The 2016 Giving Season is upon us, is your nonprofit website ready for the onslaught of potential donors? Peruse this list and get it in order: In this lightening fast digital world, you only have seconds to convert a potential donor.
1. Your Donation Button: Be sure it is placed in no less than THREE places on your home page, and at least in your header and footer on ALL your inside pages.
People’s eyes land on a web page in different ways, so cover all possible engagement areas.
In WordPress, this is easy: Put a noticeable button in your navigation and your footer to cover the inside pages, and create a Donation-focused area or widget in the content area of your home page. Example: WEP-US.org
3. Your Donation Form: Be sure the form gives clear instructions how to donate, how to choose an amount, and if possible, what that amount will pay for within your mission. Offer ways the news of a donation can be shared on social media, to spur yet more donations. These can be installed on the Thank You page, and many third party donation services build this in. Example: WeareThorn.org
2. Your Donation Page: Test your form on all browsers, and with a credit card and with PayPal – whether you are using your own payment flow or using a third-party such as Network for Good. You do not want to find out the form was malfunctioning on Giving Tuesday. And be sure your donation page offers several ways to donate. Example here: CPFE.org
3. Your Home Page: Above the fold, your home page should provide a mesperizing high quality image that reflects your mission, as well as a short, punchy compelling reason your nonprofit is worthy of supporting, and your donation button evident in at least three places. Check all spelling and grammer. Put your best foot forward, you have a few seconds to draw your visitor in. Example here: ACUMEN.org
4. Check your Mission statement: What does your organization do, who do you help, why should anyone donate? Be sure this mission is in 1-2 sentences, and supported via anecdotal stories or images as well as a short paragraph above the fold: You can link your home page Mission to the inside “about” page to expand, and include more humanized anecdotes or case studies. Example here: PossibleHealth.org
5. This might seem obvious… but be sure your website is in good working order. Nothing scares away a donor faster than a glitch-y website which indicates possible insecurities for their credit card: Visit your site as a visitor, check all links, make a donation, and, if you are running WordPress, which you probably are if you want any search engine traction, make sure your WordPress core and plugins are up-to-date.
Hire your Web Developer to run updates now, there have been several in the past year that make running the newest WordPress core and plugins essential for a well-performing website.