Common Issues with Online Donor Experience.

Written by: Jeremy Lakey on Monday, 30 July, 2018

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We've seen (and even done) many things over the years that didn't work well from a donor-experience standpoint.  Here is a short list of the most common pitfalls we've seen:

The online donation tool is buried in your site.

If you want people to donate to your cause, they have to first be able to find where to go to donate!

This may seem like a no-brainer, but time and time again, we see sites that do not have a clear donation form or portal. As a result, users have trouble locating where they are supposed to go to donate.

Either the donation tool isn’t clearly visible, or it is only present in one place or page on your site. As a result, potential donors become discouraged when they aren’t able to quickly find where to go to give.

You are only marketing your donation form on your website.

While it’s certainly important to clearly present your donation form on your actual website, some donors may be locating your organization in other ways.

In particular, donors may choose to interact with your nonprofit from social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. They may not want to leave those platforms to search for where to donate.

The donation form doesn’t look like it is part of your site.

You’ve spent a lot of time and energy creating specific branding standards for your organization. As a result, your website uses very specific colors, fonts, and formatting. Your donation form, however, might not. Because of this, it may seem like donors are being directed to a completely different website — one that they weren’t trying to visit. This may cause confusion and discourage donations.

Your donation form seems only concerned with processing payment.

You may have heard advice about keeping your donation form simple and to the point. After all, you certainly don’t want to bog down your donors in long, overly complicated donation pages.

While this is certainly a good point, there is a potential pitfall. Having a donation page that is too simplified and focused solely on the monetary aspect of a donation without any hint of philanthropy can be detrimental. Donors do not like to feel as though you are simply concerned with taking their money. Your donation page should call back to the philanthropic purpose of your organization to help show donors exactly why their donations matter.

Your donation form isn’t properly formatted for mobile devices.

It’s great to have an online donation form available for visitors who are searching for your site at their computers.

The problem is, that’s not the only method people are using to go online.

Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices are also being used in increasing numbers.

According to Double The Donation’s guide for nonprofit web design, “over 60% of visitors are viewing websites on their mobile devices, and that number is only expected to rise in the coming years.”

In other words, if your donation form isn’t set up to be viewed on these products, your nonprofit is going to lose out on potential funds.

The donation form doesn’t offer multiple payment amounts.

No one likes to feel forced into one particular choice. People tend to prefer having several options so that they can make the most informed choice based on their circumstances.

The same concept applies when choosing to give money!

Only offering one or two specific amounts to give on your donation page will discourage potential donors because they may feel pigeonholed.

Some will think the options given are too high and therefore may decide to forego making a donation. Others will feel that they want to give more, but are unwilling to donate via multiple transactions. They, too, may therefore choose not to donate (or end up giving way less than they intended).

There is no recurring donation option.

If your nonprofit is like most, you’re probably receiving over half of your donations from supporters who give once and then never give again.

These kinds of “one-and-done” donations are all well and good, but shouldn’t you be trying to keep your donors giving?

Donors do not feel secure entering their personal information on your site.

You are probably intimately familiar with the rules and regulations in place regarding nonprofit compliance. There are countless laws governing how nonprofits operate, accept donations, and process payments.

However, the average donor may not be aware of what nonprofits are required to do.

To a potential donor, it may just look like your donation form is taking valuable credit card and personal information without any guarantee of security or privacy. This lack of trust may discourage them from giving online at all.

Contact with donors stops after the donation is secured.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully obtained a donation.

But your work is not quite done yet!

It’s easy to disengage once a donation has been made, but neglecting to follow up with your donors after they have given is a common mistake.