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8 Essential Donation Page Best Practices


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Published June 21, 2022 Reading Time: 7 minutes

Donation pages that are simple to navigate result in more completed donations, recurring donation revenue, and donor retention. That’s why this blog post is all about bringing yours to the next level.

The donation page experiences that lead to deeper donor trust and more completed transactions are the ones that feel consistent with all other campaign pages a donor may engage with from a particular nonprofit organization. To achieve consistency across your nonprofit campaigns, unite your nonprofit website and main donation button with the software powering your events, crowdfunding, and peer-to-peer fundraising efforts.

The Power of Your Donation Page

Your donation page is likely a year-round source of revenue for those looking to take action outside of specific campaign periods. In 2021, we saw how important an online donation page is to acquiring and retaining recurring donations.

Here’s what The State of Modern Philanthropy 2022 revealed:

  • Donation pages bring in the most recurring revenue on average compared to all other campaign types, at $15,534 per campaign and a median of $707
  • When a donor made a second donation to any campaign in 2021, either to the same organization or a new one, 60% did so through a donation page

Read the Full Report

8 Tips to Elevate Your Donate Page Design

Frequently, an organization’s donation page is its own worst enemy in getting site visitors to complete their gifts. There are a few essential donation page best practices that, if followed, make it pretty straightforward to entice donations from both one-time and recurring donors.

Here, we’ll cover eight great donation page examples with easy-to-implement donation page best practices that you can test out right after reading this post.

Donation Page Best Practice #1: Keep It Short

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your donation page can feel overwhelming. Share enough information to motivate supporters to donate without inundating them with too much information.

You’ll also want to think about the number of fields you ask someone to fill out. Are they all necessary? If not, consider cutting back to make the process simpler.

Ask questions that help strengthen your relationship with each donor. We see a creative example of this from the Blocking Hunger Foundation. This nonprofit tracks each donor’s birthday for future engagement opportunities.

Limit the amount of copy, images, media, and links on your donation page to only what’s necessary. If you have a lot to say and show, organize content logically to make it easier for readers to follow.

Blocking Hunger Donation Page Example, Powered by Classy


Donation Page Best Practice #2: Write a Great Headline

Your donation page should have an attention-grabbing headline that reminds donors of why they were compelled to give in the first place. Lean on action-oriented words to communicate the importance of donating to your organization at that moment, with an amount that will be truly impactful.

When you present potential donors with a clear value proposition, they’ll be more likely to follow through.

If your donation page visitor reads nothing else on the page but the headline, ask yourself:

  • Would that individual still be motivated to donate?
  • Would they understand precisely how important that donation is to your organization?
  • Would they feel that their gift is critical right now?

Many Hopes Donation Page Example, Powered by Classy


Donation Page Best Practice #3: Add Recurring Gift Options

There’s a difference between adding a recurring gift button to your donation page and building a recurring giving experience. Encourage supporters to explore the possibility of expanding their impact through regularly scheduled donations on the campaign type that brings in the most recurring revenue on average.

They could choose to donate on a  monthly, weekly, daily, annually, quarterly, bi-weekly, or semi-annual basis to best align with their own preferences.

When you put the power in your donors’ hands, you’re more likely to get someone to opt into your recurring gift program.

From there, add a suggested donation amount for each frequency. Below are the average gift amounts we saw when analyzing over 12 million donations in The State of Modern Philanthropy 2022.

  • Average monthly recurring donation amount: $31
  • Average quarterly recurring donation amount: $73
  • Average semi-annual recurring donation amount: $82
  • Average yearly recurring donation amount: $100

Read More Recurring Giving Trends

Days for Girls Donation Page Example, Powered by Classy


Donation Page Best Practice #4: Customize the Text on Your Call to Action Button

You might be surprised to learn how much the text on a button can affect click-through and conversion rates, ultimately determining your donation potential.

