Woman holding smartphone with donation transaction messageOnline giving has become the primary vehicle for a nonprofit organization to receive charitable donations. Fewer and fewer gifts are coming in via mail and phone. Donors expect to be able to make their gifts quickly and easily. In the age of one-click Amazon ordering, anything more complex than that can turn donors away from your cause. The best way to impress and retain your donors is to streamline your online giving process.

Reduce Your Clicks

Reducing clicks is the number one way to improve the online giving experience and increase gifts. Fewer clicks equals more gifts actualized. The more pages a donor has to click through, the more likely it is they will get frustrated or disinterested and exit the page without completing their charitable gift. You can have the most beautifully designed email giving appeal and the most heartfelt pitch for your cause, but if your giving page is cumbersome and takes longer than one to two minutes to complete, you are going to turn donors away.

Time really is money, and by respecting your donors’ time through a quick giving process, you are increasing the likelihood that they will donate again because of the pleasant experience. Check out the following suggestions that support this strategy.

Make It Short

Consider designing your giving site so that all the information exists on one page. If donors can see everything in one place and quickly check their own information before submitting, you’ll omit opportunities for user error.

You’ll also remove the element of frustration. I’ve been on giving sites that had a different page for the donor’s name, the address, the gift amount, credit information, and so on. It’s frustrating not knowing how many pages you’ll have to click through before your gift processes and you can go on with your day. A one-page giving site is the way to go.

Match Your Brand

A clean and thoughtfully designed page also supports a positive donor giving experience, especially when your giving page matches the look and feel of the rest of your website. The giving page is another opportunity to reinforce your brand visually, so make sure that when donors click through to it, they don’t feel as though they stumbled onto a completely different site. A simple but beautifully designed page demonstrates that you put thought into every piece of the giving experience, and a consistent look will reinforce trust, making donors more likely to give again.

Here are five elements Scott Kindred, President of SafeHouse Web, recommends you consider when building a consistent look and feel for your giving page:

Choose the same version of your logo as you chose for the rest of your website. For example, if you use a grayscale or black-and-white logo on your home page, use the same version on the giving page. Make sure to also match the size.

Use the same accent, background, and link colors as those found on the rest of the website.

Match fonts to the rest of the website, and avoid using too much body copy. The giving page should be a place for action (a call to action) versus a place for additional donor education or persuasion.

White space
Use ample white space on your giving page so that the call to action (make a donation) is clear and uncluttered.

Call to action
Make your call to action brief and easily recognizable. Use a button rather than a text link, for example. Set the visitor’s expectation by making it plain. Give and Donate are clear and commonly understood terms, whereas Join the cause and Make a difference are too ambiguous.

Test Your Page

Early in my career, a family member wanted to donate to the cause I worked for. He called me in frustration after trying several times to process a gift on our website. I assured him that I could walk him through the process in person and was hopeful that I could identify the problem and report back to our web team.

As it turned out, I tried to submit his gift multiple times as well and continued to get an inexplicable error message. I was frustrated, wondering how many of our donors had encountered this issue. And while my family member did not stop his giving to this charity, he remembered the negative giving experience for quite a while. He felt that his gift, and by extension his value as a donor, was not important to the charity.

Giving pages need aggressive testing before launching publicly, and they should continue to be tested at regular intervals. Go on your giving page and count how many clicks it takes to give. Time yourself and see if you can process your gift in under three minutes. Try out your giving page on your computer, your mobile app, and on different browsers. Try making a gift during a high-traffic time. All of these tests will give you an accurate picture of what your average donor has to go through to actualize his or her philanthropy as well as help you identify changes that your giving page needs.

Demonstrate that you value your donors’ time and philanthropy by making their giving experience quick, painless, and pleasant.

SafeHouse Web is a Silicon Valley digital marketing company in Hollister, California, that provides expert WordPress website design, social media marketing, and proven SEO solutions. Contact us or call (831) 205-0077 and see how we can help you with a simple and effective donation page design.