When you make these three elements stellar, you are almost guaranteed to see a superhero-like spurt in online donations. All it requires is time and some testing.
No matter what you call it–donate now, give, support our cause–the donate button must be easy to find. This is no time for a “Where’s Waldo?” challenge. Bright colors like yellow and orange can make the button pop; the button should also be large enough that the words inside it are easily read. Place the button towards the top of the page so donors don’t have to scroll down a page to find it. And don’t just place the button on one page; stick it on many or even all pages in different sizes and locations to remind web visitors that online donations are critical to the support of your organization. To see which button sizes, colors and positions get the most clicks, test several options.
When donors click on your donate button, they are whisked to your donation form. As a fundraising executive, you would love to collect as much information as you can about them by using that form, but take our advice and don’t do it. Think about the times you have been asked to fill out multiple-page, overly detailed online forms. Frustrating, right? Make your donors pleased they chose to support an organization wise enough to know that the simpler the form, the more support it will receive. To ensure you haven’t inadvertently made your form more complex than it should be, invite a number of people to test it for you. Ask them to tell your about any problems they encountered, then iron out those issues. Make it as simple as you possibly can.
Donors want to be sure that their online donations went through, but why settle for sending them an automated “thank you for your gift” message? Use the opportunity to tell your donor more about your organization. Highlight an award it just received or give some examples of how their gift will be used. You can also use these automated responses to invite them to sign up for a newsletter or other publications. Use the thank you as a way to start a continuing correspondence with your supporters.
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