30+ Nonprofit Donation Page Tips with Inspiring Examples

Need inspiration for creating an appealing donation page? Maximize your online fundraising potential with our top 30 donation form design tips and examples.

2 years ago   •   26 min read

By Andrew Berry

When an individual decides to contribute to your cause, they'll head over to your donation page. However, if they find it difficult or cumbersome to submit their information (or worse, if they can't find your donation form!), they'll likely abandon their gift altogether.

Your donation page plays a major role in your fundraising. Simply put, it allows donors to connect with your organization and quickly give whenever it's most convenient for them. It serves as the foundation of your online giving strategy because it's where you'll direct donors to secure their vital support.

In other words, your donation page can mean the difference between driving gifts and losing support during the final stage of the donation process. That's why the experts here at Donately have created some actionable tips for your nonprofit to follow and incorporate into your own donation page.

See how Donately's conversion-optimized donation forms can maximize your online fundraising potential.

Here at Donately, we specialize in online fundraising and aim to help organizations fulfill their online fundraising potential by building an effective digital toolkit. Using our experience, we've compiled 30 easy tips that any organization can use to create an optimized donation page, broken into the following categories:

  1. Intuitive Technology
  2. Effective Design
  3. Compelling Content
  4. Financial Options
  5. Proactive Marketing
  6. Accessibility
  7. Further Engagement

Your donation page represents your organization and should embody your mission. If you're ready to create the best possible donation page, let's dive in!

Your donation form technology will be a defining factor in your online fundraising.

Intuitive Technology for Donation Pages

Your technology can make or break your fundraising plan. Let's take a look at a few tech-based best practices, starting with tips for selecting intuitive donation form tools. Then, we'll uncover how you can make the most of them when designing your donation page.

Donation Page Best Practice #1: Invest in Dedicated Software.

Dedicated fundraising software will streamline the donation page creation process. With an effective platform (like Donately!), you'll have access to the following tools and features for optimal online giving:

  • Pre-filled suggested donation amounts to make giving incredibly simple
  • Recurring gift options to create a steady stream of revenue
  • Responsive giving so donors can contribute from any device anytime, anywhere
  • Data collection tools so you can analyze the effectiveness of your design and adjust accordingly

At the end of the day, your donation platform should simplify the giving process and help you secure more revenue. By prioritizing the above features, you'll wind up with an intuitive tool and that is well-equipped to create a positive online donor experience.

We recommend checking out our intuitive tools to fill in any gaps and to maximize your online fundraising potential. At Donately, we offer fully-customizable and conversion-optimization donation forms that can be altered to bring your vision to life.

After working with more than 1,000 organizations and individuals, we understand what works and what doesn't when it comes to online fundraising. Sign up for a free account to see how our tools will work for your cause!

See how Donately's conversion-optimized donation forms can maximize your online fundraising potential.

Donation Page Best Practice #2: Embed Your Form Into Your Website.

Your donors should never have to leave your website when they come to contribute to your cause. Ensure your donation tools enable you to embed your form directly into your website.

From here, be sure to customize it to match the rest of your website and to fully convey your brand.

Overall, this establishes a sense of trust that the donation form is in fact for your organization. Otherwise, prospects will be redirected to a third-party website and likely won't trust it enough to submit their private information (like payment data).

Embedding your donation form into your website plays into whether your donors trust your donation page altogether.

Donation Page Best Practice #3: Gather Donor Data.

Maximizing your donation form involves collecting insightful donor data. Data-driven fundraising allows you to determine improvement opportunities to grow your impact online in ways far beyond your original goals.

However, analyzing each donor's data one at a time isn't doable, especially as your donor base continues to grow. Instead, employ a dashboard that offers a range of data, so you can determine:

  • Who your most active donors are
  • Popular donation amounts
  • The effectiveness of individual fundraising or marketing campaigns
  • Various trends, such as high volume days of the week

Leveraging this data allows you to understand which donation form strategies are falling short. From here, you'll be able to refine your online fundraising strategies and create the most effective donation page possible.

