A big part of nonprofit marketing is the challenge of asking for online donations. Often times, nonprofits do not take the time to optimize their website as a donor-generation tool. This blog covers 10 web design tips that will help nonprofits increase their online donations.
1. Incorporate a Prominent, Site-Wide “Donate Now” Button
The top conversion path on most nonprofit websites is the donation page. According to Online Fundraising Scorecard, 65% of nonprofits make their donors click 3 or more times to donate! We all know from experience that the more we click, the more impatient we get. Placing a large, bright “Donate Now” button in the header of your website ensures that it will be seen on every page and that donors are always just one click away from making a donation.
2. Provide Multiple Paths for Reaching the Donation Page
Encourage donations on your website by making it very easy for visitors to donate. If your visitors have to spend more than two seconds searching for your donation page, you have already lost them. A large “donate now” button is a great start. However, you should implement multiple paths to your donation page. This means a “How to Donate” landing page in your main navigation, a CTA in your homepage content, and a large homepage image with a “Donate Now” overlay. All of this ensures that no matter which page your visitors enter your site through, they will only be one click away from donating.
3. Tailor Your Content for “The Ask”
Google has made it abundantly clear that the content on your site is the most important element when it comes to ranking in search engines, because this is what users find most important. When creating your quality content, make sure to tell your audience why your cause is important and how they can make a difference. Finally, ASK your audience to make a difference by including a strong call to action (CTA). Spend some time creating quality content that persuades for both your homepage and individual landing pages.
4. Speak to the Humanity of Your Audience
As obvious as this suggestion may be, it is often overlooked by nonprofits that are in a hurry or just want to get their site out there. Spend some time thinking about your cause and what it means to current and potential donors. Use this as leverage. Tug at the heart strings of your site visitors with powerful imagery, fascinating facts, and heartfelt stories.
5. Develop Your Site with Mobile in Mind
A Pew Research study revealed that 34% of internet users go online mostly using their mobile devices. That means 1/3 of your donors are visiting your website on mobile. Yet, 84% of nonprofits’ donation pages are not optimized for mobile (Online Fundraising Scorecard)! Not only does your donation page/form have to be mobile-friendly, your entire site doe as well. The answer is responsive design. A site built in responsive design dynamically resizes to fit the screen of whatever device a user is accessing it from. You can even alter the code so that the “Donate Now” button shows up front and center on a mobile device.
6. Set Up Your Site Analytics
If you do not already have Google Analytics set up for your website, talk to your web developer about getting the code implemented ASAP. Once Google Analytics is up and running, we recommend setting up “goals”. The “Goals” section of Google Analytics allows you to track specific events like link clicks, file downloads, or page visits. Set up goals for your donation page to track how many people visited it AND how many people completed the form.
7. Tell Your Audience What Their Money Can Buy
Another great way to elicit donations on your website is by letting donors know what their money can buy. By associating the dollar amount of their donations with what it is going toward, you are reminding them of the change they can make. If $25 can provide prenatal care for one woman, depict this on your homepage or include it on the donation form.
8. Optimize Your Content for Search Engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) is just as important in nonprofit marketing as it is in other for-profit industries. SEO is the process of increasing your website’s visibility in a search engines’ organic search results. You can do this by first identifying the keywords that best represent your nonprofit (i.e. Food Drive or Animal Shelter). Once you have identified these keywords, you should create a landing page for each and include them in the page’s content 3-5 times. This way, donors who are looking for a meaningful nonprofit and do not have one already in mind, can discover yours and donate!
9. Share Powerful Video Testimonials
Testimonials are great, but video testimonials are even better! Ask some of your biggest advocates, greatest donors, or those who have benefited from your nonprofit to film a short video testimonial. Then, create a testimonial video library on your website or feature these videos on your homepage. People will be more inclined to donate if they can hear first-hand how your nonprofit makes a difference. Plus, videos on landing pages increase conversions by 86% (WebDAM)!
10. Feature an e-News Sign-Up to Capture Leads
According to the 2014 M&R Benchmark Study, of the $324 million donated online in 2013, nearly 1/3 of it came from email marketing! An important vertical in nonprofit marketing, email marketing gives you the opportunity to connect with your donors on a more personal level. Incorporating an E-News sign-up button on your website will help you stay in touch with your donors and thus, generate more donations. In order to better capture sign-ups, place your E-News sign-up somewhere that it can be easily accessed like as a button in your header or as part of your mini-navigation.
Your website plays a huge role in your nonprofit marketing strategy, specifically in eliciting donations. In order to increase donations on your website, you should implement most, if not all, of these tips. Remember, that people are in a hurry and expect things to be quick and easy when they’re on your website.
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