ensure they feel like a valuable asset to your organization.
No matter your organization’s size or donation expertise, you can benefit from a bit of extra help. Using a free donation website, you can save time while still giving your donors every opportunity to give and engage with your nonprofit. Ready to put your newfound skills to the test with Snowball’s free donation website?
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