5 tips to increase donations on your website

Five pots with plants in different stages of growth being watered.

#1 Who are you?

You have about 50 milliseconds to capture the user's attention. You need to tell them right away and in a concise way who you are, what is your mission and how this makes the world a better place. The homepage is ideal, the goal is that the user can find it in less than a minute. The message has to be present as well on the donation page.


Example of the IUCN Red List donation form.


#2 How will you use my money? 

You have created empathy and the user is hooked but if they don't feel you will use their money wisely, they might skip the donation or make a donation in a similar organization. You need to explain the user how are you investing that money; what a donation like theirs can accomplish. For instance, tell them: "A five dollar donation can provide a contraception kit for one person". Be transparent about it. You can even link the donation page to your annual reports so they take you seriously.

#3 Where is the donation button? 

A common problem is that the user is excited about the organization but can't seem to find where to make a donation. Always have a button that is very attractive and visible. Placing in at the top right corner is ideal. Title it "Donate", or "Donate now". Better clear than sorry.

Example of FRIDA

Example of Colibri donation process.

#4 Why is this taking so long?

A friendly fluent process is paramount. If the user gets lost in too many pages, long forms or have doubts about the method, they might abandon the website. The best thing to do is to have a brief form on the same website, connected to things they understand, like PayPal. They already know how to buy online, mimic the e-commerce process. Why complicate things?

#5 Say Thank You 

Sounds dull, maybe obvious, but some organizations don't do it or leave the payment platform to do it for them. What you want is to make the user feel special, important, like they actually contributed to something that improves our lives. Our suggestion is to say thank you as soon as you can, in a personalized and detailed way; even a properly spelled name can go a long way. Be specific: if they saved an orangutan, tell them: "Thank you for saving an orangutan in Borneo". Make it clear you are saying thank you and not asking for another donation.