10 Easy Tips to Optimize Your Donate Now Button

Posted · 4 Comments

Studies show that about half of those who receive an appeal for funds in the mail will checkout the organization’s website. Are you capitalizing on this? Is your organization optimizing its web pages to increase fund-raising? Having clever and inspirational online content coupled with optimization techniques can make a big difference in converting advocates, subscribers and other supporters into donors.

Although it may sound silly to you, the donate button your nonprofit is using can greatly affect online donations. If you are using the small, gray standard “Submit” button, you might be waving good-bye to a lot of donations. A study conducted by Donor Digital finds that color, size and the copy on the donate button are crucial in enticing people to donate.

Take a look at a few tips about optimizing your donate button. Remember, small changes to your web donation page can dramatically increase the number of visitors who actually make a gift.

  1. Location. Put your Donate Now button “above the fold.” Eliminate the need to scroll to find the button. The upper right corner is prime website real state. Make it obvious. Make it impossible to miss.
  2. Nonprofit Optimizing Donate Now Button

  3. Use large Donate Now buttons. Donor Digital finds that size does matter. Similar to the industry learning that large font is more eye-catching, we’ve learned that bigger donate buttons help convert more donors.
  4. Use color. A little color goes a long way. Colorful, high-contrast donate buttons work better than gray buttons.
  5. Use specific language. Buttons with a specific call-to-action (“Donate Now”) perform better than a gray button that says “Submit.”
  6. Stand out. Make sure your “Donate Now” button stands out from the rest of your website.
  7. Optimize Your Donate Now Button

  8. Frame the button in a compelling way. Make it about the donor. Why should they care? What can they help accomplish? Make sure you have a strong persuasive message above the call to action. Use it to persuade donors on the fence.
  9. Nonprofit Optimization Donate Now

  10. Test your links. Once it is up on your site, make sure it takes donors where it should. There is nothing worse than a broken link.
  11. Put it on every page. The act of giving is immediate. We can not predict what page someone will be on when they are inspired to donate. Increase your chances of receiving a donation by putting the button on every page.
  12. It is not just for your website. Include the Donate Now button in every communication (blog, e-newsletter, email signature).
  13. Test it out. It shouldn’t take someone more than 3 seconds to find your “Donate Now” button.

Take away: If you want to see an increase in online donations, you need to optimize your donate now button, not just your website and your donation landing pages. Give your button the emotional tone that touches people and invites them to donate.

4 Responses to "10 Easy Tips to Optimize Your Donate Now Button"
  1. Mike Mella says:

    Number 6 is crucial.

    A prominent Donate button is great for visibility, so that visitors who plan to donate can do so quickly and not get frustrated and leave instead.

    But non profits need to stop assuming that a big gaudy Donate button will compel visitors to donate. If visitors had no intention of donating when they go there, it doesn’t matter how flashy your Donate button is, they still won’t.

    Showing them how their donation helps is how you’ll change their mind.

    I worked at a large Canadian non-profit for two and a half years before they even added any such content to their website. That kind of oversight always amazes me.

  2. Excellent information. Some nonprofits spend considerable time and resources on fund-raising & development, yet are not capitalizing on this important branding feature. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to recognize and click on that ‘DONATE NOW’ button. As you noted, without such branding, a lot of potential donations are left on the table.

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