Before the internet became something we’re constantly connected to through our devices, the way nonprofits gathered donations looked very different. Nonprofit professionals relied on door-to-door solicitation, telethons, events, and direct mail to pull in the funds that kept their missions moving forward.
Now nonprofits rely heavily on their online donation pages, and for good reason. When designed with donors in mind, online donation pages are easy to access, quick to fill out, and convenient to return to again and again.
The challenging part of getting great results with your donation page is learning how to design it well. For nonprofit professionals especially, it can be challenging to balance competing demands, so seemingly smaller priorities, like your donation page, can fall through the cracks.
However, as you focus your time on learning about effective donation page design and how to create the best version possible of your own donation page, your organization will reap the rewards of more online donations.
In this article, we’ll give you three tips for optimizing your donation page’s design:
Leverage your nonprofit’s brand.
Keep it simple.
Offer multiple ways to give.
Whether you want to give your donation page a refresh for a Giving Tuesday initiative, or you just want to tune it up to boost your everyday fundraising efforts, you can put these tips into action with the help of your content management system (CMS) and start offering a better online donation page experience to your supporters.
Let’s get started!
1. Leverage your nonprofit’s brand.
Your nonprofit’s brand is everything that distinguishes it from other organizations and affects the public’s perception of your work. Your brand includes intangible things like your mission statement, how your organization treats its supporters, and the tone you use when approaching your work. But it also includes visual elements that you can incorporate into your donation page.
Why does your donation page need to be branded? With a branded donation page, your website visitors will feel like their giving experience is fully connected to your organization. Too many organizations ignore the opportunity to brand their donation pages, leaving the page looking visually unappealing, or worse, unsafe to use (even when it isn’t). A lack of visual branding can hold you back from connecting with your donors at that last crucial step where they actually complete their donation.
Here are three visual branding elements we recommend incorporating into your own page:
Colors: Colors can do a lot to signal what your nonprofit stands for. For example, an organization focused on providing group therapy to breast cancer survivors might use the color pink, which is synonymous with breast cancer awareness. Or, a nonprofit that seeks to provide wells to communities in developing nations might use the color blue in their color scheme to evoke thoughts of water. Use your organization’s colors to remind visitors to your donation page what your work is all about.
Visuals: Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. When you use pictures, graphics, and videos, you’re able to communicate information in a way that can resonate with people emotionally. One of our top recommendations for adding visuals to your donation page is to use photos of your beneficiaries. This helps donors feel like their donation is truly going toward real people’s needs.
Your Nonprofit’s Slogan: Your nonprofit slogan is a short phrase that helps your supporters know what your nonprofit is all about. For example, UNICEF’s slogan, “For every child,” makes it clear who their mission is focused on. Showcasing your slogan on your donation page can serve as a good reminder for donors who are in the process of completing their gift.
The key to solid donation page branding is ensuring that it is consistent with the rest of your nonprofit’s website. This will make your nonprofit appear more professional and organized, signalling to your supporters that you’re a trustworthy organization.
2. Keep it simple.
Because there is so much riding on a well-designed donation page, it can be tempting for some to overdo it, with too many last-minute donation appeals and flashy visual elements. However, a well-designed, minimalistic donation page can keep your donor focused on what really matters — completing their donation and making a difference!
Remember, less is more. As you’re designing, pay attention to what a visitor’s eye will be drawn to on your page. You don’t want them to have to do too much work to the spot on your page where they put in their contact and payment information.
Here’s how to design a donation page that helps your supporters get the job done:
Use lots of white space. White space, also known as negative space, is the space between elements on a web page. White space keeps a page from looking too busy, and can help your website visitors easily digest all of the information on your donation page.
Only ask necessary questions. While your donation form is a great tool for capturing information about your donors, you should choose your questions carefully. Donors want the giving experience to be fast, easy, and convenient, meaning they don’t want to spend their time answering dozens of questions. Ask only for necessary information like contact information and payment details. If you do want to ask for additional information, such as how the donor heard about your nonprofit, make it optional or send a follow-up questionnaire in your thank you-letter.
Condense your donation appeal. A lengthy donation appeal on your donation page can make your nonprofit look desperate for donations. Even if that is the case, you want to present a confident front to your supporters. Keep your appeals short and sweet. You might, for example, record a 15-second video of your executive director asking donors to give and thanking them for their time. Or you might write something like, “By giving, you can make a difference today!” at the top of the page.
With a CMS built for nonprofits, designing a minimalistic and visually appealing donation page can be a breeze. Check out Morweb’s list of the best nonprofit website builders to see your options!
3. Offer multiple ways to give.
Donors love to have options. By providing them with multiple ways to contribute to your cause, you can empower them to expand their capacity for giving and make more of a difference to your mission.
The options you should offer will depend on your cause and your audience. For example, if you mainly interact with your supporters through hybrid events, you might engage them further by offering mobile giving as an option. Or, if multiple donors have expressed a desire to give more, you might include suggested giving amounts on your donation page that encourage them to increase their gifts.
Here are some additional options you might consider offering to your donors:
Matching gifts: Some employers offer gift matching, which means they will match charitable donations their employees make with a donation of their own, helping your donors to increase their impact! Partner with a matching gift provider that offers a matching gift database that can be integrated into your donation form. Check out 360MatchPro’s list of the top matching gift companies to explore your options!
Monthly giving program: Many donors would donate on a regular basis if it were easier to remember to do so. Why not take the remembering out of the equation? Offer a monthly giving program where donors are billed once a month. The best way to set this up is to offer an option to opt in to your program on your donation form.
Sponsorships: Some nonprofits, like Rising Star Outreach, offer the option for donors to sponsor a specific beneficiary. In the case of Rising Star Outreach, donors can sponsor a student from a leprosy colony for a monthly donation of $30. Try doing the same thing with your organization by offering donors the opportunity to sponsor a person, place, or animal that is a recipient of your work!
As you consider which giving options to offer to your supporters, make sure to work with your team to decide what options your supporters want. Better yet, try surveying your donors to find out how they want to give!
As you’re looking for ways to improve the online donation experience for your supporters, make sure to prioritize your online donation page. By designing a simple page with proper branding and multiple giving options, you’ll be giving your donors the tools they need to easily make a difference again and again using your website. Happy designing!