Nonprofit marketing friends and fundraisers, now is the time to get your online donate form in shape for year-end fundraising.

Online Donations

Photo Source: Big Stock Photo

Your online donation page should:

  1. Be as short as possible: Ideally your form should be one page and include a minimum of fields.

  2. Be branded to look like your organization's website: Your page will perform better if it carries your nonprofit's design; worse if it does not.

  3. Have one clear call to action: Donate! Or, Become a member!

  4. Be concise: If you have copy on why to give/where the money goes, keep it very, very short. You don’t want someone who has clicked on a Donate button and arrived at this page ready to give plowing through three paragraphs before putting in their billing information. 

  5. Be easy to read. Go easy on the eyes and avoid offbeat fonts, clashing colors or unconventional design choices. 

  6. Offer well-positioned recurring gifts.

  7. Provide a warm online thank you after the donation. (and send an email receipt automatically)

  8. Be easy to share: Empower your supporters to easily tell someone else about your organization after they donate.

Once you have covered these best practices, you should know what happens on the page once people land on it. Be sure you can track your donate page activity through web analytics so you know what people do when they’re there. Seeing a lot of traffic to your page but not many donations? This may mean your messaging is confusing or that your donation page needs some work. Don't be afraid to test different calls to action or set different donation amounts to see what works best. After each test, compare your results so you can make the best decisions for making the most of your campaign.

(If you don’t have a donation page that can do all of this, find out how DonateNow can help.)

This article originally appeared on Katya's Nonprofit Marketing blog on October 27, 2012 and has been updated.