Most donors these days expect organizations to provide a way to donate online. However, not every online giving page is designed to best meet donor expectations. Here are a few tips to help you review your online giving page and make adjustments to ensure your donors have an efficient, secure, and friendly online giving experience. And if you have a tip I’ve not mentioned, please submit it in the comments section so that we may all benefit from it!
K.I.S.S. Try to adhere to Kelly Johnson’s K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid!). Keep your form as simple and straightforward as possible. Don’t offer a lot of options (at least not in a manner that is visually “in the way” of completing the transaction), and don’t ask for a lot of information. Name, address and email are generally required, but truly consider whether or not you need the donor’s work information or other information you typically gather in “offline” formats. You will likely have opportunities later to gather this information. Don’t risk losing the donor and their gift because they abandon the donation form due to length.
Security, Security, Security! Be sure your online giving form is secure, and that donors can see that it is secure. The URL in the Address bar of the web browser should start with https://. You may also wish to include text at the top of the form along the lines of “Please use our secure donation form to support our mission…” Also consider embedding the security image into the form (or having it done, if you use an outside vendor). Imagery is often easier for donors to see and understand than reading text.
Make the Page Your Own. Be sure your online giving page is branded for your organization. Donors will second guess themselves if they click a link to donate, and they are presented with an online giving form that looks nothing like your organization’s branding.
We try to help customers follow these guidelines when we work with you to set up online giving forms on our servers, but these tips are valid whether we host your form, another vendor hosts your form, or you have your very own web server hosting your giving form!
If you would like to learn more about ensuring your online giving form is the best it can be, I recommend taking a peek atMasterCard’s Top 10 Best Practices and Guidelines (pdf).