Create a Donation Page that Rocks!

Wow, here you are – right at the end of the year.

And you are hoping, hoping, that those online donations are starting to flood into your site.

(I sure hope they do too!)

Here’s a word of warning, though:

A recent survey found that 47% of people who visit nonprofit donation pages actually DON’T complete the process and make a gift.

Can you imagine?

Here you’ve got a donor on your web site. And she makes it to your donation page. And she is getting ready to give.


There’s a puff of smoke and she disappears. Maybe the phone rings. Maybe she gets distracted.

But I bet she looks at that page and thinks, “this looks way to complicated. I’m in a hurry. Not now – maybe later.”

And later never comes. 🙁

What’s a smart nonprofit to do in this situation?

Well, you want to make your donation page irresistible. (well, as irresistible as possible anyway!)

Here are some ways to add some sizzle to that page:

1. Try it out yourself.

You really, really need to go into your own site and make a $5 donation and see what happens.

It is a fast, easy experience or is it cumbersome?

You and I both know that cumbersome won’t work!

2. Change the title of the page.

I can’t believe how many donation pages I see that have the title “Donation Page.”

Not warm and fuzzy huh?

Make the title something like: “Yes, I want to help feed hungry children! Here’s my gift!

3. Put a heart-touching picture on the page.

Again, I see so many pages that look like serious, drab business. It’s enough to give me cold feet when I am reaching for my wallet.

Be sure you have a photo that captures the essence of your work.

4. Make the donate button larger with larger font.

Why not?

And people respond better to buttons than “click here.”

5. Tweak your monthly donation button.

Add the words “yes, repeat this gift every month” next to the button for monthly donations.

6. Create special donation landing pages.

For each appeal you send out, create a separate donation page for the appeal.

Be sure to echo the original appeal’s design and message.

One organization saw a 22% increase in donations to these types of pages vs generic donation pages.

7. Suggest dollar amounts for specific projects.

This same organization found that when they placed descriptors next to suggested dollar amounts, gifts went up.

Donors were able to see what their donation would help support.

8. Don’t offer too many choices.

Your confuse your donor and she just may depart!

9. Don’t add links to other pages.

You have worked so hard to get your donor there!

Don’t add ANY encouragement to get her to leave this page!

10. Go all out to thank your online donors.

Somehow many online donors get left out of the systematic thank you processes you’ve worked so hard to put in place.

Create a special thank you effort for your online donors – so you can KEEP THEM GIVING!


Your donation page just may be the most important page on your site.

It’s not too late to tweak it a bit to make it far, far more inviting – and compelling – to your donor!

What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know –

  • Karen

    You are RIGHT!!!! I’m going to look at our donation page RIGHT NOW!!

  • Brian Hanse

    One of the most helpful 10-point articles. I really liked your comment about resisting the urge to put other neat links elsewhere on the actual donation page.

  • What a great post. I just referenced it in a post I wrote about how the top 100 churches in America need to work on their web presence. One of the biggest mistakes they make is making it difficult to find the giving button. It is as if they are afraid to show it. I loved your ideas here.

  • Nancy

    How many choices are too many? My organization is very small (budget under $1 mill) and is trying hard to ramp up its fundraising. Guidance here would be very helpful! Thanks.

  • Ruth Scott

    Good article, Thank you Gail. Most non-profit web sites I visit have poor donation pages. I’ve been encouraging my clients to upgrade their web sites and just forwarded your article to them.

  • gailperry

    Thanks Ruth! I think there are some very simple things we can do right now to help bring in online $$ in the next two weeks.

  • gailperry

    Nancy – I’d only offer 3-4 choices for where to focus my gift.

  • gailperry

    Yup, everybody’s afraid to say “Your gift helps change lives!” That’s what I’d like to see on a donation button.

  • gailperry

    Thanks Brian! You really don’t want to distract the donor away from making that gift!

  • gailperry

    Great Karen, tell me what you find! and what you change!

  • Daiel Grossman

    Gail…very good article. We can not be afraid to ask for funding suppourt, especially on our websites. We have three very visable givining options on our landing page. Do you think thats to many? One is at top on our link buttons…one on our rotating slides and one on the bottom of the page.

  • Heidi Ross

    Hi, Gail! You always give us really good advice – and this article was particularly useful – Thanks – AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

  • GoodNeighbour

    post, Thank you Gail. Nearly all non-profit internet sites I stop by have
    inadequate donation internet pages. I’ve been motivating my own buyers to
    enhance their own internet sites and just submitted your own post for them.

  • Chris Hagen

    Thanks for this article, Gail!

  • Kelley

    Can you share who you think has great donation pages?

  • Hi! I’d check out charity:water – they are always leading edge when it comes to internet fundraising.