Beautiful design yields more donations

Your fundraising site represents who you are what what you stand for. Visitors are looking for your who you are and information about your story. When they see it for the first time, they’re thinking:

– Can I trust this nonprofit?
– What are they fighting for?
– Do I identify with them?
– Why should I support them?

There are many factors that make up an effective fundraising site and one of them is its design. A study (How Do People Evaluate a Web Site’s Credibility?) from Stanford University and Consumer Web Watch found that websites with good design yield more trust from the viewer.

P44 Technologies does a great job in summarizing by saying…

Visitors first evaluate a site’s overall design, including its use of multimedia. Beau Brendler, director of Consumer Web Watch noted: “While consumers say they judge on substance, these studies demonstrate that consumers judge on aesthetics, and get distracted by bells and whistles.” So, after spending all this time developing great, valuable content that visitors can’t find anywhere else on the Web, does this mean nothing matters but a cool color scheme and fancy flash animation? Fortunately, it doesn’t. The Stanford study noted specifically that while a site’s design is the first indicator of quality, it isn’t the only one: “.the visual design may be the first test of a site’s credibility. If it fails on this criterion, Web users are likely to abandon the site and seek other sources of information and services.”

More trust yields more donations. So how can you make a great fundraising site?

  • Have a color theme – Use colors that match your organization’s look and feel or use colors as specified on your branding guide. Another option is to choose color palettes from sites like ColourLover or Kuler.
  • Use a background image or pattern – The single most distinctive way to change the design of your page is to use a pattern or background image. Full-size images can help you convey an emotive feel. Patterns can give you a unique feel too.
  • Purposefully use multimedia – Videos and images can help you tell a story more easily than any other way. Use multimedia that conveys who you area and tells a story about your cause.
  • Have a logo – Help visitors remember who you are by using a distinctive logo image or text. This helps you build awareness and makes your site memorable.
  • Write compelling content/copy – Don’t just stick with facts. Use copy to draw the reader into what you’re fundraising for. Make your case compelling with stories and content that resonates with the reader.

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