Online Fundraising Basics: Lesson 4
By now you have learned great ways for nonprofits to accept online donations, including crowdfunding, merchant services, or third-party processors for online fundraising, like Aplos. Our last lesson covered donation webpage best practices that will help you increase your revenue. So your nonprofit is well on your way to successfully accepting online donations.
You have a donate button, but having a donate button isn’t enough. Organizations are often eager to share a lot of information about themselves and their mission, so they inadvertently bury their donate button on their website. Do not hide the giving button. Feature it! Here are a few tips for adding it to your website and emails that will make it easy for people to click it:
- Make your donate button stand out.
Use bright colors and bold typeface. Whatever your website’s color palette is, consider using its complement, shown here on the color wheel.
- Draw attention to your donate button.
Give it whitespace. Don’t crowd it with text or images. On the homepage of your website, make sure it is in a consistent location and people don’t need to scroll down to find it.
- Link your donate button to a compelling purpose.
For example, “Donate $20 and feed a family.” This helps donors connect the donation to its impact.
Not sure how to add a donate button to your website? Here is a quick tutorial to add it to a standard WordPress site if you are using Aplos.
Give Your Donors A Good Experience
You’ve come a long way, but there is a little more work to be done before your nonprofit is ready to begin receiving online donations. Here are some ways you can ensure your donors have a good experience giving to your organization from the start.
- Test your system.
Make sure your donation button works. Try it out on your desktop computer, your tablet, and your phone. Then have your staff or key volunteers do the same. Make sure it works on all types of devices and different versions of web browsers.
- Make sure your instructions are clear and easy to understand.
Get feedback from your volunteer testers, and see where people were confused or unsure.
- Understand what happens after someone gives.
Different payment methods have different protocols for acknowledging gifts. Know what will happen, and make sure your site tells them what to expect. Do they get a receipt automatically? How long does it take to send? What will appear on their bank statement? Be prepared to tell people what’s going to happen next. For example, “Within approximately five minutes you will receive a receipt in your email.”
- Train your people.
Make sure your staff members have used your process to submit a donation and are familiar with the system so they can field calls and assist your donors if they need support. Have commonly asked questions for technical support available, and make sure your receptionist is up to speed. Know who to call if something isn’t working.
The Importance Of Testing Your Donation Process
Check out this article for a few great reasons why you should always test your donation form before showing it to your donors. Once you are confident your website is user-friendly, learn about donation form usability tests. What it all really comes down to is the donor experience because providing killer customer service can increase your donations.
How Nonprofits Can Attract Online Donations
Now your nonprofit is ready to launch your donation page and begin receiving online donations. But people aren’t going to stumble upon ways to donate to your organization. Nonprofits have to generate traffic to their online donations page. In the next lesson you will learn how to use email to drive people to donate online.