Make Online Giving a Breeze


Many of you are busy with your year-end fundraising campaign. Even if you mail your appeal letter, a bunch of people will donate online. If you’re sending out reminders by email and social media, you’ll also include a link to the donation page on your website.

Is your donation page ready for an onslaught of online donors? Find out by asking yourself these questions.

    • Is it easy to use and navigate?
    • Does it include a strong call to action with the same messages as all your other fundraising appeals?
    • Does it show how the donation will be used and what different amounts will fund?
    • Does it include an option for recurring gifts?
    • Does it have an engaging photo?
    • Does it allow for multiple donors, for example spouses with different last names?
    • Does it include an option for a gift in memory or in honor of someone?
    • Are you capturing mailing addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers?
    • Does it include a check off box to join your mailing list?
    • Is it also easy to give on a mobile device?
    • After someone donates, does it take the person to a thank you landing page and generate a thank you email?
    • Does your homepage include a blurb about your appeal and a prominent Donate button, in case a donor Googles your organization instead of going directly to your donation page.
    • Is the rest of your website up-to-date and engaging? Donors might visit other pages to find out more about your programs or how to volunteer. How does your website fare? Use the checklist in this post to find out. Does Your Website Need a Tune Up?

Test it out

Put yourself in your donors’ shoes by donating to your organization online. Try it on a computer, tablet, and mobile phone. Was it a breeze or did you want to tear your hair out?

Create a memorable thank you experience

If you’ve ever donated online, you know the thank you experience is often pretty blah. But it doesn’t have to be.

Start with an engaging landing page that says You’re amazing! or Thank you Jill! Include a picture and short, friendly message. An online donation should also generate an equally engaging thank you email.

You’re not off the hook yet. You still need to thank your donors by mail or with a phone call.

The perils of third-party sites

You may use a third-party site, such as PayPal or Network for Good. Here you don’t have as much, if any, control over how the donation page and thank you experience will look and work. Talk about blah!  A receipt is not a thank you. 

Too make up for this, you’ll want to send a super-incredible thank you email, followed by something just as incredible by mail or phone.

Be ready

Be sure your website is ready for your year-end fundraising campaign. It should be a breeze for your donors to donate online.

Here is more information on creating a great donation page. 10 Tips to Improve Your Online Donations Page

Photo by Yacine Baroudi

6 thoughts on “Make Online Giving a Breeze

  1. Hi Ann — great post. All important things to consider! The website/donation page piece is often overlooked, but so important!

    I wanted to mention that with Network for Good, subscribers of our full DonateNow service can customize their online giving pages with their own messages and images, including the thank you/confirmation page as well as the thank you email.


  2. Hi Ann, great post and very valid points on third-party sites. Nonprofits don’t grow from a lack of control and they gain nothing from sending their donors to a different website to give. It’s not simply about processing a donation, it’s about having the information and insight to build stronger donor relationships. You want to see what pages on your website your donor visited to find their interest, track how many visitors hit your donation page and what sites led them there etc. The list goes on.

    Also, it would great to add “Make it easy for donors to broadcast their support via their social networks.” It’s an important, but often overlooked, feature to include on thank you pages that could lead to greater exposure.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s