If online fundraising were easy everyone would be doing it. Oh wait…everyone is doing it. Online fundraising isn’t as simple as adding a button to your organizations website. You need to drive traffic to the site and get people to click on the donate button. You already knew that right? What inspires a potential donor to click on your donate button? The keys to donation pages that work start with driving traffic to your organizations web site.
Compelling stories, emotional writing and great media are exceptional ways to start driving traffic to your site. Maybe people are getting to your site, but don’t convert to donors. What can you do? Here are some keys to help convert readers into donors.
Your Donate Button
- Make sure your donate button is clear and can be seen. Don’t make donors hunt all over the page to find it. Don’t hide the button at the bottom of the page. Donations are like selling a product or service. Make it easy for the donor to ‘buy’ or donate to your cause.
- Use clear language on your button. A simple phrase like ‘Donate Now’, ‘Give Now’ or ‘Support Us’ makes it clear to the reader what that button is for. Always ask for the donation. Less compelling phrases like ‘Consider Support’ or ‘Think About Donating’ are less likely to convert readers to donors.
- Location, location, location. Place your donate button in the top right corner of your landing page. Most users scan a page in an ‘F’ type pattern. Meaning they scan across the top, then down the left side and then into the middle of the page. Placing your button in the top right corner ensures the user sees the button on their first pass of the page.
- Make the donate button stand out. Use contrasting colors and a larger size so it catches the users eye quicker.
- Popup donations. This is similar to the email newsletter sign up popup on popular web and blog sites. I am not a huge fan of these, as I personally find them more annoying than anything but they do work. Consider using this during a specific time of a fundraising drive.
Ok they have clicked the donation page, now what? This isn’t a done deal at this point. Here are some additional keys to donation pages you need to carry that donor all the way through the process.
- Make sure you are using a secure donation form. Give your donors the sense of security they desire from your organization. This is a crucial key to donation pages.
- Reinforce your donation reason. Don’t just expect donors to blindly fill out a form and hand over their credit card numbers. Re-tell your reason for the donation. Is it to purchase equipment? Or to upgrade a facility or even do more good through out the location. Simple phrases like ‘for every $25 donated you feed a family of four for a month’ can compel donors to contribute more often.
- Simple and easy to use. Make sure the form is simple and easy to fill out. Too many clicks and you will lose a donor. Too few and you miss collecting valuable information. Pre-fill out the form if you can.
- Only collect what you need. This is a balancing act like the previous item. You want to collect enough information to send a Thank you to the donor and also contact them in the future. Be careful give the donor the option to opt-out of receiving future emails from you. Don’t spam a donor either. This is a quick way to lose donors.
- If you are running multiple fundraising campaigns at the same time. Make sure you have a separate donation page for each. This way you can clearly convey your message for each campaign.
- If you are targeting different donor demographics make sure you can customize the starting donation amount. A parent that is looking to support a robotics team will gasp if the donation page starting donation is $1000. Make sure you donation page is targeting the correct group.
Bonus Key to Donation Pages
A bonus key to donation pages that work. Make sure the donation page is shareable. Use the power of social media to share the donation page on all of the organizations social media platforms. Ask your donors to share the page as well. This is an excellent way to get the message out that your organization needs funds. Social Media can be a double edge sword. Too much and your potential donors will be put off. Too little and you risk missing a potential donor. Advertising the fundraiser is helpful in getting the word out as well.