An effective online fundraising page is crucial to the success of your nonprofit’s fundraising campaign as a whole. It might be all too easy to focus all of your team’s efforts on planning fundraising events and email campaigns, but you can’t overlook the importance of an effective online fundraising page¹.
For most individuals these days, an online donation page is the easiest way for them to make contributions to your organization. With an effective online giving page, individuals can securely give to your organization quickly and easily. Online fundraising also allows your organization to extend its reach to outside of its immediate community. Your potential donor network thus becomes anyone in the world with access to the internet. Fundraising can be a costly and time-consuming project for your nonprofit team. But online fundraising provides a much more cost-effective avenue for you to raise money. The cost of online fundraising is comparatively minimal in contrast to other fundraising methods.
The benefits of online fundraising can’t be overlooked. You can easily capture more information about your donors and increase the visibility of your organization all through an effective online fundraising campaign. You may think simply having an option to online donate is enough for your organization, but this will not yield the best possible results. You should actively try to increase your fundraising page conversions—and it won’t even take that much effort!
You don’t have to be a web designer or expert with online tools. These 4 tips are quick and easy ways for you to increase your online conversion rate:
- Promote matching gifts.
- Provide comprehensive donation information.
- Create a well-organized website layout.
- Make using donation tools quick, easy, and secure.
Let’s get started and learn how you can start to boost conversions on your donation page!
1. Promote matching gifts.
You are likely wondering, what are matching gifts?
Luckily, the answer is simple! Matching gifts are a type of corporate philanthropy program in which an employer will match their employee’s donation to an eligible nonprofit organization. Matching gift programs are an incredible opportunity for your organization to maximize the impact of each and every eligible donation.
While not all companies offer the same matching gift ratio (most match at a 1:1, 2:1, or even 3:1 ratio), the process of having a donation matched is the same every time:
- Step 1: An individual submits a donation to your organization.
- Step 2: The donor checks their matching gift program eligibility using a matching gift database.
- Step 3: The donor turns in the required paperwork to their employer.
- Step 4: The employer verifies their employee’s donation and makes a donation of their own to your donation—effectively doubling, or tripling, the value of a single donation.
This benefits of this program seem self-evident, but it is still a wildly underutilized form of philanthropy. Not many people know about matching gift programs or their own eligibility status. You must do everything in your power to help remedy this.
Use your online fundraising pages, including your main donation page, to promote matching gifts. A majority of individuals would be more likely to donate if they knew their donation—and their ability to contribute to the social good—would be matched by their employer². This can drive a considerable increase in conversions for your online fundraising efforts.
For a sense of scale, over 18 million individuals work for corporations that offer matching gift programs. Meanwhile, an estimated $4-7 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed every year. That is a lot of potential revenue for nonprofits to take advantage of!
If you really want to see a considerable increase in your fundraising page conversions, your web visitors need to understand the benefits of participating in a matching gift program. Incorporate matching gifts into your online strategy to see site users increase the frequency and amounts of their donations³.
2. Provide comprehensive donation information.
In addition to promoting matching gifts on your online donation pages, you must also outline and detail the various ways for individuals to give online⁴. A comprehensive “Ways to Give” section on your fundraising page will provide your site visitors with all the information they need to become involved with your organization and utilize your online tools.
While your organization may also offer unique online fundraising options, you should consider outlining these opportunities:
- One-time donations. Every donation page needs the option to give a single donation. Some individuals may only be willing or able to give a single donation without committing to further involvement.
- Recurring donations. Offer your donors the chance to become loyal, recurring donors. This can be on any time-frame, but the most popular are monthly, quarterly, and annually, often depending on the size of the gift.
- Memorial donations. Provide individuals with the opportunity to donate in honor or memory of loved ones. Their loved one may have been a passionate supporter or fan of your organization and its cause. People will love the chance to honor their loved ones with their contributions.
- Planned gifts. Planned gift donors are often difficult to identify, and many individuals may not know how they go about making a planned donation. Detail how they can include your organization in their estate plans.
Donors and potential donors may simply visit your site to gather more information about your organization and what it is that you do. Don’t give them any reason to leave your site without making a donation. Your donors should be inspired by your “Ways to Give” page to easily make a contribution and hopefully return to your site again and again for the same reason.
Don’t be afraid to research and take inspiration from excellent examples of online donation pages so that you can best figure out how to include this information on yours⁵.
3. Create a well-organized website layout.
It is unlikely that your fundraising page will see increased conversions if it is not housed on an easily navigable website. You should optimize your website for user ease⁶.
All of the best nonprofit websites share certain similarities. These similarities include:
- Being completely branded to the organization. Your entire site should help cultivate your organization’s brand. This includes maintaining colors and themes as well as incorporating your organization’s logo throughout the running header and footer.
- Having a clear navigation toolbar. Your running header should have navigation tools that allow your site visitors to easily locate every aspect of your site. Your navigation tools should clearly lead to donor testimonials, a list of organization goals, images and videos regarding your work in the community, etc.
- Providing easy access to donation methods. You should have more than one easy “Donate” button on each page of your site. Accomplish this by placing one in the running header so it is always available and then incorporate it on each page, whether through an image, a sidebar, or as part of the text. Donors must never have to search for ways to donate.
Don’t forget that most people search the web, not on a desktop or laptop computer, but on their phones. All of your site’s pages — but especially your donation page — should be mobile-friendly. You don’t want anyone to visit your site, decide to donate, and not complete the transaction because of their frustration trying to navigate your site.
Make sure you follow nonprofit website design best practices, and the example of successful existing websites, to ensure your website is optimally designed to entice users to donate through your fundraising page⁷.
4. Make donating quick, easy, and secure.
Your online donation tools should guarantee your site visitors a fast, easy-to-complete, and secure donation process⁸. You should be doing everything in your power to excite your donors about using your online fundraising page rather than turning them away with an overly complicated or drawn-out process⁹.
There are plenty of online donation tools on the market, but no matter which you choose to incorporate into your website, make sure it:
- Is seamlessly branded to your organization. Using online payment processing can sometimes be risky and you do not want to give your donors a reason to feel skeptical of your donation process. If your donation tool is branded to your organization, individuals will feel more comfortable putting in their personal information than they would if they were redirected to a third-party donation page.
- Is PCI compliant. Assure your online donors that their information is secure by ensuring your donation tool is PCI compliant, meaning it is up-to-code with all the standard security requirements.
- Can accept all kinds of digital tender. Whether your donors are using credit, debit, or e-check, they should be able to have an effortless donation experience.
- Pairs with a matching gift database search tool. Remind your donors to check their eligibility for matching gifts by providing them access to a matching gift search tool alongside your donation tool.
Your fundraising page is most likely to see an increased conversion rate if your donation tools make donating as easy as possible for your donor. It is all too easy for a donor to become discouraged during the donation process. Do not do anything that will increase their chances of abandoning your page.
Online fundraising is an essential part of a nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. But, too frequently, websites and fundraising pages are not optimized to encourage donations. Set your nonprofit up for success by providing your donors with the knowledge and tools they need to have an easy donation experience and maximize the impact of their contributions.
Explore our sources and additional resources for more information on optimizing your donation page: