Encouraging donations online - website tips and advice
Getting a donation online can be hard work. Having a basic “donate” button on your website is no longer enough to gather regular funds via your website.
This blog will give you some ideas, tips and advice on how to improve the number of online donations your organisation receives.
Optimising your website for donations
Many of the tips we have outlined below can also be used in conjunction with all of your communication channels.
1) Donate button. Make sure your donate button is prominent, and on every page on your website.
2) Mission statement. Having a mission statement about your NGO is crucial. Keep it short and sweet, to ensure it can be understood immediately. This should sum up what your NGO is about, and should appear on the Home page, or in the header on every page.
3) Action words. Use action words in your communications. For example, change, act, fight, explore, and transform to explain what needs to happen. Action words encourage people to do something.
4) Impact of donation. Let users know exactly how you intend their donation will be used, so they can understand a tangible benefit to their donation. This could be supported by video content or images, and could also show what funds have been used for previously.
5) Strong imagery. Having impactful imagery will make a huge difference in gaining the empathy of your users. Include photos of the people/animals/places they will be helping.
6) Transparency. Be transparent and show financial information on your website (if you can). This will help build trust.
7) Storytelling. Share stories about the cause, and how other people have helped and donated.
8) Donation options. Give your donors options by using a variety of giving levels on the donation page, and offer a recurring donation option, or link them to a payroll giving tool like this one run via the Spark Foundation.
9) Collect email addresses. Make sure you collect email addresses for future communications. Add an email sign-up form on your website. The homepage, header or footer is an ideal place for this.
10) Share information. House your existing or new community and sponsorship presentations on the website. You can do this using SlideShare, which allows you to embed presentations on your website, and it’s free! Your presentations will include important messages about the cause, which are worth sharing beyond your intended audience.
11) Include a summary of the donations you have raised to date. This will show people are already engaged and helping your cause.
12. Share your goals and the targets you are trying to reach. This will provide an additional incentive to potential donors, and show them they are part of a community of supporters.
13. Provide opportunities for involvement. Give people different options and ideas about how they can help e.g. donating, fundraising, bequests, volunteering. As mentioned in our previous blog, new ways of giving will help you tap into different audiences. If your donors are truly passionate about your cause they will want to explore new ways of engaging.
14. Integrate a social media feed on your website. Use one that will pull through social media posts from your donors, community and other partners in the market. A post from a donor or your community is just as powerful as your own.
If you need help improving your existing website – get in touch! We can run through a number of different options, and identify quick wins that will help you get the most out of your website.
This is the third blog post in our four-part NGO series. See our other posts on digital communication for NGOs, growing and diversifying the pathway to giving, and nurturing repeat donations using email marketing.