How to Get Donations Online: Tips to Enhance Your Nonprofit Website

Online donations can be a major source of funding for your nonprofit. But for it to be sustainable, you’ll need to make your website attractive to potential donors, maximizing its visual appeal and functionality.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to get donations online through some straightforward and actionable tips.

Encourage visitor confidence

As the owner of a nonprofit website, part of your role is to make your site a place where people feel confident that you’re a professional, that you’ll put their hard-earned donation to good use, and that their gift will have a meaningful impact.

That’s a tall order — but it can be done.

Here are some ways you can leverage your charity or nonprofit website to make people feel comfortable donating online.

1. Your professionalism

First and foremost, you want site visitors and potential donors to take your organization seriously. A simple way to start is to focus on giving visitors a good user experience and organizing your content clearly. This will go a long way in gaining your audience’s attention and creating a good impression. How your organization appears online is a reflection of how it operates offline.

2. Your trustworthiness

Before people donate to your cause, they need to know you’re trustworthy. Here are two techniques you can use.

Be accountable and transparent. People want to know their donations will be spent well. By being open about things like who your board members are, your compensation reports, and a breakdown of how every penny of every dollar is accounted for, you build trust — and this trust plays a significant role in how to get donations online.

To accept payments (donations) online, you’ll want to secure the information transferred when those payments are submitted. Luckily, all sites come with SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt. You can display a security seal or “badge” from the SSL provider next to your donation form to reassure donors they’re giving securely.

Let's Encrypt Security Badge

3. Their impact

On your donation page, get specific by laying out different donation amounts and listing exactly what each will be able to finance. For example, you could include a line that says, “Your donation provides…”

  • 20 meals for the homeless

  • One winter coat to an orphan

  • A semester’s worth of books for a college student in need

Being able to tie a donation directly to an outcome helps donors visualize the impact of their gift and see it in real-world terms.

Give people the opportunity

Once your messaging is on point and you’ve given potential donors every opportunity to learn about your organization, your mission, and how you’ll spend their money, the next step is to encourage visitors to give.

1. Ask boldly

Don’t be shy about asking people to give. In addition to your web copy, consider adding a video clip that shares your vision and calls visitors to take action.

“Don’t ask people to ‘donate.’ Instead, ask them to ‘join,’ ‘build,’ etc. Appeal to identity and emotion, not wallets,” recommends John Haydon, founder of Inbound Zombie and author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies.

2. Make it easy

Earlier, we talked about making sure your site content is organized. Part of that means making it obvious to your visitors where they click to give. Consider adding a donation link (or a button) in multiple locations on your site, such as your header navigation, a sidebar, or the footer. For sites on the Premium or Business plan, the Simple Payments option securely allows you to collect payments via PayPal, credit, or debit.

You can have multiple links pointing to the same donation page so that wherever your visitors are on your site, it’s always easy to find a donation link.

3. Be social

When your donors take action to support your cause, encourage them to share on social media by adding social sharing buttons. If you make it quick and simple to post to Facebook or Twitter, for example, donors are more likely to post about their contribution (and your cause) on their personal social media networks.

Sharing on social media

Social fundraising compounds the impact of a single donation and helps bring awareness of your cause to a new audience.

Onward and upward

Now that you’ve got some suggestions on how to get donations online via your nonprofit website, which ones will you take action on first? Leave us a comment and let us know.

You know your nonprofit is worth supporting — so ensure your website does it justice.

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