Is your website driving donations? A three-point test

With budgets spread thin across your organization, you may not have a lot of financial resources to dedicate to web design or online marketing. Whether you have the budget for a marketing department or you alone make up the marketing arm of your organization, there are some simple changes you can make to your website to ensure its fulfilling one of its most important goals: driving donations.

HINT: There are more things than these three that can make or break a site, but these three are major factors in your donation process.

Here are a few questions you can ask to determine whether your website could do more to pull in money for your organization:

1. Is your site Responsive?

With more and more users are moving to mobile every day, sites just need to work on different devices now. We expect websites to work on our phones and tablets.

Imagine how someone would find your website. It might look like this: Wendy is home from work around 6pm. She makes dinner and sits down to watch a few days worth of The Daily Show while she catches up on Facebook. She scrolls around on her Facebook app on her iPhone and sees a friend’s post about a race shes in to raise money for MS research. She clicks the link on her friends post and ends up at the site.

This is like a Choose Your Own Adventure book Wendys ability to donate will depend on whether this site works on her phone. Otherwise, shell have to wait to do it until she goes back to work and remembers to donate. Which she might not. The same goes for volunteering!

2. Is your donation form easy to use?

Its great to get people to your site with the intention to donate, but how easy is it after that? Weve seen donation forms and other ecommerce checkouts range from stunning to disastrous. The idea is: make the form simple and dont ask for too much. Handing over hard-earned dollars should be a joy, not a chore.

A lot of nonprofits use paypal to collect donations, others have bigger systems that can handle event registration and product sales. Whichever you choose, test your checkout with users to make sure they arent leaving this important page. If youre not sure if they leave, check your analytics.

And make sure to include a newsletter opt-in to that checkout! And that brings me to my final point

3. Do you have an eNewsletter or a downloadable resource to collect email addresses?

This could not be more important. You can only track so much with Google Analytics and other website traffic measurement tools. Giving people a good reason to register for something on your site will give you an all-access pass to reach them in their inboxes, which is a very valuable place to be. Make it clear what visitors are opting in to when they give you their email address so there are no surprises. An email address is the beginning of a relationship with a visitor who could potentially become a donor; remember to be mindful of the content and frequency of the messages you send once you have earned a spot in the inbox.

How does your website stack up against these criteria? If youre 0 for 3, dont worry: The best part of the web is that it can change!
Need help improving your site? Contact me at emily@limeredstudio.com to chat about your options.

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