updated - November 29, 2021 Monday EST
We have seen a lot of charities that take somewhat of a half-hearted approach to their donation forms. It seems a lot of organizations believe that by the time a person has their eyes upon that form, they have already decided to donate. This means that the charity doesn't need to do much other than provide a couple of boxes to fill in. This is far from the case. We would argue that the amount of effort poured into producing that donation form will directly correlate with how successful a charity is. Let us explain.
Alright. The chances are pretty high that by the time a person has their eyes feasted upon your donation form, they are already in the mood to donate to you. You have probably convinced them that your charity is a good place for their money to go. It doesn't necessarily mean that you will get their money when they get to that donation page, but chances are high.
We have seen a lot of charities that make their donation form long and convoluted. It may seem like a brilliant idea to ask for reams and reams of information from a potential donor. However, this is something that rarely pans out. If somebody lands on your donation form, money in hand, and sees that they have to provide too much information, they are simply not going to do it. It is essential for the donation form to be short and snappy. There ís a reason why most of the successful charities include nothing more than the following on their pages:
Whether they want to make a recurring donation
There are a couple of extra boxes that you can add (we will discuss them soon), but you must stress that they are optional. That the donor doesn't need to fill them in if they do not want to.
The required boxes should be dead simple. A person should be able to make their donation in minutes. You don't want them to 'second guess' that donation. They have already landed on that page, so get them to hand over their money as quickly as possible.
Remember, other factors can play into the first impression that you give the potential donor too. All can influence whether you end up getting the donation:
Whether the donation form displays appropriately on mobile devices.
Whether the donation form is easy to read
The donor can use the methods to donate (PayPal, Credit Card, Bank Deposit, etc.)
Whether the donation system is branded (just to convince the donor that they are in safe hands with you)
Get that donation form right, and we promise you that charitable donations will shoot up.
That donation form will also be a brilliant way for you to know more about that donor.
By learning about your donor, you will discover two vital pieces of information:
The type of people willing to donate to your cause.
How they are discovering your cause
Once you discover this information, you will be able to tailor your marketing efforts. For example, if you find that most people find you through the search engines, you will need to up your SEO campaign. If you find that most people find you through social media, boost your social media presence. If many people are discovering you through 'word of mouth,' then work out how you can capitalize on that.
You shouldn't require your donor to give you this information. It should be something that the donor should willingly give up. An optional box that asks nothing more than "how did you discover us?" will go a long way toward helping you improve your marketing efforts, but it is not such a huge question that you are irritating a donor. This is the type of box that they have likely filled in countless times before. They are used to it.
Once you learn where to focus your marketing, not only will you save money on the marketing budget for your organization, but you will bring in even more donations.
It doesn't matter whether you are producing a printed donation form or an online donation form. You must get it right. This is your absolute last chance to make an impression on any potential donor. Not only can that form increase the donations that people make, but you may get to learn a bit about the donor. The first can increase the money flowing into your charity, and the second can help you focus your marketing efforts. Get that donation form right, and your charity and the good causes that you support will benefit.
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