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For nonprofits and for-profits alike, your website can make or break your outcomes.

It’s your digital home, and your audience and donors use it to learn about your mission, what you offer, and, hopefully, donate.

Given how convenient online donation is, your website needs to have a smooth user experience, great functionality and design to help you retain and attract new donors to your charity.

Let’s take a look at 5 powerful ways to optimise your website for donors:

1.  Make sure you have an  SSL certificate on your website

In a digital world full of increasingly clever scams, you can’t blame anyone for being extra careful, especially with their hard-earned money and especially when it comes to donations.

No matter how evocative or powerful your content is, donors are unlikely to feel safe entering their credit card details on your website without an SSL certificate- a standard security protocol that guarantees encrypted links between your browser and the webserver.

To check if your website has an SSL certificate, look at the beginning of your web address. If it has ‘https://’ instead of ‘http://’, it’s secure. You’ll also notice a closed padlock just before your web address. You may also use an SSL service provider like SSL Shopper to check if your website’s SSL certificate is correctly installed.

2.  Keep things simple and quick

Having a minimalist design and text does not only give your donor site an appealing look, but it also makes your donor spend more time on your page.

The human attention span is now less than that of a goldfish, so you have to make a good impression within the first few seconds of a potential donor landing on your web page- 8 seconds to be exact. Overwhelming your donor with text and graphics is the perfect way not to grab and hold their attention.

Whether it’s a sales page or a donor page, it all boils down to having a simplistic and functional user interface (UX) and understanding the needs of your audience. Minimise any pop-ups and optimise page loading speeds for an overall smooth and pleasant user experience.

3.  Use storytelling to tug on your donors’ heartstrings

Humans are hardwired to love stories. The older generations transfer a significant amount of their values to the younger generations through stories and we use them to evoke our most profound emotions, illuminate concepts, inspire, and prompt action. Our brains are also significantly more likely to remember information presented with a narrative than we are to remember disconnected facts and figures.

As a nonprofit organisation, tapping into your donors’ emotions with great stories about your mission, vision and results is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal.

Here are some elements of a great story:

  • Start with a hook —Don’t deter your audience by kicking off with data. Grab attention with a short and compelling line that makes them want to read further.
  • Use power words — Power words are expressive and persuasive words. Used rightly, they can help you elicit the desired support from donors and your audience. Depending on your goal, some of these words could inspire fear, encouragement, and urgency. Smart Blogger created a list of 800+ power words you can use when writing your story.
  • Show, DON’T tell — Famous author Anton Chekhov once said “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” It might sound a little too poetic for you, but it’s great advice to remember as a nonprofit trying to capture peoples’ attention.
  • End with a call-to-actionyour donor page is incomplete without a call-to-action. Just as you would do on a sales page, you need to also state the exact action you want your donor to take. Your call-to-action text should guide your readers on the steps they need to go through to donate to your cause.

4.  Build trust through testimonials and content marketing

Trust is the currency of a good relationship. Your donor page will convert better when you connect your audience and donors with the impact of your work through testimonials and an effective content marketing strategy.

Donors want to see some of the past work you’ve done and what you’ve achieved. Here is an excellent avenue to showcase some of your testimonials, describe the impact their donation will make, and nudge them towards making more commitment.

5.  Thank your donors

Let your donor realise how important their donation means to you with words of appreciation. A simple ‘thank you for donating’ or ‘thanks for supporting us’ will go a long way.

Usually, an automated (but personalised!) follow-up message is all you need to acknowledge the donation they just made. You may want to use this final opportunity to create a lasting impression on their minds by briefly stating how you’ll spend the donations received and describing the specific impact their donation will have.

Even if your website visitors are regular donors, you must always look for new ways to keep things as easy as possible for them and keep them coming back.

Want a professional team to help you optimise your website? Talk to our team today.