Improving your nonprofit website is more than a just facelift -- tactical changes can help you get more donors and increase your donation amounts. The key is to tailor your site, and especially your nonprofit home page, to make it easy for your supporters to donate.
Photo Source: Big Stock Photo
After spending some time scouring over the websites of many organizations, here are four tweaks that the majority of nonprofit websites need:
- Make your Donate button easier to find.
Grab a friend or relative, sit them down in front of your website home page, and count how many seconds it takes them to find and click on your Donate button. If it takes them more than two seconds, you need to place your button in a far more prominent position. Make it central to the page. Make sure it is above the fold. Make it big. Make it colorful. Make it impossible to miss. (An example of an easy-to-find Donate button.)
- Frame the Donate button in a more compelling way.
Now think about why someone should click on your Donate button. Your financial needs are not enough. Create an appeal around the button that is focused on donors, their interests, and what they get in return for their donation. What tangible change will result if they give? How is that tangible change relevant to them personally? Will it feel good to make the donation? Is clicking on the button fun, touching or compelling? The Carbon Fund features an outstanding example of framing on their home page.
- Add a sense of immediacy.
You want to inspire someone to give right now, but that can be hard to do if it's not December or if there's not an urgent crisis to address. Create a sense of urgency for donating by creating a campaign with a goal and deadline, matching grant, or appeal for specific items or programs that are highly tangible. Malaria No More adds a sense of urgency to an appeal by making it clear what the donation does (it buys a bed net).
- Recognize that getting clicks requires cultivation.
While you want someone to donate right away, it's important to remember that it takes time to cultivate donors. Be sure your website includes a way to capture the email addresses of visitors so that you can build a relationship with them and turn them into donors in the future. Think beyond a newsletter sign-up. Care.org has an innovative approach to capturing emails.