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 three strategies your nonprofit can use to make giving simple for your loyal donors:
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.
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.