5 Tips for a Better Online Giving Experience

About 30% of charitable donations come in the month of December, and online giving continues to account for a greater share of those contributions, especially among Millennials & Gen Xers. Make it easier for donors to give online with these five tips for improving your council’s online giving experience.

1. Maintain focus on the main thing

Once the visitor is on your giving page, don’t give them a reason to go somewhere else. The giving page should be a clean, distraction-free experience. Eliminate site-wide navigational features like sidebars with “quick links” or event promotions on the giving page.

2. Use trust symbols

A trust symbol is simply anything that inspires trust in the mind of the consumer. A trust symbol can be a testimonial, or a “seal of approval” from Charity Navigator, GuideStar or the Better Business Bureau. Be sure trust symbols are featured prominently on your page, especially in proximity to the main “give” call-to-action on the page.

3. Provide contact information

Visitors who want to be donors can still get hung up in the process of trying to give, or might have questions they want answered before completing a donation. Don’t make the visitor hunt for your “Contact Us” page. Provide contact information on the giving page itself, including both the email address and direct phone number for a specific individual in your council who can provide support to online donors who have questions.

4. Optimize for mobile

With the growth in mobile payments, expect more and more giving to happen on a mobile device, especially if you’re promoting giving on social networks like Facebook, where a majority of traffic is likely to come from a mobile device. As a result, your online giving has to be optimized for visitors with mobile devices. The best solution is to have a responsive website that will adapt to the type of device the visitor is using — desktop, tablet or mobile — but even if you don’t have a responsive site, you can still optimize for mobile. Using a mobile device, visit your main giving page and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there a call-to-action like a “give now” button clearly visible on the screen, or do you have to scroll once or twice to get to the “give” button?
  • Are the navigational items and buttons on the page “touch friendly”?
  • What content, like text or images, can be eliminated to help the visitor get to the “giving” part of their visit more quickly?
  • Do you have to scroll back-and-forth on the page to see the content?

Answering just those four questions should give you several ways to make changes that improve the mobile giving experience.

5. Be secure

Visitors need to know their giving will be a secure transaction, and that starts with the landing page. Very often, landing pages themselves aren’t secure (using http) even though the page leads visitors to a page that is secure once the “give” button is clicked. But the visitor doesn’t know that until they click. Enable SSL security for your site so the landing page is secure, too, and the visitor feels safe from the very beginning of the visit to your site.

When it comes to making the online giving experience better for prospective donors, your entire website doesn’t need a makeover, but paying attention to user experience in just a few key areas like these can help make the giving season a successful one for your council.