Donation Page Best Practice #4: Use A/B Testing.

A/B testing is a user experience research strategy that involves showing two variants of the same web page to different sets of website visitors at the same time. The goal of this process is to determine what drives conversions or, in this case, donations.

Let's walk throughspecific options for testing and comparing different designs:

  • Banner Image: Your banner image is one of the most prominent visual components on your donation form. Test a few options to determine which type of visual seems to resonate with visitors and drive more contributions.
  • Headline Text: If nothing else, your headline is likely what will stick with your visitors the most after they leave the page. Further, it's one of the first indicators of what the page is about. Determine what wording grabs users’ attention and encourages them to donate.
  • Color Scheme: Use different combinations of your organization’s brand colors to test different buttons and header options. Experiment until you find the perfect combination.
  • Suggested Giving Amounts: Donors often use preset giving amounts as a reference point when determining how much to give. See if increasing or decreasing the preset suggestions has any significant impact on the average donation amount.

Take a look at the difference in conversions rates caused by tweaking some of the elements:

A/B testing is a best practice for creating conversion-optimized donation forms.

Let's walk through several best practices dealing with the design of your donation form.

Effective Donation Form Design

Your donation form design does more than make it visually appealing to visitors. In fact, it plays directly into your conversion rate by funneling your prospects through the giving process. Let's explore a handful of suggestions for creating a conversion-optimized donation page design.

Donation Page Best Practice #5: Map Out Your Design.

Before actually creating your donation form, you should design a rough outline detailing what information you'd like to collect from supporters on the form. This way, you can use the outline to organize the fields intuitively.

For instance, you'll want to inquire about basic details first, such as donors' names and contact information. This allows your prospects to introduce themselves before diving into the nitty-gritty details, like payment processing information. Otherwise, you risk overwhelming them from the start, giving them the impression that your donation form will be difficult to complete.

We recommend using a straightforward structure. In short, a clear structure will help both users and search engines navigate your page and access the most vital information: how to donate.

Donation Page Best Practice #6: Create Compelling Graphics.

It may be tempting to throw a generic stock image on your donation page just for the sake of having a photo there. However, doing so forfeits the opportunity to communicate your mission to visitors. Effective graphic design can make your form visually appealing and easier to consume.

Inspire prospects to follow through with images such as:

  • Your nonprofit’s official logo. This will reinforce your brand and communicate to donors that they haven’t somehow navigated away from your site.
  • A high-quality banner image. Choose a high-quality, inspiring photo that reinforces each donor’s intention to give. This might be an image of someone who benefits from donations or someone who volunteers or works at your organization.
  • Images tied to donation amounts. Show the impact of different donation amounts by adding images to suggested giving amounts with short descriptions. For example, if a $50 donation provides hot showers and clean clothes for someone, you can include a picture of a running shower with a description like, “For $50, you can provide someone with hot showers and clean clothes for a week.”

You can also touch up the rest of your form with decorative graphics. Just remember, while graphics present a great opportunity to level up your page, don’t overload your donation form with images. In fact, simplicity is key. If your donation page is filled with too many graphics, that can actually work against you and distract prospective donors.

Donation Page Best Practice #7: Brand It to Your Organization.

According to Network for Good, branded donation pages bring in 7x more dollars than generic donation pages.

A branded donation form helps build a relationship between a nonprofit and its donors. When your donation page clearly reflects your brand, you’ll instill trust in your donors and create more brand awareness for your cause.

