Donation Page: Best Practices

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Giviki's Modern Donation Page: Digitally Personal

The key to the creating a great, modern donation page is to use the best online tools to make your cause more relatable -- more digitally personal. After many case studies, our team breaks down the fundamentals of design and branding your donation page into 2 parts: 

A) Show the road ahead.   
B) Personalize the impact.

A. Show the road ahead.

Increasing the number of interactions you have with your donors can increase your brand awareness. But the true strength of a brand lies in the ability to build shared values with your supporters. Build shared values by having interactions with your donors that build trust. Donors trust organizations that are transparent about how funds are used and how impactful programs are for beneficiaries.

Use your donation page to visually communicate with your donors what impact you are creating. Choose a background image for your donation page that shows the road ahead -- if a donor's gift creates impactful progress, what does 'progress' look like? 

For example: if you're a charity supporting abandoned pets, your donation page could show a dog safely in a shelter, or adopted in a new home.

No organization should be represented by poor quality images that lack substantive meaning -- eliminate any reasons for donors to second-guess their gift. Here are 4 free online tools to improve your brand through high quality design:

  1. Color Pallettes. Use Colorhunt to find a palette of colors that best represents your brand.
  2. Unsplash: Stock Photos. Use Unsplash to find high quality photos if you do not have any on hand.
  3. Canva: Photo Resizing. Use Canva to resize your photos to better fit social media, email, and even Giviki.
  4. Widget: Donate Button. Add a 'Donate' button to your charity website to replace an unbranded PayPal button or text instructions.

B. Personalize the impact.

People appreciate transparent, local impact. Help your donors understand the impact $1 for the community.

A common challenge that many organizations face is determining the giving levels on a donation page. 

Are the giving levels too low, or too high? First, it's important to define "low" vs. "high" levels. 

Giviki defines "low" as an amount less than the average donation size for your cause, and "high" as an amount that is greater than the average donation size for your cause. According to research from the Harvard Business School, setting low or high amounts as the default has very different effects on donation decisions.

  • LOW preset donations encouraged potential donors to participate. In situations where potential donors need to be motivated to participate, setting a low donation could result in more returns by bringing in more donors. The low preset amount allowed people to enjoy the good feelings that come with being a donor, at a low cost. Low presets gave people permission to donate small amounts, but those people who would have given more without a default no longer felt the need to do so.
  • HIGH preset donations encouraged donors to give more. Setting a high preset amount increases the average donation size, but results in lower number of donations. However, the increase in average donation size can sometimes offsetting the lower participation. 

So, determining LOW or HIGH preset amounts depends on your fundraising goals: are you aiming for many new donors (LOW), or are you aiming to increase your average donation amount (HIGH)? 

For fundraising asks on a donation page to be effective, the asks should be created by understanding the contextual goals of the donor your organization, and the beneficiary. 

More specifically, it depends upon:

  • The nature of your cause. For example, if your cause supports disaster relief, you should increase your ask during seasons with temperamental weather.
  • The giving behavior of your donors. For example, if you know that your average donor gives $100, asking the majority for a $5 donation is probably too low, and asking for a $1,000 donation is probably too high. You should look at your donor data to better understand giving behavior, and then create giving tiers.
  • The context in which you are asking for the gift. For example, if your cause is need of urgent funds to support an extremely important cause (ex: COVID19 pandemic), then you should increase your ask.

Here are 3 tips to better personalize your donor experience:

  1. Create giving tiersWe suggest creating three or four giving tiers along with the option to type in a custom amount.

    If your goal is to increase the number of new donors, we suggest the following giving levels:
    A) 50% less than your average donation amount.
    B) Average donation amount.
    C) 50% more than your average donation amount.
    D) 2X your average donation amount.

    If your goal is to increase the average donation amount, we suggest the following giving levels:
    A) Average donation size.
    B) 50% more than your average donation amount.
    C) 2X more than your average donation amount.
    D) 3X your average donation amount.

    Giviki can help you determine your average donation amount with our Donor Database feature. Learn more about Giviki's Donor Database feature in the video below!

  2. Create impact levels: Giviki includes an option to give either a one-time gift or monthly donation. The donation page is an easy opportunity for donors to opt into your monthly giving program. For both one-time and monthly donations, tying impact levels with your giving levels supports both fundamentals of modern branding: showing the road ahead and personalizing the impact.

    Providing a summary and description of how each dollar will help beneficiaries provides greater transparency, which all donors appreciate.

    Giviki can help you create personalized impact levels with your giving levels. Learn more about Giviki's feature for one-time and recurring preset amounts in the video below!

  3. Develop donor empathy. In order to effectively communicate with your donors, you need to understand who they are and how they’re connected to your cause. A donation represents commitment: donors are committed to supporting your cause in making the world a better place. Donors also like to celebrate and be celebrated.

    Celebrate your donors by emailing your donors and thanking them for the specific donation amount. The email and donation amount can be found in your Giviki's donor database. 

    Celebrate with your donors by updating your donors with any campaign updates, progress, or milestones that your organization as reached! Donors love updates on how their gifts have helped make an impact -- and for monthly gifts, how they are continuing to make an impact.

Case Study: Singapore Cancer Society raises over $1 million.

Giviki partnered with Singapore Cancer Society to provide holistic care and support for cancer through many initiatives, including: research, advocacy, public education, screening, financial assistance, patient services and support, and rehabilitation. 

Singapore Cancer Society's donation page:

  • Shows the road ahead. Your donation to Singapore Cancer Society supports doctors who will build the future of holistic cancer care.
  • Personalizes the impact. Your monthly donation to Singapore Cancer supports patients at varying levels.

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