5 Techniques to Optimise your Online Fundraising Results

18 November 2016 | By Cause4 staff

One thing that grabbed my attention when working on a recent project was that a number of non-profit organisations’ websites failed to maximise their online fundraising as a donation channel. This is something we have talked about before and which will continue to be relevant and important. When it comes to generating online donations, there is little doubt that non-profits websites are still the most crucial tool, especially with the growing use of mobiles and tablets. The Lloyds Digital Index 2016 reports charities that are more digitally mature are 28% more likely to report an increase in funding, therefore, online fundraising is an extremely powerful donors acquisition device.1

For a non-profit sites to be effective, it should be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and visually engaging. Here are 5 techniques that will help you improve your online fundraising results:

  1. Sign post it – you want to make sure people can find your donation page in as few clicks as possible. Your Donate Button should be extremely visible on your homepage and be present on every page of your website to get people thinking about donating. Macmillan Cancer Support has shown this can be achieved with great effect, they have used a green background which contrasts well with the purple donate button, making it stand out.
  2. Go Mobile – In the last few years’ mobile usage has surpassed desktop usage, therefore it is vital that organisations are offering a mobile-friendly experience to its users. To enhance online fundraising for mobiles, your resources should be available via tablets and smartphones with simple to click links, visually appealing design, and clear, concise text. Oxfam’s mobile site gives users an effective mobile experience, with a clear call to donate on the homepage and a smooth donation experience.
  3. Use a blog – Blogs are designed to stimulate an emotional response that can easily be shared on a variety of social networks. By using a blog it gives you the freedom to connect with your online community and promote your cause. WWF does a great job in presenting interesting, engaging and inspiring content that is produced on a regular basis. It gives users an insight into what WWF do from the perspective of staff, key figures in conservation and even celebs.
  4. Simplify – One of the main benefits of online donations should be the ease by which your donors can give to you. However, too many non-profits make their online donation process unnecessarily long, difficult or confusing. Research has found that 47% of people who intend on making a donation give up before the process is complete.2 Comic Relief gets it right with their donation page, they use clear and familiar branding, compelling imagery to reassure donors of their impact, paired with a simple step-by-step process.
  5. Use Compelling Imagery – Images have the power to make people feel, it gets them emotionally involved in a cause, which can lead to an action - donating. By using compelling images on your website it will help you evoke emotive responses that will motivate people to act. A great example of visual imagery can be seen on the Make a Wish website. The images are brought to life with a short and concise story that brings context to the images, revealing the joy that the donations bring to a child.

I hope that these 5 techniques have inspired some thought and ideas about how you can maximise your online fundraising efforts.

1 https://resources.lloydsbank.com/insight/uk-business-digital-index/

2 http://www.bima.co.uk/assets/members/whitepapers/030c0e001f120101_1.pdf

Which technique is most valuable to you? I’d love to hear what you think. Leave your comments below, or tweet us at @OfficialCause4 to take part in the discussion.

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