Follow these donation page best practices to brand and design your form:

  • Make your branding consistent. Make your donation form consistent with your marketing and campaign materials. This way, no matter how individuals arrive at your donation page (through brochures, emails, etc.), they will already be familiar with your branding and feel confident that they’re in the right place when they arrive on the page.
  • Use your color scheme and logo. Use a color scheme that complements your brand (though no more than 2 or 3 colors). Also, be sure your logo is present in a prominent place on your donation page, generally in the upper left-hand corner.
  • Use visuals. In order to capture a donor’s attention, use an image that will connect with them and reflect the purpose of your organization. For instance, an animal shelter may choose to feature a photo of one or two of their furry residents to resonate with visitors.

Branded donation pages can go a long way, so if you work to make your branding consistent and incorporate the right amount of visuals that are reflective of your organization, you’ll be more likely to have a higher donation page conversion rate. Instill trust in your donors so they feel confident that they know where their contribution is going.

Take a look at this donation page example, which incorporates an eye-catching (and original) banner image as well as their cause's colors:

Clear branding is an important element to consider when designing your donation form.

If you want guidance while revamping your branded donation page, consider working with a nonprofit marketing agency. These professionals can help you optimize your marketing materials to reflect your brand identity.

Donation Page Best Practice #8: Simplify the Donation Form.

Submitting a donation is when donor engagement is at its peak, and the last thing you want is to slow donors down and make them lose momentum. Remember, every extra step is another chance for your donor to back out.

Simplify your donation form by:

  • Limiting the number of visual elements to just one image or video
  • Cutting fields that request uneccessary information
  • Removing the navigation bar to keep donors on the page

Overall, too much information can be overwhelming and may ultimately distract individuals from the main purpose of your form: to submit a donation. Take a look at the following example which exemplifies a straightforward donation form that limits distractions and drives donors through the process:

A simple donation form will drive donations.

Donation Page Best Practice #9: Improve Load Speed.

When it comes to donation forms, every second counts. With slow load speed, you risk a much higher bounce rate — the percentage of visitors who leave your website after only visiting one page.

A 100-millisecond delay in website load time can hurt conversion rates by 7 percent.

That's a pretty significant opportunity for improvement. To reduce load time for your donation form, try out these best practices:

  • Compress and optimize images
  • Reduce the number of animations, videos, and other top-heavy elements
  • Leverage browser caching
  • Minimize the use of JavaScript and excessive CSS formatting

Overall, aim to avoid extraneous information and load-time-consuming graphics that will clutter and slow down the donation page.

Donation Page Best Practice #10: Be Mindful of What Appears Above the Fold.

The "fold" is a term used by web developers to describe a web browser's bottom window. The phrase "above the fold" refers to the content that's visible above the border when the page initially loads, whereas "below the fold" refers to the content that can only be viewed by scrolling down.

Eye-tracking research has shown that 80% of users' viewing time is spent above the fold.

In other words, the area above the fold is prime real estate. As such, you need to ensure this content is bold and engaging while representing your nonprofit’s mission and incorporating your branding.

Ensure essential information on your donation page is visible above the fold. This means placing the following above the fold:

  • A compelling reason why donors should give
  • Donation form fields
  • Your call-to-action

Even if a visitor doesn't scroll at all, they'll have all the information they need to give to your cause.

On the other hand, while your navigation bar should appear above the fold on all other web pages, you'll want to hide it on your donation form. Otherwise, you risk directing each supporter away from moving forward with their transaction, which works against your conversion goals.

Donation Page Best Practice #11: Improve Your Donation Form's 'Submit' Button Text.

Remember, a donation to your organization is more than just a transaction; it's a contribution to a worthy cause. Treat it as such by making sure the wording used on your submit button reflects the importance of donating.

While the wording may seem like a small detail, it can make your donation form much more compelling. Tweaking the text on your submit button reminds donors why they're donating, which will make the giving process more meaningful. This will work to ensure their visit to your nonprofit's donation page doesn't go to waste.

Instead of simply labeling it "Submit," consider using more vivid language. Adjusting it to say, "Make a Donation," "Submit a Donation," or "Donate Now" can be much more influential. You may even consider making the language much more specific to your organization's mission, reminding users that they are in fact contributing to your cause.

