10 Ways to Optimize Your Donation Page to Improve Fundraising Results


The following guest blog comes from Mark Becker, Founding Partner at Cathexis Partners, one of our accredited partners for Implementation Strategy. For more than 20 years, Mark has supported hundreds of nonprofit online fundraising efforts.

Fundraising for your nonprofit takes ongoing effort. Every campaign must target the right supporters with compelling messages through multiple channels. But have you thought about how your donation page can improve your fundraising results?

Consider this: Your donation page is where potential donors end up once they’ve been inspired to give. The last thing you want is to lose supporters at that critical point. 

By optimizing your donation page, you can not only encourage donors to complete the giving process, but also get the most out of each donation. 

Here are 10 simple ways to enhance your donation page to improve your fundraising results:

1. Add your nonprofit’s branding

Donors give to your organization because they feel compelled to support your mission. So right off the bat, make sure they know they’re in the right place, and keep them engaged all the way through the donation process, by using a custom web address and prominently displaying your logo and other design elements that align with your organization and fundraising campaign.

2. Use powerful imagery

Add images of people, places, animals, or other things related to your mission. Powerful images can help donors feel a stronger connection with your mission, which makes them more likely to give, and maybe even give more.

3. Associate giving levels with your mission

Tie donation levels with what the funds will help your organization accomplish. Letting donors know that their gift can, for example, help send a child to school for a year or feed a family of four, is much more impactful than requesting a specific amount of money.

4. Use dynamic asks

Here’s a simple way to encourage your donors to give more: Use your customer relationship management (CRM) or online fundraising software to automatically present ask levels based on each donor’s last giving level. For example, if a donor previously donated $25, start ask levels for that donor at $25, or even bump it up to $30. For new donors, use your average donation amount for the starting ask level. A visually compelling type of dynamic ask is the upsell lightbox, which can be customized based on donor segment.

5. Ask to make the gift recurring

Use a pop-up box to give donors the option to make their donation a recurring gift, with convenient monthly payments charged automatically to their credit card. This approach encourages donors to remain donors longer because it’s a budget-friendly option. For example, a $10 monthly gift seems much more doable than a $120 gift. Plus, research has shown that monthly donors give more than one-time donors.

6. Ask donors to cover transaction fees

Typically, when a person gives through your online donation form, you’re charged a transaction fee by your payment processor. This ultimately reduces the amount of money you receive by a percentage (often at least 3%). Add a fee cover option for donors to cover the cost of transaction fees so that you can hang onto those funds that would otherwise be lost. Engaging Networks client St. Labre Indian School used this option and were able to increase fundraising revenue thanks to covered fees.

7. Use a matching gift tool

Research shows that 84% of donors say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered. Make it easier to take advantage of corporate matching programs and boost your fundraising campaign results by adding a matching gift tool to your donation form. There are multiple matching gift tools on the market that you can easily embed on your donation page.

8. Optimize for mobile devices

Today, people expect to be able to interact with organizations through their mobile devices. Period. Make sure your donation page is using mobile design best practices, such as employing mobile-responsive design templates and keeping image sizes to a minimum so that pages load faster. This approach will help you to make sure your donation page looks and works great on mobile devices. And don’t forget to test the page on multiple devices before going live.

9. Keep the donation form simple

No one likes to fill out a long form. Review your donation form and make sure you’re asking for only what’s necessary to process the donation properly. You can gather more information about each donor later.

10. Offer a range of payment options

Give donors the ability to donate via their preferred method. This provides a simpler and more attractive path to completing the donation. For example, offer payment options, such as ACH, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, cryptocurrency, donor advised funds, PayPal, and Venmo.

Here’s one last bonus tip: You don’t have to do all of these things at once. Start with one or two, and then continue to tweak your donation page over time. The idea is to continue to streamline and optimize your page so that you get the most out of that hard work you put into your fundraising efforts.

Enjoyed Mark’s article? Here’s what to read next:

Engaging Networks has helped venerated nonprofits put Mark’s donation form tips into action. Learn how St. Labre Indian School increased fundraising revenue by covering payment processing fees, and how the Children’s Society implemented digital wallet buttons.

A unified digital engagement platform will help your organization make a big impact as efficiently as possible. Engaging Networks is the independent platform used by major nonprofit organizations around the world so they can access everything all in one place, while strengthening their donor relations like never before.

Sound Exciting?

Request a demo today and one of our team will be in touch with additional information about how Engaging Networks can help you raise more money and win more campaigns.

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