I just finished reading Jim Eskin’s newsletter, Stratagems. If you don’t already receive it, go to eskinfundraisingtraining.com and add your name to his list. Jim does a lot of thoughtful research, so I enjoy the ideas he shares.
The latest newsletter had a short article addressing donation pages. You know that a donation page must accomplish a lot in just a few seconds. You want the donor to have a positive experience so they will be encouraged to return. After reading the following information, check to see if your nonprofit’s donation page provides a good feeling for your donors.
In the newsletter, Jim shared information from Mike Alonzo, boodleAI’s Chief Experience Officer. Following are Mike’s suggestions:
• The page should tell a compelling story. The story can be created using pictures and a short description. This is one of those times when every word counts. You can also use a short video clip.
• The page needs to be simple and clean and yet capture the information the organization needs to properly thank the donor and to engage them in the future. It also needs to provide options for the donor such as Gift Assist, tribute gift opportunities, and the ability to direct the funds to a particular fund.
• Use images that make the donor “feel.” The saying “that a picture is worth a thousand words” is true. On your donation page, no one is going to read a thousand words, so the image really does need to tell the story, be meaningful, and create an emotion.
• The donation form needs to be readily accessible. Make the donate button prominent. That can be done with a bright colored button. Also have the button in the header so that it is at the top of each page – easy to see and always available.
• Offer multiple gift amounts, such as $50, $100, $200, $250, $500. It is like any other ask. Suggest to the donor the gifts you would like. You can always provide a space for them to put in another amount. If you only provide a blank space, then a $1,000 donor might make a gift of $100. You can also provide the impact of the different amounts. For example:
$50 will provide shoes for 10 children
$100 will provide shoes for 25 children
• And finally, ALWAYS provide the ability for a donor to easily make a recurring gift. Through the pandemic, recurring gifts exploded. Individuals like to make recurring gifts. They are supporting a nonprofit with a mission that aligns with their values. The gift is made monthly and often runs into years of giving. It is a win-win for the donors and the nonprofits they support.
There are other things a nonprofit can do to add information and transparency to their website. Always include a phone number and an email address. Unless there is a vital reason not to, it is important to provide an address and a contact person. If the donor wants to take a tour or has questions, this information will help them easily engage with the organization. This information can even be on the donation form.
Your website reflects your organization's brand and the value you give to your community. The donation page is an extension of your brand. Even if your organization is using a vendor's template, personalize it to mirror the organization's image.