Regardless of the wording you select, ensure it communicates the idea that by clicking it, the donation will be submitted. Otherwise, prospects may be taken by surprise if they were expecting the button to take them elsewhere.

See how this campaign page adds a layer of urgency by using the terminology "Donate Now":

Try tweaking the text on your donation form button to boost conversions.

Let's walk through several compelling content ideas for donation pages.

Compelling Content on Donation Pages

While your donation page is primarily designed to collect contributions, you should still provide some context as to where those contributions are going. The individuals who visit your donation page have likely already familiarized themselves with your cause. For that reason, it’s important to be concise, yet compelling. The purpose of enticing content should be to help maximize gifts, summarize your cause or campaign, and drive heartfelt contributions. Let's dive into a few ways to accomplish this on your donation page.

Donation Page Best Practice #12: Highlight Matching Gifts.

If you've spent some time in the nonprofit sector, you've likely come across corporate giving programs. In short, companies give back to the causes their employees care about by offering philanthropic programs.

Matching gifts represent just one of these programs. Through a matching gift program, companies offer to match their employees' donations, usually on a dollar-for-dollar basis. In other words, you can double some of the donations you're already receiving.

1 in 3 donors they'd contribute a larger gift if they know they're match-eligible.

To harness the power of corporate giving programs, embed a matching gift search tool on your donation page. Access to a database will allow supporters to search for their employers' programs and instantly be met with the following information:

  • Donor eligibility requirements
  • Nonprofit eligibility requirements
  • Match ratio (e.g. 1:1, 2:1, etc.)
  • Minimum and maximum match amounts
  • Any available match request forms

For optimal results, give donors an additional opportunity to view their eligibility by featuring this tool on the confirmation page as well.

Donation Page Best Practice #13: Feature Compelling Imagery.

To start, you should feature original photos. This will help you associate a face to your mission and remind donors why they're giving to your cause. Because of this, you should avoid stock photos and generic-looking images altogether.

For optimal results, showcase those who you serve. For instance, if your mission is school/education-related, feature some students hard at work in a classroom. If your organization is an animal shelter, feature one of your furry residents. This will be much more likely to resonate with those who feel strongly about your mission.

From here, you should include a single banner image so as not to overload the page. As we've mentioned, you'll risk distracting your prospects if you include too many images on your donation page. Since you'll be limited with space for images, be extra selective. See how the Water for All campaign clearly displays the fundraiser's purpose with a single impactful banner image:

Include powerful imagery on your donation page.

Donation Page Best Practice #14: Include a Compelling "Why."

If donors are still on the fence about giving, you should offer a brief but helpful explanation of how their donation will make an impact. Explain the purpose of the campaign and what the donor’s contribution will help accomplish.

Your donation page should not feel purely like a payment processing form. Instead, an enticing donation form gently reminds guests of why they've decided to give in the first place.

Also, remember that not every visitor arrives on your nonprofit's website with the intention to give. A bit of persuasion may be the slight push they need to take the final step and contribute.

Donation Page Best Practice #15: Customize the Fields.

When creating your donation page, it’s essential that you customize the fields to capture essential information from your donors. By customizing each field, your donation page will reflect your organization’s priorities.

Further, these data points can be used to inform future fundraising appeals. For instance, you may consider asking for supporters’ preferred communication method or inquire about how they found your cause.

By collecting information about donor preferences and other details, you can employ the most effective marketing channels, customize your marketing messages for the most widespread appeal, and so much more.

In the example below, you'll see how Donately enables you to customize your donation form fields and bring your vision to life:

Donately enables you to fully customize your donation form fields.

Learn more about creating effective nonprofit donation pages with this free downloadable guide!

Donation Page Best Practice #16: Disclose How Donations Are Used.

The best way to establish a trustworthy relationship is by being completely transparent with your donors. The best place to start is with your donation page.

