Why Your Donation Page Matters
When a supporter wants to give your nonprofit or charity a donation, where do they go? In many cases, they’ll perform an online search which directs them to either your website or a social media profile. But naturally, as your nonprofit grows, so does the number of ways your donors can give to your cause.
Today, there are many different ways your community can contribute to your efforts online. They may choose to give on your website’s donation page, give through their friend’s peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, or even donate via Facebook. And yes, it’s great to give your supporters all these options, but it also can create a headache on the administrative end.
In spite of an increasing number of channels your community can use to give online in support of your cause, your online donation page is still the primary choice. Your donation pages act as a central hub for online giving. Donation pages can be used for everyday donations or for special appeals or designated programs. Plus, you can add links from your website and social media pages in order to keep all your marketing sources connected and accessible.
Whether you work at a nonprofit, charity, or simply want to support a charitable cause, a donation page helps you stay on message and open for business regardless of when, where, or how a donor chooses to give. Plus, the page itself serves double duty as both a standalone online donation page to process everyday donations and a specialized page for specific appeals or campaigns.
Donation pages are simple to create, easy to manage, and remarkably compatible with your favorite fundraising and reporting tools. Let’s dig deeper into donation pages so you can determine if it’s the right tool for your fundraising efforts.
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Benefits Of A Quality Donation Page
The way all of us nonprofit fundraisers raise money today is vastly different from how it was just 10 years ago. Before online fundraising, many of us raised money the “old fashioned” way, such as focusing on major gifts, organizing grand fundraising events, and picking up the phone to schedule one-on-one meetings with donors.
So much of our efforts were focused on those larger gifts and we were willing to sacrifice the recruitment of new small gift donors in exchange for a guaranteed major gift.
Thankfully, online giving has leveled the playing field.
Today, we can get in front of all our donors, regardless of their giving level, via online fundraising. So, when you create and maintain a quality, effective donation page, you’re essentially creating an equal opportunity hub for donors.
Donation pages make it simple for anyone, on any device, to give in support of your nonprofit or charity. Here are some of the main benefits:
1. It Serves As The Face Of Your Organization
In many cases, the donation page is the first look your prospective donors have at your organization. That being said, a sloppy, ill-formatted, or non-persuasive “hub” won’t do much to convince people your cause is well managed and worthy of a gift.
Put your best face forward on your donation page to show your current and prospective donors you’re worth the investment.
2. It Encourages People To Give
An effective donation page doesn’t just give people an outlet to give, it inspires them to do so. Your donation page is an ideal spot to add a quick statistic, fact, or impact-related message to show your donors how important their gift is to the work of the organization.
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Don’t forget to include a clear call-to-action, just to ensure your donation page visitors know what you want them to do.
3. It’s Highly Shareable
The internet has connected us in ways we could have ever imagined. We link with friends on social media platforms, send emails, watch videos—all in a social setting. When we “Like” something, the world knows.
Cater to your supporters’ desire to share their own interests by including a social sharing option or redirect to a sharing option after the donation transaction is complete. In doing so, you’re creating a one-stop-shop for donors.
4. It Makes Data Tracking Easy
Donation pages allow you to visibly see donations as they come in, in real-time. There’s no need to worry about how close (or far) you are away from your goal. With donation pages, you always know where you stand.
Then, as you close out the campaign, a donation page (powered by an online fundraising platform like CauseVox) allows you to easily compile data and analyze your results.
Elements of an Effective Donation Page
CauseVox-powered donation pages are designed to provide an effective, hassle-free, and responsive experience. To ensure we meet the needs of our clients (you) and your donors, we included a number of important elements.
These are the features that make up an effective donation page:
1. Clear Direction
Donors should know exactly where to click to give. This means that a bold “Donate” (or similar message) button is a must-have.
Use colors familiar to your donors, such as those in your logo or other marketing materials. Likewise, familiar branding and imagery are always helpful in ensuring consistency and accountability.
Many nonprofits and charities choose to write a short message to donation page visitors equating their gift with impact.
4. Safe, Secure Processing
It’s never okay to gamble with your donor’s financial information. Always use a safe, secure donation processing system.
5. Mobile Optimization
Donors are using mobile phones to give at rising rates. If your donation page isn’t optimized for mobile, you may lose out on donations.
6. Integrating With Fundraising and Reporting Tools
It’s possible you use more than one management tool. You may have a CRM, a donation processor, and a communications platform to manage your outgoing emails. Whenever possible, ensure your donation page accommodates these additional fundraising and reporting tools. Integration = ease.
7. Other Specific Options
Depending on your donor preferences, it may be a good idea to incorporate a number of specific options on your donation page’s donation form. These include:
- Donation tipping: Donors covering the payment processing fee
- Recurring donations: Donors giving on a regular basis (hassle-free) such as monthly or quarterly
- Donation tiers/Suggested amounts: Providing your donors common and/or ideal donation amounts
5 Tips To Perfect Your Donation Page
As you can see, a lot goes into creating a stellar donation page. However, when you work with a company like CauseVox to power your donation page, the process of setting up and maintaining your donation page is easy and straightforward.
Before you dive into creating your own donation page, consider these 5 final best practices.
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1. Strive to Maintain Consistency
As mentioned above, don’t forget to incorporate your color scheme, logo, and any other defining branding to your donation page. You want this standalone page to feel like the branch that connects your website and social media pages together.
2. Make It Simple For Anyone and Everyone
Donors are reaching your donation page from a variety of devices, from computers and laptops and tablets and cell phones. The problem is, each of these devices has different screen sizes, loading timeframes, and more. Make sure your donation page is simple for anyone who accesses it, regardless of what device they’re using.
3. Offer Giving Options
It’s always a good idea to include multiple giving options, including recurring giving and suggested amounts. If you’re unsure about what options to include, pull your donor data and determine how many people give monthly and other statistics such as average gift amount.
4. Limit Distractions
Once a potential donor is on your page, the last thing you want is for them to get distracted by outside links, complex stories, or anything else that takes them away from the task at hand: giving to you! Limit all distractions so there’s nothing else competing for their attention.
5. Customize the Receipt
Since you’re receiving donation information in real-time, go ahead and send a confirmation receipt as soon as possible. You can schedule a receipt to go out automatically after the donation is received when you use CauseVox, but you can also choose to send one yourself.
The receipt serves as an acknowledgment that you received the gift and that you appreciate it. Plus, it sets the stage for further engagement (and thus retention) efforts down the road.