3 Smart Suggestions for Improving Your Online Donation Form

By eleventy marketing group

Online donation form frustration got you down?Have you ever been ready to give to a nonprofit online, your credit card right in front of you… and then you get to the donation page. Maybe it asks for too much info. Or maybe it makes you click-through one too many pages. But somewhere along the way, you rethink your donation decision.

Donation forms can make or break online giving. They can be the difference between clicking “donate now” or clicking away from your website forever. Yet these forms don’t get a lot of attention. Organizations throw them up so that they are functional without considering whether or not they are optimal.

NPengage recently posted this great infographic showing the seven most costly sins of donation forms. Using that infographic as a springboard, we want to share our top suggestions for helping your nonprofit avoid donation form frustration.

Three Key Areas Where You Can Improve Your Donation Form

Here are a trio of ways you can make your forms more effective to increase online donations:

1. Aim for Absolute SIMPLICITY

  • Don’t require donors to create a log in to give. Many (maybe even most) people won’t.
  • Don’t include too many fields for people to fill in. We know you want this information to engage donors in the future, but is it worth losing a high percentage of donors in the process? C’mon, do you really need people’s titles, phone numbers, addresses, etc? Ask for the minimum amount of information possible. Collect email addresses and work to build deeper relationships from there.

2. Don’t Disregard READABILITY

  • Think mobile. More and more donors are coming to your donation form from smartphones and tablets. How does your form look on them? Is it easy to complete and optimized for smaller screens? Or is it nearly impossible to read the text and fill in the fields? Make mobile a top priority for your donation form—it may be where the majority of users are coming from in the near future (if not already).
  • Make it easy to read. Don’t use fonts, font sizes and colors that will test the eyes of your visitors. Keep the design simple, the contrast high and the fields clear. Your donation form is not the place to get creative and do something bold and different. There are plenty of other places on your website to do that with greater impact.

3. Make Your BRANDING Consistent and Apparent

  • Don’t forget to make the branding of your form match the branding of your website. That means all the way through the donation process (even if you’re using a third party for processing online donations). If your form does not look like your brand at any point, people may question its legitimacy and not make a donation.
  • Keep in mind the people may come to your form from a variety of different sources (Google search, email, social media posts, etc.). You want to make sure your brand is powerfully and accurately represented on the page.

Review and Test Your Donation Form to Achieve Best Results

Think your donation form is the best it can be? You may want to think again. You’d be surprised how many nonprofits are doing them wrong. Not matter how strong you think your form is, it’s not a bad idea to look it over with these suggestions in mind.

It’s also a good to test your donation form by having people outside your organization go through the process of making a donation so they can provide their honest feedback and tell you any points where they got confused or frustrated.

In summary: If you want to get the most from your donation form, make it as quick, easy and smooth as possible for the donor. Don’t give people extra time to rethink their decision—or frustrate them to the point they leave your site with a sour taste for your organization.

Check out the full “7 Most Costly Sins of Donation Forms” infographic here.