A call to action should draw people in with total clarity on what to do next. In most cases, you likely want your donation page visitors to complete your online donation form. You may also feature buttons on your page to sign up for a newsletter or follow you on social media.

The key is to narrow in on the essential task: donating. Use language that emphasizes the ease of your donation process, like “you’re just one click away,” or “our toolkit will provide you with everything you need to succeed.”

Try experimenting with different button text to see what resonates. For example, instead of “submit,” try:

• Donate Now

• Make a Difference

• Send Your Gift

• Stand Up for Children

• Save the Environment

Forever Green Donation Page Example, Powered by Classy


Donation Page Best Practice #5: Add a Compelling Visual Aid

Humans are visual creatures. If your donation page doesn’t already include a visual element, add one to show potential donors why they should support you and how their gift will impact your mission.

Your nonprofit donation page should serve as a natural extension of your website. The simplest place to start is by weaving your existing brand elements into your donation page. Carry over your organization’s distinctive logo, colors, font, imagery, and overall style to maintain your aesthetic.

Ask your fundraising software provider about enabling domain masking and plugging in photos or video that bring your brand to life. StacheStrong did this in a way that invites new donors into their story, then asks them to contribute to it.

StacheStrong Donation Page Example, Powered by Classy


Donation Page Best Practice #6: Prioritize Your Mobile Experience

Donation pages received 56% of traffic from mobile devices in 2021. The more organizations adopt, optimize, and promote their donation pages as accessible on any device, the more we expect that number to rise.

Knowing the potential impact of engaging and converting millennial donors, it is especially crucial to adapt to shorter attention spans and simple experiences.  Offering the most robust fundraising software that is automatically mobile-optimized is a great first step.

It’s always a good idea to test your donation page experience on various devices to ensure every visual, text box, and button works without a hitch.

4 Mobile Shopping Trends Predicting Donor Behavior

Arkansas Children’s Donation Page Example, Powered by Classy

Donation Page Best Practice #7: Make It Simple to Pay

There’s nothing worse than an abandoned cart. Still, it’s the reality for brands and nonprofits alike as consumers have more expectations around a seamless checkout. Remove friction from the payment process by offering your donors multiple ways to give through ACH bank transfers, digital wallets, PayPal, Venmo, and cryptocurrency.

See How More Options Are Swaying Donors

Each payment method has its unique value, so including all of them on your donation form brings you the most benefit. Quickly remove barriers at checkout and include several ways to pay with a four-step, fully-branded donation pop-up modal.

Modern payment options built for mobile experiences will shape conversion potential in the years to come. Our research shows that one-time donations made through PayPal were 30% higher than credit card donations for organizations who activated it during the giving season, and conversion lifted by four points on average. Classy recently launched Crypto Giving, and we can’t wait to see its impact on the most significant months of giving this year.

Explore Crypto Giving on Classy

Saprea Donation Page Example, Powered by Classy


Donation Page Best Practice #8: Use a Multi-Channel Marketing Approach

Once you’ve put the time and effort into optimizing your donation page, make sure to get it in front of as many eyes as possible. We found that users navigating directly to fundraising campaign pages was the top driver of traffic in 2021, followed by organic social media sharing.

The more times you can get your donation page in front of your audience, the better. Understand the power of word-of-mouth marketing and influencer trends rising on social platforms to bolster your efforts and deepen people’s connection to your cause.

Consider providing the same concise language you use for your donation page to your loyal supporters or social communities to share with their networks. Each touchpoint can leave an imprint on your community and, over time, eventually move them from consideration to action.

Leverage Your Donation Page to Attract, Convert, and Retain More Donors

It’s time to make your donation site a fundraising powerhouse. You may just be a few steps away from creating a long-term donation revenue machine that runs right alongside your timely and seasonal efforts.

Find out how to optimize more of your campaigns with Classy platform data collected across 54,000 active campaigns in The State of Modern Philanthropy 2022.


See Just How Donation Pages Shape the State of Modern Philanthropy

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