When it comes to backing charitable causes, donors tend to look for specific information on a nonprofit’s performance and impact before they make the final decision to give.

75% of donors seek information about the nonprofit’s impact while 56% want a specific list of projects the organization supports in their work, according to this donation statistics page.

If possible, clearly define what percentages of your donations go toward various projects on your donation page. Or, if you use suggested giving amounts, tie each donation amount to a tangible gift. For example, you may choose to include a simple statement such as:

"A gift of $50 will provide food to a family in need for an entire month."

This level of transparency on your donation form will make visitors feel secure in their decision to donate and let them know their contributions will be put to good use. Look at the following example to see how Working in the Schools clearly lists concrete amounts paired with tangible impacts:

If possible, include tangible impacts on your donation page.

Financial options are an important consideration for donation pages.

Financial Options for Donation Forms

Not everyone prefers to give in the same way. Because of this, you'll need to offer a number of financial options on your donation form. Let's walk through a handful of ways to increase options (and therefore conversions).

Donation Page Best Practice #17: Offer Recurring Gifts.

One of the best ways to increase your donation revenue without lifting a finger is by encouraging recurring donations. Using this strategy, you can give donors the option to automatically donate on a recurring basis.

According to Nonprofit Tech for Good, only 14% of organizations prompt donors to turn their one-time contribution into a recurring gift during the donation process.

This is problematic for two primary reasons: donors won’t know they can make their gift recurring and your nonprofit could miss out on a lot of potential donation revenue. Capture more recurring gifts with these best practices:

  • Make the recurring option clear. Offer the option directly on your donation form for easy accessibility.
  • Allow donors to manage their own giving. Donors should be able to update their personal information and recurring giving preferences with a few clicks.
  • Acknowledge recurring gifts each time. Send personalized thank-you emails that explain how the donor’s recurring contribution is making an impact.
  • Follow up when payments are declined. After a credit card is changed or declined, quickly work to rectify the donation sequence.

Recurring donations are a great feature to include on your donation page and can help maximize your donation revenue without a lot of effort on either end. By maximizing visibility, you’ll be on your way to maximizing your donation page’s efficiency.

Donation Page Best Practice #18: Enable Different Payment Methods.

Each donor will likely have a different preferred way to give. Because of this, you'll want to provide several different payment options, which will improve the donation experience all around. Donors will be able to choose the option that's viable for them.

With the help of an effective donation processor, ensure you can accept the following payment methods:

  • Debit/Credit Card
  • ACH Direct Deposit
  • PayPal or Stripe

From here, you'll want to list all available payment methods that your nonprofit can accept on your donation page. For example, show the icons of credit card providers you're able to process.

Regardless of which options your payment processor can accept, you'll want to make available options abundantly clear to encourage donors to give in ways that suit their needs.

Offer several different payment options on your donation page.

Donation Page Best Practice #19: Pass the Processing Fees to Your Donors.

While on the topic of payments, you'll want to give your donors the option to cover the processing fees themselves. While these charges are typically minimal, the cost of processing will start to add up as more donations roll in.

Chances are, your donors will be willing to pay a few extra dollars to ensure their entire donation goes to support your cause. The simplest way to offer this choice is to include an easy-to-select checkbox on your donation page.

With Donately, you can quickly enable this option on your donation forms, and if your donors choose to select it (and we've noticed than many do), your operational costs can drastically decrease. Take a look for yourself:

Donately enables you to pass the processing fees to donors through your donation form.

Donation Page Best Practice #20: Make Giving Secure.

Any time you collect personal data (especially payment information), it's important to have extra security measures in place. If donors think their information is at risk, they'll wind up not donating at all. Or worse, if your organization experiences a security breach, you’ll have difficult convincing donors that you’re trustworthy again.

Secure giving all starts with a payment processor that's PCI-compliant, meaning it follows industry protocol for protecting payment data. Your platform should also authenticate and encrypt payment information using secure sockets layer (SSL) technology.

