Online Giving Should Be Painless


Even if you mail your appeal letter, many people will donate online. If you’re sending reminders by email and social media, you’ll also include a link to the donation page on your website.

That means online giving on your website needs to be painless. It’s tricky because you want to capture vital information without overwhelming your donors. 7 things that might be killing your donation forms

Use this checklist to make sure your donation page is ready for your online donors.

  • 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?  This is crucial. More people are donating on mobile devices now.
  • 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 learn how they can volunteer. Is Your Website in Good Shape?

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 painless 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 often leaves you with an empty feeling. It doesn’t have to be like that.

Start with an engaging landing page that says You’re amazing! or Thank you, Tom! Include a picture and a 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.

3 Things Your Nonprofit Must Do Well After An Online Donation

The perils of third-party sites

If you use a third-party site, such as PayPal, you don’t have much, if any, control over how the donation page and thank you experience will look and work. To 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 in good shape for your year-end fundraising campaign. Make it painless for your donors to give online.

Here is more information on creating a great donation page.

19 Ways to Raise More Money From Donation Pages

7 Tips for Your Online Donation Page

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