Most any nonprofit or charity has a website. And likely on that website is a page for donors to give to the cause. Such a page is considered a sure way to keep some funding trickling in. Probably not the biggest donations of the year, but enough of a stream to help further your cause.
But has your organization ever really checked to see if that page is doing all it could? Might a few tweaks in wording or layout help increase the number of people ready to give something? A study from Convivio and reported on FrogLoop’s blog shows that a few strategic changes could increase gift-giving up to some 30%.
As Allyson Kapin pointed out on the FrogLoop blog, this is the perfect time of year to work on your organization’s donation page/form, because the late fall/holiday season is generally the period of greatest fundraising for charities. Thus getting your site ready now will make sure you are ready to take advantage of the improvements.
The Convivio study focussed on a few specific design concerns for the donation page/form itself:
- Gift String Layout: horizontal vs. vertical
- Column Layout: Form fields in one column vs. two columns
- Form Length: one-page vs. two-page forms
- Field Group Order: re-ordering contact info, payment info, gift string field groups
- Trust Seals: placement of BBB, Charity Navigator and VeriSign seals on page
Perhaps not surprisingly, putting trust seals prominently toward the top of one’s donor page helped encourage people to give gifts (the report did not try to assess more or less giving – simply the willingness to give).
The format of the page can play a huge role in boosting donor engagement as well. For example, having a single-page, two-column donors’ form was much more inviting than having a form spread over two or more pages.
The Convivio report found clear trends toward more successful donor acquisition, but made no claims to precise measurements. Each charity or nonprofit needs to consider the design and presentation of its donor’s page, take into account the guidelines the report presents, and work with their design and communications consultants to track which adjustments work best for your organization and your constituent donors.
If indeed the debt ceiling gets raised today, a deep shadow will be removed from the economy, which might inspire more optimistic generosity later this year. Though the still remains a problem for most Americans, it’s not too early to start planning for the holiday season.