In short, SSL is the standard security protocol for establishing an encrypted link between a web browser and a server. With safety measures such as these, donors can be fully confident that their data will be protected when using your donation page.

Donately comes equipped with payment processing tools that check all of these boxes. With Stripe and PayPal as our payment gateways, our payment processing is fully PCI-compliant, giving you and your donors peace of mind.

By taking extra security precautions on your donation page, donors will trust your team and won't think twice about giving to your organization.

See how Donately's conversion-optimized donation forms can maximize your online fundraising potential.

Donation Page Best Practice #21: Include Suggested Giving Amounts.

When done strategically, offering different giving levels on your donation page often results in higher donations. This works for two reasons:

  1. Giving is simpler when all the donor has to do is click a button.
  2. Donors naturally use suggested giving options as a reference point for how much others are giving (and therefore, how much they should give).

Suggested giving amounts should vary with each organization. Simply determine what your average donor contributes and then create options that are marginally higher.

After a sufficient amount of time, you may even consider adjusting those levels based on results. This is where investing in an online giving platform that automatically tracks donation data will come in handy, so you don't have to worry about determining these KPIs manually.

Suggested giving amounts on your donation page can influence donors when deciding how much to give.

Here's a handful of ways to proactive market your cause using your donation page.

Proactive Marketing for Your Donation Page

Once you've taken the time to optimize your donation page design, you'll want to maximize its visibility by sharing it with prospects. Otherwise, you won't receive nearly as many donations as you'd expect. Let's explore a few ways to improve outreach using your donation form.

Donation Page Best Practice #22: Share Your Form Across All Outreach.

Unlike many other mediums of donating (like direct mail and phone calls), donation pages are highly shareable. This makes them great opportunities to expand your reach to acquire new supporters!

Let's take a look at two suggestions for maximizing your donation form's visibility:

  1. Link back to your donation page across your marketing materials. Your communications team is likely constantly churning out fundraising appeals. Simply link back to your donation form in each message, whether it's with postcards, emails, or social media posts.
  2. Add links to your social media profiles. According to NonprofitSource, 55% of people who engage with nonprofits on social media wind up taking some sort of action, 59% of which donate money. Direct social media visitors straight to your donation form by adding the link in your social media profile descriptions (e.g. your Facebook page's 'About' section).

Donation Page Best Practice #23: Encourage Donors to Share Their Donation on Social Media.

Creating an option on your donation form for donors to share their contributions directly after they give is an organic way to widen your audience. The idea behind this is that when donors share that they made a gift, they're also inspiring their network of friends and family to join in and give.

Be sure your donation form provider gives the option to add social share buttons, so you can easily harness the power of social proof. The idea behind this concept is that humans tend to mirror the actions of others, so long as they believe it reflects the correct behavior.

Further, make sure to include sharing options for all the platforms that your donors are most active on, whether it's Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn (or all of the above!). See how easy social share buttons make the marketing process:

Social media is a great way to share your donation form.

Donation Page Best Practice #24: Ask Donors How They Heard About You.

There are several ways someone could cross paths with your organization, and simply guessing won't get your nonprofit anywhere. On your donation form, considering including a field with a dropdown menu that features options such as:

  • A friend or family member referred me.
  • I'm a staff member or a board member.
  • I've attended one of your previous fundraising events.
  • I came across your Instagram profile.
  • I came across your Facebook page.
  • I came across your Twitter profile.

By determining this upfront, you'll save your team time in prospect research efforts and can gauge your most effective marketing strategies. You'll gain useful insight into your donors' preferred communication platforms, so you can focus your efforts there.

Just be sure to leave this question as optional. Remember, the last thing you want to do is slow your donors down, but providing this extra opportunity to engage can be invaluable to guide your nonprofit toward more effective marketing. With a customizable donation form, you'll be able to easily add this extra field.

