Online platforms allow nonprofits to connect with donors across the globe.
In fact, nonprofits without a website or other Internet presence are missing out on key contributions. According to strategic marketing and fundraising company, Dunham+Company, online donations are increasing thanks to email and social media. Here are some best practice tips to ensure nonprofits make the best of their websites and donation pages:
Work with a secure payment processor
Because they're not selling a product, nonprofits may feel they don't have to place as much emphasis on payment security. After all, most of the data breaches reported in the news are from major retailers like Target or service providers like Sony's PlayStation Network. However, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council instructs all organizations handling consumer payment data to comply with PCI guidelines. In addition, such a lax attitude toward security can make nonprofits a tempting target for hackers. An easy way for fraudsters to obtain donor information is directly through a nonprofit's donation page.
A data breach at the Utah Food Bank shows how important security is for nonprofits. According to SC Magazine, the organization reported the names, home and email addresses, and card information of more than 10,000 donors that had been compromised between Oct. 8, 2013 and July 16, 2015. The data was exposed through the food bank's donation webpage.
Unfortunately, many nonprofits simply don't have the IT resources to take care of their donor's personal and payment information. That's why it's essential for these organizations to partner with a secure payment processing company. A separate processor will take on the risk of handling payment data and invest time, money and resources in measures such as secure servers and database monitoring. This allows nonprofits to focus primarily on fundraising.
Design your donation page to match your organization
When donors plan to contribute online, they expect the donation page to match the nonprofit's website. However, some payment processors direct users to a donation page matching their own branding, not the nonprofit's. Doing so is very disorienting for donors, and Nonprofit Tech for Good stated that a custom donation page raises six times more money than a standard or default one. That's why nonprofits should choose a payment company that allows them to customize their donation pages. This reduces friction in the payment process and helps put donors at ease.
Allow donors to submit gifts from anywhere
Your website should have a donation button on every page, including the home page, blog and contact section. Nonprofit Tech for Good suggested using a bold color that contrasts but does not clash with its surroundings. This draws attention to the link so donors have an easy time finding where to submit online payments.
A simple way to include a link to donate on every page is to incorporate it into the website's main navigation. In addition, all of a nonprofit's social media pages should have a link back to its website.
One way to evoke more donations is to give contributors something beneficial in return, said Tech Impact. This can be something as simple as a thank you card or a branded pen.
Some nonprofits create levels for their donors. High-level contributors receive additional perks depending on the amount they give. Such benefits can include access to exclusive galas, dinners and auctions.
Show the effects of a donation
Websites should detail a list of common or accepted donations and discuss how the money gets used to help a particular cause. Showing exactly how a specific donation helps may encourage people to give more, especially if a larger gift helps a greater number of people than a smaller one.
Nonprofits shouldn't stop at a list of what the donations can do, however. They should show how prior contributions have helped people in need. Images of new schools, clean water and the like can convince a skeptical donor that his or her contribution will actually bring about change and not just fall by the wayside.
Be both personal and personable
Nonprofits should look for ways they can reach donors individually, especially when it comes to their most frequent contributors. Personalized subject lines, calls-to-action and content makes donors feel appreciated, encouraging them to donate more. It's also important to avoid monotonous or overly professional phrases in nonprofit emails and on websites. This type of writing bores readers and they'll ignore or delete all requests for donations. Instead, nonprofits should adopt a friend approach and send messages as individuals rather than as an organization.
Show more ways to help
Some people want to contribute to a cause but don't have it in their budget to send in a donation. Nonprofit websites should always have a page detailing additional ways people can get involved, such as signing up for a newsletter or volunteering at a local event. Nonprofit Tech for Good suggested adding these ideas as a call-to-action on a "Thank You" landing page after contributors have submitted a donation.
A stable online presence is a great way to accept donations from all around the world. Following these best practices will help nonprofits receive more donations via the Internet.