Improving your online donation experience will increase donations and allow you to do more great work year-round.
If you’re in the non-profit world, then it’s likely no secret that year-end giving is one of the bigger and more important areas of your financials. And while that focus makes sense — after all, December 31st signifies a conclusion to another year, and organizations usually utilize that sentiment to bring in big chunks of cash — all throughout the year organizations are also relying on online donations to further their mission.
Online donations are a great way to establish a year-round stream of revenue, so not all of your annual fundraising relies on a month or two of excited giving. Driving online donations requires a great donation website that showcases your goals and makes it easy to give.
1. Giving Initiatives
Driving donations year-round means pushing new initiatives year-round, too. Donors are most likely to give when their contribution is going to a specific project, program, or initiative with clear goals. They want to know how their donation will directly further the cause, and that this gift will make a difference in achieving it.
Plan multiple initiatives and fundraising drives throughout the year. Lay out the fundraising goal for each of your initiatives, and include photos and videos that focus on the importance of the cause and how a gift will help create real change.
Show off the work you’ve done in the past to demonstrate that you’re the right organization to pursue this goal, and lay out demonstrable benchmarks for achieving it, so donors can see you have a solid plan of action.
2. Suggest Online Donation Giving Amounts
Donors are more likely to give larger gifts when presented with the option to do so! Suggest a variety of donation amounts on your online giving page, so all your donors can give a gift that they feel matters.
But be careful: Don’t aim too high! You don’t want to scare off potential donors who worry that their donation is too small to matter. Always include a “specify your own donation amount” box, so that donors can enter the donation amount they feel comfortable with giving—it could be more or less than your suggested amounts.
3. Tangible Donation Benefits
To drive home the importance of every donation, demonstrate the impact of each of your suggested donation levels. What will a $25 gift achieve in pursuit of your mission? A $50 gift?
It helps to quantify! How many families in need can be fed with this donation? Attaching a tangible outcome to each donation amount empowers donors to give at those levels. Then they are left them with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
When donors visit a donation website, their attention span is short. You need to get across the information they need as quickly as possible to help them make a donation. Don’t write paragraphs about why the cause matters, or the history of your nonprofit. Focus on this initiative, the goal, and why it’s so important right now.
Get across the main bullet points quickly and efficiently. What is the mission? Why are donations needed now? Where will those donations go? And how do you plan to meet the goal? Emphasize the urgency. Explaining why this initiative is so important right now moves donors to complete their donation.
Make the donation form short. The longer it takes to complete the donation form, the more likely donors are to abandon it before finishing their gift. The form should be bare bones: gift amount, basic contact information, and payment information.
5. Use media to engage your donor emotionally
Videos and photos are essential ingredients to any website that wants to evoke an emotional response. Hearing the voices and seeing the faces of those served by your nonprofit, can make a world of difference in whether your donor decides to give.
For example: A humane society that offers photos or videos of dogs in need of adoption is more likely to connect with animal-loving donors who want those dogs to find good homes.
Images and videos that focus on the emotional side of your mission are more likely to connect with donors and earn a donation! Use new media with every initiative. Your photos and videos should reflect your current goal.
Just tweaking a few things will improve your donor’s experience and increase online donations year-round.
For those charities and non-profits that host online donation pages, now is the time to be prepared. Designing a good donation flow will make it significantly easier for people to give year-round, improving your bottom line and making for happier donors.