Accessibility should be at the forefront of your nonprofit donation page design.

Accessibility of Your Donation Page

As with any other part of your nonprofit's website, make sure as many people as possible are able to interact with your donation form. Let's walk through three primary ways to improve this page's accessibility.

Donation Page Best Practice #25: Make It Mobile-Friendly.

One of the most effective donation page best practices revolves around mobile-responsiveness. When your form is easily viewable from mobile devices, individuals can conveniently donate wherever they are.

According to Double the Donation, mobile devices account for half of all nonprofit website traffic.

Mobile-responsive donation pages allow you to:

  • Make viewing your content easy. A responsive donation form will adjust to fit any screen size, so donors can easily interact with content from their smartphones, tablets, or other devices.
  • Give donors a good experience on your page. They won't have to zoom in or out in order to read and fill out your donation form.
  • Avoid worrying about poor formatting or readability. From your branding and images to your fields, with a mobile-responsive platform, everything will be resized, reformatted, and readable.

If an individual is forced to hold off on donating until they have access to a desktop computer later, they may forget altogether. Remember, many of your supporters likely come across your marketing materials on their mobile device (e.g. email and social media), so make it easy to donate and avert all frustrations by making your donation page mobile-responsive!

As an example, see how this donation form by Donately looks great on every device:

A mobile-responsive donation page will make sure your donation form looks great on every device.

Donation Page Best Practice #26: Make It Easy to Find.

This might seem obvious, but if your donation page isn’t clearly promoted on your organization's website, individuals won’t know where they can contribute, should they decide to.

Try out these steps to make your donation page stand out across your website:

  • Prominently display a “Donate Now” button on your website. This should be easy to spot (especially on your homepage) so donors know where they can go to contribute within seconds of your website loading. Consider adding this as a button above the fold.
  • Use a bright color to highlight the donate button. Ideally, use a color that will stand out most against the background to immediately catch users’ attention.
  • Include calls-to-action throughout your website. Sometimes donors will still be on the fence about giving. Include some inspirational words on strategically-placed CTAs inviting them to contribute and make an impact.
  • Choose a short and simple URL. Make sure your online giving page has an easy and memorable URL so that supporters can quickly access your form and make a donation. This also helps for including your donation page URL in offline materials like direct mailings and flyers that users will have to type themselves.

If it’s a challenge to navigate to your donation form, you won’t drive nearly as many visitors, and in turn, you'll decrease your donation page conversion rate. Be sure that clicking links and CTA buttons takes individuals directly to your donation page. Keep everything simple and people will be much more likely to complete the donation process.

Donation Page Best Practice #27: Adhere to Accessibility Guidelines.

Maximizing your online fundraising potential means making your donation form accessible to everyone. This means that you'll need to comply with web accessibility guidelines so that people with disabilities or impairments can still interact with your donation page.

According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, you'll need to proactively implement tactics such as the following:

  • Use high-contrast colors. WCAG 2.1 requires a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1. For context, the highest contrast ratio is black text on a white background, which is 21:1.
  • Clearly label fields with the text outside of the field itself. This will help those with screen reader technology to understand what information they need to provide.
  • Add alt-text to images. Alt-text, short for alternative text, is a phrase or sentence added to an image's HTML coding that describes its appearance or function. Straightforward alt-text helps visually-impaired visitors with screen reader technology.

By intentionally adhering to accessibility guidelines, you'll make your donation form usable by a wider audience and enhance your design overall by making it easier for all users to interact with your donation form.

Nonprofit donation forms can be used to drive further engagement and cultivate lasting relationships.

Further Engagement

The best donation forms encourage donors to continue interacting with the organization after contributing. Because of this, you'll want to design yours with stewardship front-of-mind. These four primary suggestions will help you cultivate relationships with donors.

Donation Page Best Practice #28: Encourage Other Ways to Give.

Making a donation is when supporter engagement is at its peak. However, that doesn't necessarily mean someone who has just donated won't want to get involved further.

