Donation page structure - best practices to increase conversion and donations for nonprofits that use HubSpot

Have you ever asked yourself why people donate? What encourages people to become donors and support this or that cause? Altruism, desire to change the world or maybe belief in a certain cause.
No matter why your website visitors prefer to donate, the best practices in this post will help you in your donation page optimization efforts.

Have you ever asked yourself why people donate? What encourages people to become donors and support this or that cause? Altruism, desire to change the world or maybe belief in a certain cause.

No matter why your website visitors prefer to donate, the best practices in this post will help you in your donation page optimization efforts. 

Below you will find a list of 13 must haves that will keep your donation page visitors focused and increase donations.

1. Highlight your value proposition

Potential donors visiting your site perhaps already know what you do and what your mission is. But your donation page should reiterate the main message. It should reflect what change the donor is going to make or how someone’s situation is going to improve. Your value proposition message should be short and concise, not too long to distract the giver. 


2. Be specific with how the donation will be used

Let the donor know exactly how you are going to spend their money and who’s going to benefit from it. Here are some examples: “Your gift of $50 will allow 1 family to build stronger and healthier relations with each other”. “100% of your donation will be used to support our research program.” 

3. One banner image is enough

There’s no need to overwhelm your donation page with multiple images, slides or videos. They are very likely to draw attention and keep the donor away from taking the final step. One big banner image that resonates with your company’s activities will be both appropriate and enough.

4. Remove menu and other distracting elements

Your donation page should serve only one single purpose - encourage visitors to make a donation. To make that process effective, just eliminate menu header, footer, sidebar and other distracting elements that may draw attention. The logo on your donation page shouldn’t direct to the website homepage, but be linked to the donation page.

5. Remove unnecessary fields from the form

Every additional field that you require to fill out adds friction and decreases conversion. Make sure you only ask for information you really need. For example, in many cases you don't need the donor’s phone number. Even more – many people are hesitant to provide phone number because they don't want to be contacted via phone. 

If you are not planning to send mails, don’t ask for address as well.

6. Optimize for mobile use

Your page and donation form should be mobile-optimized. Make sure your image, copy and form are clearly visible on mobile devices and donors won’t have difficulty in submitting their info.

7. Insert predefined gift amount buttons

One of the best practices is to give donors an option to select predefined gift amounts.

You should display those amount as big buttons, not a drop-down list or radio button selectors. Big buttons are easy to spot and perform much better on mobile devices.

One of the buttons can be a default choice. You can test different variations and see which amount performs better.

Give an option to update the amount manually as well.

8. Suggest to donate on a recurring basis

Most of the nonprofits suggest the donors to choose the donation frequency. So the donors can decide whether they want to make a one-time payment or donate on a monthly, quarterly, annual basis. 

You can give you donors the option to donate on a monthly basis automatically. It can dramatically increase the donation volume.

9. Insert security labels

Your donors want to be sure that their credit card and personal information are secure. Display special labels or seals to reassure donors that all data and payments are stored securely. Make sure your website is SSL compliant and your URL begins with https

10. Remove captcha

We are all familiar with this "I'm not a robot" mechanism. You select images according to the instruction and assure you are a human. 

This adds a lot of friction, especially on the last payment step. There is almost no practical reason to add that. Because credit card field already serves as a pretty good protection from bots.

If you are concerned about fraud payments, you should know that most payment gateways already have strong algorithms to reject such transactions right away.

11. Suggest donors to cover processing fees

When you process credit card payment, some portion (usually up to 3%) goes to a payment gateway. But you can ask your donors to cover that fee. Many will gladly do that, so 100% of their original gift amount will go to the organization. +3% revenue added to your cause without doing anything else. 

12. Don’t redirect the donor to another page

Some fundraising software products and payment systems redirect users to another page to confirm the payment. The 3 main disadvantages of this are:

- You aren’t able to track conversion path on those external pages;

- You aren’t able to change the look and feel of the checkout page looks; 

- Your donors may be suspicious about being redirected to another page and think their money would not get to you. 


13. Thank you page

Thank you is such a simple word and so easy to say. But sometimes nonprofits fail to thank their donors properly. Don’t forget to express your gratitude and show how much their donation matters to you and the people you help. This again can be limited if you use one of the tools that limit the way you want your thank you page to look like. 

After the donation is processed, don’t forget to send a well crafted email receipt about the successfully processed payment. 

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