It’s estimated that on average, 50% to 70% of potential donors will abandon your donation form before making a contribution. There are many factors at play when it comes to donation form abandonment, and not all of them are within your nonprofit’s control. However, there are some things your organization can do to make giving easy for donors, increasing the likelihood that they will complete the donation process.
Implementing new strategies that make giving more convenient can also improve your relationships with current donors and expand your reach to more prospective supporters. Analyze your donor data to figure out your supporters’ preferences, then brainstorm ways to connect with those donors and keep them engaged with your organization.
In this guide, we’ll explore four strategies your nonprofit can use to make giving simple for your loyal donors:
- Optimize your donation page.
- Offer several ways to give.
- Create a sustainer program.
- Promote other ways to give.
If you’re struggling with donation page abandonment, you’ll likely see the best results by taking the root of the problem: your donation page. To get started, we’ll cover what you can do to improve your donation page and win more donations.
1. Optimize your donation page.
Your donation form is one of the most essential tools in your nonprofit’s fundraising toolkit. But as Bloomerang’s guide to donation forms explains, the average conversion rate for these forms was only 19% in 2023. It’s more important than ever to spend significant time ensuring your donation forms will provide the most straightforward, positive donor experience possible.
When creating or optimizing a donation form, make sure to keep these best practices in mind:
- Keep it streamlined. Avoid having too many visual distractions on your donation pages, such as flashy headers and footers and long paragraphs of text. Additionally, limit the questions on the form to those that are relevant and necessary (e.g., the donor’s name, contact information, address, and payment details).
- Use a responsive format. The form should be easy to access and navigate no matter what device donors are using. Make sure the software or website you are using to power your donation form is optimized for both mobile and desktop use so you can take full advantage of all prospective donors.
- Make one last ask. Include a compelling headline and short description at the top of the page that briefly explains what the form is and how the donation will benefit your organization. For example, the World Wildlife Fund’s donation page is simply titled, “Donate to WWF,” and it explains that the donor’s support will help WWF conserve important forests, protect freshwater resources, and more.
- Suggest donation amounts. Donors may make it to the end of your donation form and realize they aren’t sure how much to give. You can remove this guesswork for them by providing four or five suggested donation amounts based on your nonprofit’s needs and average gift amounts. Remember to offer a customizable field where they can enter an amount that is not represented in your suggestions
These practices can translate to areas outside of your donation form as well. For example, to make donating easier for those who receive direct mail from your organization, you can include scannable QR codes that lead to your donation form. This removes the need for those supporters to manually enter a URL or search for the form on their own.
2. Offer several ways to give.
In addition to optimizing your donation page, it’s important to offer as many ways for donors to give as you can. This way, they can choose the method they feel is easiest and most secure. For example, Allegiance Group’s guide to fundraising tools recommends choosing software with text-to-donate features so your organization can build SMS fundraising campaigns and add text-to-give codes to your marketing materials.
In addition to donating via text messages, here are some of the other giving methods your nonprofit could offer:
- Credit or debit cards
- Bank account transfers
- Apple or Google Pay
- Third-party payment processors (e.g., PayPal or Venmo)
While your organization should offer as many ways to give as possible, you can help donors avoid feeling overwhelmed by choosing a default payment method. This method should be the most common payment method your nonprofit sees, which is often credit or debit cards.
3. Create a sustainer program.
If your nonprofit doesn’t currently have one of these programs, consider offering one to make donating even easier for donors. Sustainer programs give your most dedicated donors a simpler way to give. When they sign up for the program, they’ll agree to donate a certain amount on a regular basis (often every month).
After the initial set-up process, which should follow a similar cadence to making a one-time donation, donors will not need to do anything else to donate. Instead, the money will be withdrawn from their account or charged to their credit card automatically.
By building a robust monthly giving program, your nonprofit will have a sustainable, reliable source of revenue without the struggle of motivating supporters to give. This method is ideal for passionate supporters who likely want to give regularly but may forget or find it inconvenient to complete your donation form again and again. Additionally, they’ll be able to give more over time than they could with a single donation, increasing the impact of their support.
4. Promote other ways to give.
Donations are convenient when they are easy to make, straightforward, and require minimal effort on your supporters’ part. As such, one of the easiest ways to make giving more convenient is to let donors know about ways they can give back that barely require them to deviate from their usual routines.
Provide educational materials to inform your supporters about the following giving methods:
- Matching gifts. Some of your donors may be able to double or even triple the gifts they already make to your nonprofit through matching gift programs. Matching gifts are a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative some companies offer their employees, wherein the employer makes a donation equal to (or sometimes double) the donation amount an employee gives to a nonprofit. Unfortunately, 78% of donors are unaware of whether their employer offers a matching gifts program, so be sure to spread educational materials that inform them of this giving opportunity.
- Volunteer grants. Volunteer grants are another CSR program similar to matching gifts. Rather than matching donations supporters make, companies donate based on the number of hours their employees volunteer with your nonprofit. This means that your current volunteers may be able to contribute to your nonprofit financially by just filling out an application form with their employer.
- Shop for a cause. Supporters can give to your nonprofit when they make routine purchases. Similar to affiliate programs, shop for a cause initiatives generate revenue for nonprofits when their donors make online purchases through specific shop for a cause apps and browser extensions. In contrast to matching gifts and volunteer grants, your nonprofit will need to first find a shop for a cause partner who will facilitate corporate donations.
The best part about these donation methods? All of them require essentially no extra spending on your donors’ part. Some supporters may be inclined to give more or volunteer longer hours knowing their contributions help your nonprofit out even more, but there’s no pressure if they choose to stick to their normal routines.
Leading a donor to your donation form can require several touchpoints, engaging marketing efforts, and a well-crafted fundraising ask. Optimizing your donation form, offering various flexible ways to give, and allowing for recurring donations can move more donors across the giving finish line, ensuring that your organization’s hard work isn’t wasted.