We look at some of the common tools used to attract donations to charity websites
The rise of online giving over other forms of donation is well established and in 2021 the trend seems set to continue. As a result, a growing range of online fundraising services are now available to charities.
From donation buttons to insights and customisation options, new tools are being developed all the time to meet demand. Different providers work differently, so you need to do your research to work out the best options for your charity.
Here we take a quick look at three popular options for website donations and then offer some quick and easy tips to help you optimise the process.
The world’s largest giving platform, JustGiving offers many services to charities including donation buttons for your website with the option to give via credit/debit card or PayPal. Features include:
Find out more about Just Giving’s options for charities.
Virgin Money Giving
Born out of Virgin Money’s sponsorship of the London Marathon, Virgin Money Giving is a fundraising website and service that has helped over 18,000 UK charities. It offers a menu of fundraising tools, including a donate button for your website. Features include:
Find out more about Virgin Money Giving for charities
PayPal has more than 23 million UK users and charities can go direct to get a donation button added to their website. According to digital agency WPNC, some leading UK charities now receive over 40% of their donations via PayPal. Features include:
Find out more by checking out PayPal’s guide for not-for-profits.
Whatever option you choose, all content and features need to work cleanly on different sizes and shapes of screen and the donation process easy to follow.
With around 24% of online giving being made using a mobile device, this must be a priority.
To build donor trust, your website needs to look professional in every respect – design, imagery, words.
Check for search engine optimization (SEO). What words or phrases might potential donors use to find you? How high up does your site come in a Google search?
Donation pages and buttons
Keep it simple: one image maximum, limit words and choices.
Your donation page or button must also be easy to find. Consider a contrasting colour that makes it stand out and a ‘donate now’ button for anyone who has already decided to give.
Learn about the behavioural science of anchoring and offer suggested amounts so the donor doesn’t have to think.
The donation process
Aim for the minimum information you need at this point – name, email, and payment information.
People like to pay in different ways so offer at least two payment options. And once a donation is made, don’t leave your donor on a thank you page. Could they sign a petition or share their story? Offer other (non-financial) ways to help or redirect them back to your home page.
Creative content around giving
Create and share donors’ stories and motivation for giving. Some might be happy to share a quote, others a video.
Be transparent and inspiring in showing how donations make a difference. A campaign ‘ladder’ showing a goal at the top can motivate donors to feel part of a tangible solution.
Invest time and money for testing. Make a donation yourself and see how it feels. Test different designs on people from outside your organisation. Small adjustments can make a big difference to donations over time.
Above all else, don’t let your objectives make your donors feel uncomfortable. They are giving because they want to make a positive difference to a cause they care about.
Make it easy, show them why it matters, and help them feel good about it.