Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is Your Donation Page Ready for Prime Time?



We are fast approaching year-end - that time of year that all fundraisers dream about and dread!

Like retailers, we know that a HUGE chunk of revenue is going to drop from the sky or not.  Manage your campaigns correctly and you're set.  Falter or make a misstep and you can break your annual budget.  It's a nail-biter!

You can't control the economy.  You can't know what disaster, natural or man-made, is going to impact fall fundraising results.

You can get your donation page ready for prime time.  Do it now!

My frolleagues, Alia McKee and Mark Rovner of SeaChange Strategies and Eric Rardin of Care2, wrote this GREAT and FUNNY white paper to help you do some basic usability testing and whip your donation page into shape.

Download and read The 2010 Procrastinator's Guide to Year-End Fundraising today.  (It's a year-oldy but goody.)  In particular, focus on the 11 deadly sins of donate page design.  Here are some highlights.
  • Make sure that your donation form doesn't exceed one page.
  • Don't make me give you my first-born to donate.  In other words, kill any unnecessary fields.  The more information you require the more you kill your conversion rate.
  • Make your donation form about giving and nothing else.  Don't give me options to volunteer, read your mission statement, or watch a video.  Call me crazy but your donation form should be about DONATING!
  • Provide contact information on your form, including a telephone number, in case something goes wrong. 
  • Put a link to your privacy policy.  No one will read it but it will make your donors feel more secure.
  • Showcase your Charity Navigator or BBB Wise Giving Alliance charity seal if you have one.  This gives you street cred.
  • Include an "ask string" or alternative giving levels and make the default gift higher than your average gift in an effort to upgrade donors.
  • Consider including "impact donation labels" or concrete information on what donors "get" at each giving level next to suggested donation amounts.
  • TEST the user experience with three colleagues or friends.  (This is an EXCELLENT idea and will help uncover the majority of problems with your current form.)
Year-end giving is not for the faint-hearted.  Use every opportunity to get it right.  Specifically, spend time next month optimizing your donation form.  You'll be glad you did!

Cheers!

jocelyn

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