How to Encourage and Increase Donations: 5 Strategies Worth Trying
As a nonprofit organization, you’re likely to encounter constant challenges, especially with regard to your fundraising strategy. That’s why it’s important to focus on ways to encourage donors to give more frequently and boost your donation revenue. However, this may be easier said than done.
In order to increase donation efficiency, there are several strategies you can employ. We’re going to cover some of the most effective ones to give you a better understanding of what goes into soliciting donations. These strategies include:
- Mobile optimization
- Consistent branding
- Multiple ways to give
- Matching gifts
Increasing donations for your organization doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to secure the funds you need to work toward your mission.
1. Optimize the Donation Process for Mobile.
Because many of us are constantly on our smartphones these days, many website visitors are going to view your site on their mobile devices. For that reason, one of Morweb’s top donation page design tips includes optimizing your website for mobile to encourage donations.
Mobile-responsive websites adjust to fit any screen size and are easy to view on any device, which provides your visitors with a positive user experience. A positive user experience means donors are less likely to abandon your donation page before completing their donation.
Consider these tips as you make your donation page mobile responsive:
- Donate buttons. Your donate button should be clearly displayed on each page of your mobile site without having to scroll. Keep it in your navigation menu outside of your collapsible menu on mobile, so donors can easily locate it, regardless of what page they’re on.
- Page speed. Make sure your page loads quickly on mobile and that your images and other elements are mobile-friendly and compressed properly, so they don’t slow down the loading time.
- Donation process. Optimize your entire website, so that donors can complete each step of the donation process, from the minute they land on your homepage to the point when they hit “submit” from their smartphones.
When you pay close attention to these factors, your page will load quickly, and the most important elements, like your donate button, should be easy to find on mobile. Be sure to preview your donation page on mobile before publishing it to ensure all of the elements are in the right place.
2. Maintain Consistent Branding Throughout Your Website
Part of encouraging donations means establishing trust with your donors. One of the simplest ways to do this is by maintaining a consistent brand across your website. When your branding is easily recognizable, donors will feel more comfortable giving to your organization.
- Use templates that are customizable. Choose a content management system (CMS) that allows you to set the font and colors of each page to match your nonprofit’s overall branding.
- Clearly display your logo. Make your logo easy to view on each page of your website so your visitors know they haven’t left your site and can easily recognize your organization. Link your logo back to the homepage for easy navigation, too.
- Highlight your donation buttons. Make all of your buttons, including recommended giving amount and submit buttons, stand out with bright colors that match your brand colors.
- Keep everything secure. Use an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate to indicate that your network is secure. This will reassure donors that their personal and payment information will remain safe. It is also a good practice to include a privacy statement linked in the footer of your website.
- Check every page of your website for your branding. This includes your donation page and every other page that viewers will see.
There are several simple changes you can make to your website to accurately reflect your brand and instill trust in your donors. Use a CMS platform that allows you to customize the look and feel of your page, so you can do exactly that.
3. Tell Your Story Through Content
Part of inspiring donors to give to your organization means relaying your nonprofit’s story and mission. This can be done through your “About Us” page and blog stories. Doing this effectively will appeal to your donors’ empathetic side and compel them to get involved.
Whether you’re an animal rights organization or one that builds houses for families in need, it’s important to showcase exactly what you’re doing and how you’re making a difference.
Try out these strategies to inspire supporters to give:
- Use imagery. Use captivating images and videos that demonstrate the great work you’re doing. Testimonials, volunteers and highlighted campaigns are all great subjects to focus on.
- Effectively arrange your content. Choose a CMS with drag-and-drop functionality, so you can customize your site’s layout and showcase your content in the best way possible.
- Guide people toward your donation button. In the areas where you communicate your impact, be sure to include calls-to-action that direct visitors to your donation page. Provide them with a compelling reason to give, and then show them how to do so.
Telling your story is one of the most effective nonprofit web design tips you can use, so be sure to proudly put your accomplishments on display. Show the impact your organization has made, and encourage others to get involved and contribute.
4. Offer Multiple Ways to Give
As you evaluate ways to encourage and increase donations for your organization, one major consideration revolves around convenience. Meeting your donors’ preferences head on will not only boost your donation revenue, but also lead to a positive experience for your donors, which can keep them engaged with your nonprofit in the future.
In order to offer this type of convenience, provide multiple ways to give, so donors can put their preferences first. These giving methods include:
- Recurring donations. Recurring donations give donors the option to donate on a recurring basis (by month or even year). Adding a recurring donation button to your donation form will encourage a steady stream of funds for your organization. It’s also an excellent way to make donating easy.
- Suggested giving amounts. Add suggested giving amounts to your donation form so that donors who are unsure of how much to give have a frame of reference. This can actually boost your donation amounts from donors, as well.
- Add an eCommerce store. Sometimes your donors prefer to provide support in other ways. Create an eCommerce store so you can sell merchandise online. Selling merchandise will also serve to promote your brand when individuals walk around sporting branded t-shirts, hats and more.
- Host fundraising events. Offer ways to directly get involved beyond donating, by hosting fundraising events to participate in or volunteer for. Make sure you leverage a CMS that allows you to create a registration form so attendees can sign up through your site.
Giving doesn’t just take the form of online donations. It can include purchasing merchandise from your nonprofit, registering for events, volunteering and more. Offer multiple ways for your supporters to give and get involved, and you’ll establish longer lasting connections with them over the course of your fundraising campaigns.
If you’re looking for additional CMS features that can help boost involvement and donations for your nonprofit, check out this guide.
5. Promote Matching Gifts to Donors
According to Double the Donation, 84% of donors say they’re more likely to give to a nonprofit if they know their gift will be matched. For that reason, promoting corporate matching gifts on your website is an effective strategy that can make donors feel like their gift is going twice as far — because it is.
Many nonprofits don’t devote a lot of time and energy into promoting matching gifts, because they simply don’t have the staff power, time or energy. However, if you consider using a matching-gift database, your donors will be able to easily look up their eligibility for a gift match through their company.
- The donor submits their gift.
- The donor accesses the matching gift database.
- The donor searches for their company in the company name search tool.
- If eligible, the donor will be directed to their company’s guidelines to submit a match request.
- The company will review the match request, verify the donation with the nonprofit and submit their company match.
Depending on how you market matching donations, you can earn a lot of revenue through this channel. Be sure to include information on matching gifts throughout your website (e.g. a matching-gift information page, an embedded matching-gift search tool on your donation page, etc.), and you’ll be sure to increase your donations.
Encouraging and boosting donations for your nonprofit doesn’t have to be a challenge. If you leverage the right CMS platform, make it easy to give and successfully communicate the good work your organization is doing, you’ll be more likely to raise the funds you need to work toward your mission.
Take a look at your current process and try incorporating some or all of these strategies into your work!
Murad Bushnaq is the founder and CEO of Morweb. Since its inception in 2014, Murad has acted as creative director and chief technologist to help nonprofits spread their vision online through engaging design, intuitive software and strategic communication.