Online donations continue to be an ever-increasing factor in the survival of nonprofits. In 2013, giving online grew 13.5 percent, with small organizations seeing the online trend increasing by as much as 18.4 percent. Professionals have found that online giving is particularly important for donors following certain major disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy of 2012, but the trend is growing across the charitable sectors.
As online giving continues to become an important factor in helping organizations collect donations, organizations must learn to develop websites to encourage giving. Here are three tweaks that can easily be made to a website to boost conversion rates for nonprofits.
1. Use Images
Images are wonderful for building relationships with viewers and for establishing trust. The best types of images are the ones that help donors connect with the people and organization they are helping. It is best to avoid stock images when possible and instead use images that actually show the organization’s workers, donors and cause. If the charity provides learning materials to inner city schools, for example, pictures of a classroom of students with new materials will be helpful. If it is an environmental organization that cleans up waterways, then an image of the charity’s workers cleaning a stream will work well.
Humans are wired to process a considerable amount of information through images. Using well-planned visual aides can help communicate that this is an organization worthy of a donation.
2. Use seals of approval around the donation form
As people prepare to make a donation, they appreciate seeing symbols to increase their confidence in the organization. Ideally, these symbols should communicate:
- That the website is secure for the donation.
- That the organization has a good reputation.
- That the donation will be put to good use.
Seals that vouch for the credibility of the nonprofit will help make customers more confident as they hit the “Donate” button.
3. Make the request explicit
When asking for money, it is best to make the request up front and clearly. Buttons that are vague about where exactly they will take the user will not increase the number of donations. Instead, ask for financial support to continue the work of the organization with messages such as “Donate now.” Let donors know what their money will be used to accomplish and how much it is appreciated.
As consumers continue to use the Internet for an increasing portion of their lives, online giving continues to grow as an avenue for collecting donations. Those interested in improving their website’s performance when it comes to collecting online donations should make sure that their websites meet the above three criteria. This will help build trust with their page visitors and encourage donation activity.