Ann’s Restoration House, run by a Fort Myers couple, has spent 16 years reaching out to those with substance abuse issues and helping them get back on their feet. Now they needed help, because Ann’s house had termites. Even the local news ran a story a few months ago to help the small non-profit out, sending people to their website to donate. I heard about their story and went to their website, and wondered how many donations they lost because they didn’t know the three ways to promote donations.
Sadly, many non-profits make it actually hard, if not impossible! – for people to donate. Thankfully, there’s something that can be done! Aren’t you glad you clicked to read this?
So, how can you increase your online donations?
Just A-C-E it!
Let’s unpack those three words with some actionable steps.
Yes, agile as in flexible. From cash, cars, stocks, and annuities to backpacks, diapers, and canned goods, there are many ways to give to a charity. Your website needs to handle them all, or at least get the ball rolling. The most epic fail in most non-profit websites how they handle non-monetary gifts.
Yes, by their nature non-cash gifts are non-standard, but look at it from your donor’s point of view. They’ve already chosen a giving method that means more effort for them, so it makes sense (especially since many non-cash gifts are HUGE!) to make the process EASY for them.
- Explain all the ways people can give to your organization, not just in cash.
- Give clear instructions for non-cash donations. Even if you can’t handle the process on your site, explain the process with clarity and enough detail.
- Allow for the odd donation: It’s fine to have suggested levels of donation, but always allow the user to specify an amount as well.
Your donors need to see their donation as mission critical. Why? People give based on connection with shared ideals and values, and they want to know they’ve made a difference.
Have the answers to these two top questions prominent on your website:
- What are you trying to achieve?
- How will my money make a difference (How will you spend it?)
These are the top questions donors want to know before they donate. Guess what? If you answer them, you’re way ahead of the pack. Among non-profits:
- only 43% answered the first question
- only 4% answered the second question [ref]Alertbox: Donation Usability: Increasing Online Giving[/ref]
Make cash donation processing easy. More than that, stupid easy. Did you know that non-profit payment processing is 7% worse than average eCommerce? [ref]Non-Profit Organization Websites[/ref]
Easy fixes to make it easy to donate:
- Prominent donate button – remember, people can’t give if you don’t ask. If the donate page is in secondary navigation, get it out top. Give it top billing.
- Decluttered home page – keep “tiny tasks” from taking over real estate on your home page. That includes old events, old reports, old articles — you get the idea.
- Streamlined donation process – I have seen some of the most convoluted processes on non-profit pages, and it’s ridiculous. Honestly, if they never donate because your donation page is too complex, what difference does it make that you asked how they arrived at your website?
- Stay on-site – unless absolutely necessary, don’t take them to a third party site to finish the payment process. If you’re freaked about PCI compliance, look into payment processors that use tokenization.
The Start of Something Big
These tips are the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Overall website usability, page layout, design, and content that’s web friendly all add to a delighted user. Delighted users that get drawn into your mission become donors. We can help by analyzing your website for A-C-E and many more factors, and give you a blueprint for how to improve your website without breaking your budget. Contact us today.
Image Credits: Stock Exchange