Top 3 Best Practices for a Successful Donation Form | Tackle Nonprofit Technology Consulting

Donation forms are a necessary part of online fundraising. But is your donation form discouraging people from giving online?

Whether you are building a donation form from scratch or utilizing an already built online system to help you, make sure you are setting yourself up for success with these three best practices.

1) Less is more. Make it as simple as possible to fill out.

Have you ever started filling out a form, only to abandon it because it was going to take you way longer than you expected to fill out? Your donors do this too.

If possible, only include the necessary information you need to process your donor’s payment on your donation form. This will depend on your payment provider, but keep it simple and stick to these basics–donation amount, name, email, credit card information.

Keep your design clean and simple without unnecessary graphics. You should have minimal donation amounts (no more than five, but even less is better). Don’t include all the information to fill out for in honor/memory gifts unless selected, or maybe don’t even include this information at all since it is mostly unused for the majority of organizations.

Some other tricks to keep the donation form simple:

  • Utilize digital wallet services like Apple Pay or Paypal where it automatically fills the donor’s information for them.
  • Auto select things to simplify steps. For example, already have a suggested donation amount filled out and/or the duration selected (one-time or monthly).
  • Simplify the form entries. Having an entry for “Full Name” vs. one for “First Name” and another for “Last Name” can make the form seem shorter and easier to fill out.

2) Make it contextual. Be campaign specific.

When you create a unique donation form for each of your campaigns, it helps tailor that form to your campaign, and actually goes hand in hand with #1 above, keeping it simple.

One size fits all for donation forms doesn’t cut it these days.

Raising money for supplies? Need donations for an urgent disaster response? Running a pledge campaign to gain monthly donors?

See how each of these campaigns would require different information from the donor? If you just had one form that “covered” all these options, you would end up with a really long donation form, and it would probably be a little confusing to the donor as well. Overwhelming and confusing are definitely not characteristics you want for a donation form.

There are so many tools available to you today that creating specific donation forms should be an easy process. If you have any questions about getting started with a system that helps you with this, send us a note and we’d be happy to give you some pointers.

3) Explain. Add donation amount descriptions when possible.

Since we’ve just established the importance of having campaign-specific donation forms, now let’s talk about adding descriptions for your donation amounts.

This is a simple step with a big impact.

Adding a few words to each donation amount brings clarity to what your donor is giving to and eliminates the need for designating their gift. This removes a step, thus making the form simpler to fill out, and gives your donor confidence that their gift is going where they want it to go.

It also provides a visual to how much their gift is making a difference, and will hopefully encourage your donor to give more to make an even greater impact. For example, a nonprofit might suggest giving $10 to provide 5 meals, $20 to provide 10 meals, or $40 to provide 20 meals. So the donor might think, “why not give $10 more and have my donation feed 5 more people?”

And who couldn’t use more donations while making the whole donation form experience more streamlined for their donors?

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Your donation forms are such an important tool to raising funds for your nonprofit. We encourage you to give these three best practices a go so you can be sure to see an even greater impact to your online giving.

And, of course, Tackle is always here to help if you ever need help navigating your donation form software and getting the most out of your online fundraising tools.

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