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Top 6 best practices to make your donation form stand out

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A non-profit donation form should be designed to collect donor information and process online gifts. Interestingly, many fundraisers tend to use old-school donation forms. The truth is that your donation form is a critical component of your organization, and its importance should not be taken lightly.

As a non-profit, you are supposed to build your donation form as a “wow-piece”. Keep reading on, as the remainder of this article reveals the best practices you should follow when creating a non-profit donation page.

1. Make your non-profit donation form simple and short

If you want your donors to give up, you can keep them scrolling down. It goes without saying that donation forms for non-profits should be brief and simple, either on a single page, or broken out into a few parts over a few pages.

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The best donation forms are quick and simple to fill out.

Always stick to the abbreviation K.I.S.S. while you construct your contribution form. K.I.S.S. means to “Keep it short and simple”. Would a donor be able to make a donation in under 1 minute? Will it take more than 2 minutes for your donor to complete? Donation forms should not be a hassle, after all.

Double-check if you really need all of those fields. Also, review and test to see if your donation form is unnecessarily long and convoluted. There’s a good chance you’re asking for plenty of information that contributors don’t have the time to provide, such as contact information.

Donors are intimidated by lengthy donation forms, so keep them short.

2. Brand your non-profit donation form

When potential donors see your organization’s donation form, they should know instantly that it belongs to your non-profit.

A simple online giving process is made possible by customizing your donation form. The last thing you need is for your potential donors to arrive at your non-profit donation form and wonder if it has any connection to your organization at all! This might cause donors to lose faith in you and possibly leave your site without making a donation.

Don’t forget the following when creating a custom contribution page for your non-profit:

  • The font style and colors of the page should be compatible with the rest of the page.
  • Display the logo prominently.
  • Display the mission clearly and prominently.

3. Optimize your donation form for mobile devices

It will be very difficult for your non-profit donation page to succeed unless it is optimized for mobile devices. Giving online may be frustrating and, in some situations, impossible if your form does not appear properly on a smaller screen.

Make your non-profit donation form mobile-friendly by following these simple steps. The most important things to remember are the following:

  • When designing your non-profit donation form, it is important to keep things simple.
  • Ensure that the text and buttons are large enough to be seen on screens of all sizes and will be able to be pressed by larger finger touches.
  • Make sure that the picture size is different for desktop and mobile use.
  • Maintain a vertical design for your layout.

You’re missing out on a considerable amount of donations if your form isn’t mobile-friendly. Since “mobile giving” can be considered one of the most popular ways for donors to donate while on the go, it should come as no surprise!

4. Optimize the donation page

How many of your potential donors are abandoning your form before they ever get a chance to fill it out? Don’t underestimate the negative impact of a terrible contribution form when it comes to discouraging people from making a gift.

How can you increase the number of people who donate to your cause through your online contribution page? Keep a conspicuous link in the header of every page of your website. Donors don’t have to scroll down to see your donation form if you place it at the top part of your donation page.

The “Donate Now” button should be prominently displayed on your website so that donors may easily access your contribution form. In order to make your button simpler to discover, use a color that nicely contrasts (but compliments) the rest of your navigation menu’s color scheme.

Want to learn a bit about color theory? Check out our podcast episode #032

After making a donation, donors want to know that their money has been received and that it has been used to its full potential. Customize a separate donation confirmation page for your donations form to make it even more appealing and heart-warming. Additionally, it serves as a chance for your organization to urge contributors to remain in touch or promote the contribution page through social media.

5. Use images that can create an impact

An eye-catching image is an easy way for people to establish a connection with your non-profit and demonstrate the importance of its work. A picture is worth a thousand words, especially if it’s well-chosen.

Your donation form should include a relevant image in order to persuade donors online!

You can use images such as;

  • Your supporters/volunteers in action.
  • Individuals or groups for whom you have served in the past.
  • A clear display of the exact need the respective fundraisers are hoping to help.

Don’t clutter your contribution form with unnecessary photos just for the purpose of trying to make it more visually appealing – remember, K.I.S.S. Always keep in mind that your non-profit’s mission and goals should be reflected in the image.

6. Prompt recurring gifts and nudges

Without a doubt, recurring donors are among the most important individuals when it comes to non-profit operations. Regardless of the size of the donation, it is always preferable to have a consistent stream of support for such an operation. That will bring financial stability to your non-profit. In your donation form, it is important to prompt recurring gifts, so your donors will use them.

What would you rather have? A single $20 donation, or $2 every month? The psychology of this is that a donor will likely not second guess a $2 donation monthly to their credit card even after 2-years.

The chances of having those $20 one-time donations make the same donation a year later can vary. That means a donation of $48 instead of $20. Where this gets interesting is at scale. Imagine having 200 donors doing this, that would be $4,000 instead of $9,600. Now imagine if you had 1,000 donors.

Recurring nudges

These should appear in your form without necessarily interrupting the progress of the donor.

Recurring model

You can set up the form in a way so the donors can decide whether the gift should be recurring or not. You can use it as a popup window on the donation form. The donor will either decline or accept the request before moving further.

The system will then charge the correct amount from the donor at the correct time. When the giving process goes on, donors can decide on the most convenient option.

The bottom line

Wherever possible, tie your donation to a specific cause, not a general donation to your organization.

If you’re a hospital trying to raise money to buy more ventilators, consider a call to action, messaging, and images, to all be relevant to ventilators and the urgent need for them.

Depending on how easy it is to fill out, your donation form can drastically improve your fundraising goals and efforts. Donors are more likely to abandon a form if it is too time-consuming or difficult to fill out.

By keeping the donation form short and straightforward, making your donation pages mobile-friendly, and sticking to other effective practices mentioned, can help you reduce donor drop-off and collect more donations.

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