In fact, including information about other ways to give will lead to higher donor engagement (and therefore higher retention rates). Chances are, donors will want to be involved in more of your nonprofit's initiatives, such as:

  • Volunteering
  • Attending events
  • Taking part in your peer-to-peer campaigns
  • Signing up for your email newsletter

When including these options, just be sure not to distract them from completing the task at hand: completing your donation form. For instance, you may consider featuring these as checkboxes instead of including entire sections detailing each choice.

Alternatively, you may also consider adding these to the donation confirmation page to keep the donation page from getting cluttered.

Donation Page Best Practice #29: Allow Donors to Create Their Own Accounts.

The ability to create an account simplifies the online giving process for both your donors and your team. Offer the option for donors to create their own accounts once they fill out your donation form.

For one, this will make it easy for your organization to keep track of each donors' past giving history. Plus, supporters who have donated before won't have to fill out the standard fields (like name, address, and other data) on the donation form again.

This feature is especially great for your recurring donors. They'll be able to log in to manage their giving, whether it's to change the frequency and amount or update their payment details.

To simplify the process further, your online donation software should enable donors to create an account using the information they've already submitted on the donation form. However, creating an account shouldn't be mandatory. Requiring this step may turn some prospects away if they feel uncomfortable with allowing your nonprofit to store their information.

Creating a donor account directly from your donation form makes giving future contributions much easier for donors.

Donation Page Best Practice #30: Plan Your Immediate Next Steps.

Your relationship with donors doesn't end the second they click the 'Submit' button on your donation form. In fact, this is where these relationships propel forward. That's why it's so important to have a stewardship strategy in place.

Think of it this way: you've already secured the first donation from them. How are you going to secure a second?

To kick off your relationship on the right foot, you'll first want to follow up immediately by using these three steps:

  1. Feature a confirmation page. As soon as a donor submits their donation, reroute them to a branded confirmation page that immediately lets them know that their gift was received.
  2. Send a donation receipt. Make sure your donors know for certain that their payment went through with an automated donation receipt. This is required for supporters who give over a certain amount but is appreciated by all supporters, no matter their contribution size.
  3. Conduct appropriate follow up. While these two confirmations are great, you'll want to follow up with a personalized thank-you note within 24 hours that the gift was made. After all, 13% of donors quit donating when nonprofits don't thank them.

Put your online fundraising software (like Donately!) to good use by having it power automatic donation receipts, which can help you begin stewarding your donors immediately.

Donation Page Best Practice #31: Incorporate It into Your Virtual Events.

Your nonprofit's donation page isn't a standalone fundraising tool. Rather, it plays into the bigger picture and should be incorporated throughout all of your online fundraisers.

With the massive shift to the virtual event space, this presents the perfect opportunity to incorporate your donation form across all fundraising channels.

Here are just a few ways your team can include your donation form in your virtual events:

  • Share it across promotional messaging. Leading up to your event, encourage registrants to submit additional gifts by featuring your page across event messaging. Further, this will simultaneously work to motivate those who are unable to attend to make a contribution.
  • Use it to collect donations during the event. Give donors an extra chance to further their impact if they're feeling particularly motivated during your fundraiser by sharing the link to your donation form.
  • Drive traffic using text-to-donate. Make giving convenient by sharing your organization's text-to-donate number in campaign messaging, both before and during the event itself.

See how Donately's conversion-optimized donation forms can maximize your online fundraising potential.

As you can see, there are several ways to perfect your donation form. As you go, analyze your progress and determine what motivates your prospects. This way, you can refine your donation form so that it's most appealing to your unique audience of supporters. In no time, you'll drive donations to completion and maximize your online fundraising potential!

Hopefully, these donation page design tips have sparked some inspiration among your fundraising team. Now that you have a solid starting point, dive deeper into research to expand your online fundraising knowledge even further:

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