Non-profits may have a variety of revenue streams, but one of the most prevalent across all types of non-profits is private donations. Much of the donations that non-profits receive anymore are through their website, so we wanted to discuss was to go about increasing non-profit donations online.
Now, unless you have some very faithful check-senders, chances are good you either have an online donation option available, or you’re soon going to have it available.
Whatever the case may be, once you have an online donation option in place, that’s just the beginning. It’s not enough just to have it there and to expect money to start flowing in – you need to continue to take action to promote continued giving, as well as new first-time giving.
Below are 5 ideas that are easy and free to help with increase non-profit donations:
1.Make it Simple!
Once someone gets to your website, make it very easy to find the donation page (for instance, have the “donate” button placed on every page of the website). But once someone gets to the donation page, the process of giving needs to be really simple.
You want to eliminate any unnecessary barriers that might cause them to hesitate, procrastinate, or in the worst case scenario – just give up and leave your site. The donation form should be clean and easy to fill out, and should never take the user off of your website. This makes people feel like their money isn’t actually going to your organization and is just not professional. Make sure the donation portal is embedded within your site so that the giver never has to leave the site or question where the money is going to end up.
2. Explain the Usage of the Donations
People like to know what exactly their money is going to be used for. If they’re about to give to your organization, chances are good that they’re pretty supportive of whatever it is you do, but it’s always good to just lay out what exactly their money will be going toward.
It’s also very strong to show what past donations have gone to as well, so they can “quantify” the impact of their giving, in a sense. For instance, a sentence saying, “Last year, we received x amount of money in donations from people like you, and with that, we were able to serve x many people.” This helps people envision what exactly they are contributing to when they give you money. You’re more likely to successfully get them on board when they feel like they’re part of a solution to a problem.
3. Set Default Donation Amounts
This goes back to the simplicity point, but it also has to do with basic psychology. It’s easier for people to click an amount than type in a custom amount themselves. Plus, if you put multiple options, then people who were going to type in a number lower than your lowest option will often opt to just click the lowest option instead. Boom – you just got more money from them.
It’s good to test out different amounts as well. Perhaps on occasion you want to try increasing each amount by $5. Or maybe you see what happens if you eliminate the lowest option. It’s worth testing to see what people do. If you can get more money from your donors simply by making minor changes to the default options, then by all means try it!
4. Provide a Recurring Payment Option
This is a feature that you hopefully have if you already have a donation portal on your website, but if not, you should talk to your website folks about adding it. When people donate on your site, you should absolutely have an option available for them to make it a recurring gift.
If they’re passionate about your organization and your mission, chances are good they want to partner with you on a regular basis, as opposed to just a one-time gift. If that’s the case, then you’re leaving much-needed money on the table by not providing this simple option for them. Make sure you allow those who want to give monthly or yearly the opportunity to do so!
5. Social Sharing
The best marketing is word of mouth, and the best word of mouth channel is social media. When folks get done submitting their info and their donation, you should have a social sharing button available. This will allow folks to quickly share via Facebook or Twitter that they just donated to your organization.
The goal here is to organically spread the word about your organization in order to increase awareness, drive traffic, and ideally convert more people into active contributors of your organization. If someone sees their Facebook friend is passionate about your non-profit, then they’ll likely be curious and decide to check you out as well.
Hopefully you find these ideas helpful as you look to increase donations on your non-profit’s website. We care about non-profits and love working with them. If you are a non-profit in need of web design help, we’d love to chat with you!