10 Tips to Increase Donations and Sales

This time of year many non-profits are emailing for donations. I typically support a few organizations at the end of the year one in particular is the Application Trail Conservancy. Their donation page is really bad. It's bad because it appears that it was slapped into their existing website. I'm going to assume that two primary most important reasons for this website are 1) to take donations and 2) to be an information source.

Mistakes they make on this page:

  • Selecting "Same as above" checkbox failed to copy my address
  • Make it easier for people to donate money. (Paypal buttons, Stripe, SMS to donate)
  • Pre-fill a donation amount no matter where they come from to say $100.
  • Make the form more compact so it shows above the fold. Hide all the navigation on top and in the bottom. I think WWF does a great job with this form.

ATC donation form

I did a little looking around to find them the good example of the WWF and I emailed them my list because I truly wanted to help.

Normally, I wouldn't recommend using a modal window when someone visits your website, however I think they probably work really well with non-profits. And if you hide this modal window so it doesn't show up each time you visit I think it works. I'd also use modals on landing pages when sending donation newsletters to your list.

American Cancer Society modal window

The American Cancer Society and American Heart Assoication both used these modal pop-up windows but neither of them pre-filled a dollar amount.

I love what the American Heart Assoication has done with including examples of how exactly your donation is making a difference.

AHA donation examples

The Grand prize of my search is the World Wildlife Fund. Here are the 5 items they did right.

  1. They pre-filled the donation amount.
  2. The payment form is simple and direct.
  3. Display elements of credibility such as BBB and Charity Navigator.
  4. Using the image of the Bengal tiger is effective in connecting you to the cause.
  5. Removing the navigation and other distractions helps your eyes focus on the important elements of the page.

World Wildlife Fund donation form

My 10 Tips for Increasing Donations

  1. Pre-filled the donation amount.
  2. Make the payment form is simple and direct.
  3. Display elements of credibility and security.
  4. Use images that support your cause and connect with the user.
  5. Removing the navigation and other distractions helps your eyes focus on the important elements of the page.
  6. Text Message Donations
  7. Paypal & Google Checkout which are both great for impulse purchases should translate well to donations.
  8. Social sharing after donation. Kiva does this really well.
  9. Use a payment provider that doesn't ask for an address such as Stripe.
  10. Put a picture of a human on the page as it improves trust.

And yes I donated. :)



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Tags: Marketing, Payments

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