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Your Nonprofit’s Donation Page Checklist

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Published October 19, 2023 Reading Time: 4 minutes

Driving visitors to your donation page is the first step, but ensuring they finalize their gifts is where the real work lies. Elements such as a branded look and feel, concise messaging, and a seamless checkout flow can pave the way to increased conversion rates, revenue, and donor satisfaction.

Use this checklist to cover must-have elements for your donation site and nice-to-have items to help take it to the next level. If you prefer a PDF, we’ve got you covered.

This donation checklist will cover elements like:

  • Brand colors and logos
  • Giving options
  • Domain masking
  • Suggested donation values
  • Custom questions
  • Dedications

Did You Know?

Custom-branded donation pages nested inside a nonprofit’s website raise 6x more than non-branded pages.¹

Tailor Your Donation Page to Meet Supporters’ Preferences

A fully customized donation page with a compelling appeal, strong visuals, and a branded call to action can be the difference between converting a visitor or losing a generous donation.

For more ways to activate your nonprofit website to encourage giving and optimize for conversions, check out our recent Classy coaching webinar.

Pro Tip
Ensure your donate button is a standout color in the top-right corner of your website and that donors are always just one click away from your donation form. You can achieve this by implementing embedded giving.

Must-Have Elements for Your Nonprofit Donation Page

1. Consistent Branding

Display your organization’s logo in the header. On Classy, the ideal logo for your donation page header is 300 x 50 pixels.

  • Keep the colors consistent with your other campaigns
  • Use your brand’s standard voice and tone in your messaging

2. Strong Visuals

  • Include a custom, high-quality background image
  • Note: Classy donation websites showcase imagery on the right-hand side of the page, so find a background image with a focal point on the right-hand side. You can also use a plain wallpaper from Classy’s stock library. Remember the ideal background hero image for your Classy campaign is 1280 x 720 pixels.

3. Compelling Appeal

  • Use clear and concise messaging to explain your nonprofit’s mission
  • Include a photo or video to elevate your appeal

4. Seamless Checkout Flow

  • Customize your suggested monetary donation values
  • Explore various embedded giving methods to activate support and increase donations
  • Display your suggested donation values from highest to lowest
  • Default the prefilled suggested donation amount to the second-to-highest value
  • Include a recurring giving donation option with greater flexibility using Classy’s recurring frequencies.
  • Offer your donors multiple ways to give (such as ACH, credit cards, Venmo donations, Apple Pay, and Google Pay)
  • Allow donors the option to cover a portion of the transaction fees
  • Customize your email donation receipts to reflect your cause

When customizing your donation values to best reflect your donor base, use your organization’s average donation size to decide which values make the most sense. Be sure to filter out offline donations and ticket purchases for the most accurate data. If you think outliers skewed your results, look at the median. You can easily pull this information from your Classy transaction report.

Additionally, Classy Pay, our in-house payment processor, can help reconcile payments and deposits from your Classy account to ensure a smooth donation process. Donor Covered Fees is another useful feature, allowing supporters to increase their gifts to help cover your costs. We recommend setting Donor Covered Fess to default to increase the likelihood of donors choosing to cover the additional fees.

Did You Know?

With Donor Covered Fees enabled by default, 85% of donors choose to cover a portion of the fees associated with their gifts. Conversely, when donors need to opt in, 65% choose to cover a portion of the fees.

5. Further Optimizations

  • Enable domain masking to reflect your brand
  • Add pertinent custom questions to gather additional information about your donors
  • Give donors the option to select program designations, if applicable
  • Allow supporters to dedicate their donations in honor or memory of someone
  • Offer donors the option to send a postal notification, e-card, or email to the honoree
  • Include FAQs to support your donors, including “Can I mail a check?”

Put It into Action

Even if a visitor lands on your donation page with the original intent to donate, an underwhelming first impression or a poorly structured or distracting page can result in a missed opportunity.

By design, donation pages on Classy move donors through a speedy and seamless checkout experience. In fact, Classy’s State of Modern Philanthropy report found that 60% of people who make a donation on Classy do so in less than one minute.

Learn how to streamline your donation process on Classy with these 10 tips:

1. Implement domain masking: Carry over your organization’s typical logo, colors, font, imagery, and overall style to maintain your aesthetic. All Classy campaigns automatically implement domain masking to help elevate and reflect your brand.

2. Incorporate a written or visual hook: Include a photo on your page to engage donors and keep the copy clear and concise to highlight how each donation will impact your mission.

3. Offer recurring giving: Include a recurring giving option with frequencies tailored to any donor’s needs and budget.

4. Tailor your suggested donation amounts: Pull donor data easily from your Classy transaction report to decide which donation values make the most sense. Default to the second-to-highest value to encourage larger gifts.

5. Provide dedication options: Allow for program dedications and donors to notify the honoree.

6. Ask questions: Add pertinent custom questions, like a phone number, to gather additional contact information or other strategic questions that may help you understand your donors better.

7. Uplevel each donation: Encourage donors to cover a portion of the fees by enabling Donor Covered Fees and setting it to default.

8. Make giving easy: Offer multiple payment options to streamline the checkout process. Any Classy customer with a paid subscription account and 501(c)(3) nonprofit status can also use Classy Pay to reconcile payments and deposits, protect accounts against fraud, and update expired card information automatically.

9. Provide straightforward answers: Include “Can I mail a check?” on your list of strategically chosen FAQs.

10. Express gratitude: Elevate your email receipts with a customized headline, background image, and thank you note to show how much you appreciate each gift.

Raise More with Classy

A donation page on Classy’s fundraising platform allows your brand to remain front and center, offers unique features to improve your donor experience, and streamlines the checkout process.

A whole world opened up because Classy’s capabilities were far above and beyond anything that our previous tool offered.

Catholic Answers

Building a customized Classy campaign page and aligning with our team’s suggested best practices can help your nonprofit organization achieve higher conversion rates and expand its reach.

Copy Editor: Ayanna Julien

Article Source:

  1. “The Ultimate List of Charitable Giving Statistics for 2023,” Nonprofits Source, accessed October 16, 2023, https://nonprofitssource.com/online-giving-statistics/.
man donating online

Donation Sites Designed to Convert

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