An online fundraising page is crucial for a crowdfunding campaign’s success. Follow these seven best practices to attract donors and deepen engagement.
By Missy Singh
One of the crucial elements of building any crowdfunding campaign for a nonprofit is setting up a crowdfunding page online. A well-designed crowdfunding page allows your campaign to stand out and reach an audience far beyond your immediate supporters.
While your cause may be unique, every crowdfunding page should contain certain consistent elements. In this guide, we’ll look at the following features to include on your crowdfunding page:
- High-Quality Images and Videos
- Regular, Specific Text Updates
- Clear Goals and Deadlines
- Robust Social Sharing Features
- Consistent Branding
- Secure Donation Submission Form
- Additional Ways to Get Involved
In addition to these features, your crowdfunding page should be mobile-friendly, have fast page load times, and meet web accessibility guidelines. Taking these steps will make your crowdfunding site accessible to as many visitors as possible, and users can make donations on the go. If supporters can’t access your page, there’s a 0% chance they’ll end up donating.
1. High-Quality Images and Videos
What’s the first thing visitors will notice when they arrive on your crowdfunding page? Most likely, the images and videos.
Visual components can make your campaign feel more personal and human, and increase donations and social sharing among supporters. However, if your images are outdated, generic, or poor-quality, you set the wrong tone for your campaign.
According to crowdfunding best practices, the images and videos you post on your page should be:
- Visible, clear, and adjustable depending on screen size.
- Related to the cause, project, or event you’re raising money for.
- Regularly updated throughout the campaign.
- Uploaded chronologically to show the progress you’re making in your campaign.
If your fundraiser involves in-person events or activities, also include a place on your page where participants can share their own photos to supplement the ones you post. Supporters will appreciate the opportunity to play an active role in showcasing your work.
2. Regular, Specific Text Updates
Donors want to stay apprised of your campaign. Posting on your crowdfunding page is an effective way to keep them informed. Moreover, regular updates directly correspond to fundraiser success. According to Fundly’s fundraising statistics, campaigns that update supporters every five days raise three times more than those that don’t.
Your updates don’t need to be extensive. Focus on providing interesting or useful information while avoiding jargon and generic text. When you include text on your page, you should:
- Include the most relevant, up-to-date information.
- Share specific, relatable stories about the community you serve and the problems they face.
- Make a call to action that details the impact a donation will have.
- Break it up with images, lists, examples, and bullet points.
However, don’t go overboard or make your posts too self-promotional. Your supporters don’t want to be pressured into donating. Instead, develop a communication schedule that dictates what and when you’ll post updates to your crowdfunding page.
3. Deadline and Goals
Because you’ll likely tie your updates to the fundraising goals and deadlines you’ve set, these should be clearly communicated on your page.
To use your goals and deadlines to encourage supporters, make sure they are realistic. For example, it’s pretty unlikely a small nonprofit could raise millions of dollars over the course of a single day. Unrealistic goals can ultimately discourage staff and supporters alike and lead to decreased donations. If there’s no chance of meeting the goal in time, why should they even donate?
On the other hand, a realistic goal and timeline can be a good challenge for your supporters to meet. Add a countdown clock and fundraising thermometer to your crowdfunding page, showing how much time is left in the campaign and how much you have left to raise. These features will help visitors visualize the campaign’s success so far and how much more support you need.
4. Social Sharing Features
Crowdfunding campaigns rely on social sharing. So, if it’s not easy for supporters to share your page, you’re hurting your campaign. Include buttons that facilitate sharing via email as well as to major social media platforms, including:
Sometimes, crowdfunding campaigns will start with significant social media engagement from supporters, but sharing then quickly dies off. You can try to avoid this decline and encourage continued sharing throughout the campaign by regularly adding new, shareable content to your crowdfunding platform.
You can also encourage social sharing by reposting these updates on your social media profiles. When posting on social media, remember to ask questions and respond to comments to promote engagement.
5. Consistent Branding
Customize your crowdfunding page to align with your nonprofit’s existing brand. It should match your website, social media pages, and physical outreach. These should all include the same:
Creating a consistent brand builds trust in the site and ensures visitors don’t leave mid-donation thinking it’s a scam. For the most consistent features, we recommend that you follow a style guide that clearly defines your brand’s language and visual expectations.
6. Secure Donation Form
What’s the most important part of your crowdfunding page? Probably, the donation form itself. To build trust with your supporters your donation form should be secure. Choose a platform that uses a PCI-compliant payment processor to keep donor data secure. Additionally, your form should include:
- Custom information fields. Include fields that ask for important information, such as donors’ names and contact information. You might also ask for their demographic information and history with your organization. However, because crowdfunding donors generally want to make their donations quickly, limit your request to only the most necessary information.
- Suggested donation buttons. Donors aren’t always sure how much they should give. When you include suggested donation buttons, you take the guesswork out of donating. Assess your existing donor data and median donation amounts to determine appropriate amounts to suggest.
To make donating as easy as possible, decrease the number of clicks site visitors need to make and embed your donation form directly onto your crowdfunding page.
7. Additional Ways to Get Involved
Your donor involvement shouldn’t stop at their donation. Use your crowdfunding page as a jumping-off point for deepening relationships with your donors as well as supporters who aren’t in a position to support your campaign financially. Consider including information on the following opportunities:
- Volunteer Opportunities. Do you need help reaching out to donors, hosting events, or supporting regular programming? If you don’t ask, site visitors won’t know that you need this kind of support.
- Matching Gifts. According to Double the Donation’s matching gift statistics, one in three donors would give a larger gift if their employer matched their donation. Advertise the opportunity for matching gifts on your crowdfunding page. Then, use a matching gift integration tool to automatically inform donors of the specific steps they’ll need to take to request a matching gift from their employers.
- Events. Are there in-person or virtual events associated with your campaign? Use your crowdfunding page as an opportunity to remind supporters to register and attend.
That said, don’t overwhelm site visitors with too much information. On your main page, the primary focus should be on getting donations. Highlight just one or two additional ways to get involved and place further details on a post-donation thank-you landing page.
Throughout your fundraiser, keep track of your data, including donor information, donation amounts, communication click-through, open, and conversion rates, and other trends. Then, leverage this information to assess areas for growth and implement new fundraising ideas and strategies.
For example, if you find that an unusual number of users are abandoning the page before donating, you might try incorporating a more direct call to action at the top of the page. Not every iteration will be a great success. That’s OK! By going through this process of refining your page and making adjustments, you’re setting your campaign up for success.
Missy Singh is the Director of Operations, Client Services & Sales at Fundly. She has been working there since 2011 when she started as a Customer Experience and Implementation Manager. As an integrated platform for social impact, Fundly serves as an industry leader in crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising. In 2015 Fundly combined with NonProfitEasy to offer enterprise-level technology that addresses nonprofit needs with features such as a CRM, volunteer management, membership management, and event registration.