It’s that time again: the end of the year. It’s a time to reflect on 2014 and look forward to 2015, for you and your organization. Chances are, no matter what holiday you may or may not be celebrating, you’re in the spirit of giving. That’s great news for the nonprofit industry. In fact, people give more to charitable organizations throughout the month of December than in any other month.
So what can your nonprofit do to benefit from all of the giving feelings this time of year?
While there are plenty of ways that you can boost donations at year-end, the single-most effective tactic is to make sure you have a killer online donation page.
Donation pages are crucial for converting website visitors into donors. After all, they are the pages on which your visitor actually MAKES the donation, and they’re often prominently featured in your website’s navigation, homepage, and online ads. Because donation pages are so important, you need to make sure that your organization’s page is up to speed and ready to convert the maximum amount of visitors. To help you create your own killer donation page, I scoured the web and found a few excellent examples of donation pages to use as guides.
Care is a charity that fights poverty in 87 developing countries. While they have an all-around solid site, their donation landing page is particularly effective.
Most importantly, this page has a clear call to action right up front: “Donate: Your Donation Today Will Be Matched.” It’s important to make sure that your site visitors know exactly what it is you want them to do on your page.
The basic research a person would likely perform prior to donating to Care is all available right on the page. There’s a mission statement up in the corner, so Care’s visitors know what they’re donating to; there are two pie charts demonstrating how Care uses their funds; and there are several stamps of approval from third party agencies.
In the donation choice section, Care includes suggested gift amounts with an additional field to give a custom gift amount. Having both suggested amounts and a custom field can be the best of both worlds: suggested amounts give a visitor a good idea of the donation amounts your charity appreciates, while a custom field allows them to give what fits their budget.
The landing page also uses a simple billing form that doesn’t require registration. People want to be able to give quickly and simply. Many do not want to sign up for your emails.
In addition, Care runs a special holiday fundraising campaign. Seasonal campaigns like this are useful because they give donors a deadline and provide a sense of urgency to give. Limiting the window of opportunity to participate in a promotional campaign is a classic business sales tactic that for-profit organizations employ this time of year; nonprofits can also benefit from the same strategy.
2. Convoy of Hope
Convoy of Hope provides disaster relief and sustainability programs to the continental US. Their donation form is particularly effective because it states what your gift will be able to accomplish (i.e. a gift of $30 feeds one child for 6 months). It also offers you the option of including a comment with your gift. This type of selection box not only helps a donor know exactly what their money will go toward, but also allows them to provide specific instructions on how to use the gift, making the gift more tangible to the donor.
3. RoadRunner Food Bank
RoadRunner Food Bank of New Mexico is an organization that supplies food to 70,000 hungry people every week. They have a very unique donation page with a recently implemented @Pay button. The @Pay button is a pay portal that allows payments to be made with just two clicks. The ease of payment makes donors more likely to complete their first donation and even more likely to donate again in the future.
RoadRunner also uses Thanksgiving imagery to make the page relevant to the season, and explains in great detail the work that they are able to do in New Mexico. This kind of storytelling allows them to build trust with potential donors, as well as tug at their heartstrings. And we all know when you tug at the heartstrings, it loosens the wallet-strings, too.
4. Goodwill Industries International
You probably know Goodwill from their stores and donation centers, but they’re also a charity that helps people find employment and provide for their families. They have a wonderful donation page that, like the RoadRunner example, also uses powerful storytelling. But instead of telling their story in writing, an embedded video on the page puts a human face to their cause and reinforces why donors should give. According to DonorDrive, fundraisers who customize their donation pages with a personalized video, images, or messaging raise 20% more funds, on average. After all, the internet is a visual medium and more and more consumers (think donors) prefer video and images over words.
Further, Goodwill’s page provides trust-boosting statistics that help inform about their cause in a visually engaging way.
So, as you kick off your own end-of-year donation pages and start planning for 2015, keep these four examples in mind. Don’t forget to KISS and TIE (Keep It Simple, Stupid, and Test It Everytime!). Good luck! Let us know what you find works and what doesn’t work in the comments below.