Get More Out of Your Fundraising Donation Page by Acting Like an Online Store
Applying basic e-commerce principles to online donation pages may increase your donation page conversion rate. Here is why and how a small to midsize business e-commerce strategy can be applied to a nonprofit's fundraising donation page design for a higher completion rate.
Pictures are worth more than words
E-commerce sites long ago figured out that showing people a picture (or pictures) of what they are buying leads to more sales, but that is not so easily done for nonprofits. Yes, if you are saving elephants, you could show a picture of an elephant. Still, that isn’t exactly what your donor is “buying.” Worse yet, what if your mission is to stop human trafficking? What type of picture should you show then?
Polaris Project came up with a great solution for its #GivingTuesday campaign this past December. See the screenshot of its donation page at right. It brilliantly showed a picture of what each donation level could buy — a coat, backpack, etc. — for the children of victims the organization have saved. That is a very real, tangible item that donors can feel good about “buying.” They see real value for their donations before they even click the donate button.
Other great features of this donation page:
- Not too wordy — it quickly and clearly gets to the point of how the donation will be used.
- Short form arranged in two columns.
- It’s branded — it is not a generic, third-party credit card processing form, but rather a page within Polaris Project's site.
- It is tied back to the specific campaign — #GivingTuesday — with a headline that matches the email, tweets and other promotions it did for the campaign.
People don’t buy yachts or save the world online
While people may research large purchases online, I am unaware of anyone ever laying out large amounts of money online, like buying a yacht. While I don’t have data right now to back it up, I can’t imagine anyone has ever made a large enough donation online to fully fund a nonprofit’s mission like saving the rainforest or ending hunger. I wonder if even Warren Buffett has a high enough limit on his credit card for something like that.