Does your donate page make people want to donate?

Donate pages. If you're a nonprofit organization, your website has one. But, how well does it work? Is the form easy to use? Do you get a lot of donations through your website?

If so, you're a rock star! If not, let's take a look at some things you can do to increase engagement with your donate page.

Before we talk about things like forms and CTA buttons, let's review the more fundamental things your website should have in place.

How People Read Websites

When your prospective donor goes on your website, odds are that they are going to read your content in an F pattern. Take a look at theheatmapabove, and you will see where the eyes move first. Some key takeaways here are:

  • The top of your site is prime real estate
  • People read more along the left side of the page
  • The most common activity is skimming
  • Most don't make it all the way down to the bottom of the page
“What we find at the top of the page helps us decide to continue scrolling, navigate to another page, try another site, or abandon the task altogether.” - Neilson Norman Group

Visual Storytelling

How well does your website tell the story of who your organization serves? Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is brand new to your organization. When they arrive at your homepage or landing page, would they know exactly what to do next? Are they compelled to stay longer and find out more?

Using images and multimedia content in addition to compelling messaging is key in order to get those coveted donations.

The Andy Warhol Museum does a great job of using large images, multimedia content, and action words to keep you engaged.

Seattle Opera features lots of multimedia content on their landing pages to engage and educate at the same time.

You've heard of a hero image, but check out the hero videos on the Brooklyn Academy of Music's landing pages.

Simple Donation Form

Now that you've piqued the interest of your prospective donor by showcasing all of the amazing things you do, it is time to close the deal.

Just like with any other transaction on the web, the fewer clicks, the better. An embedded donation form like the one below on the Catholic Community Foundation's website is always best.

The Cleveland Zoological Society uses a cart system on their website, but there is still a form incorporated where you can quickly select your donation amount and frequency.

Not only does ACCESS utilize an embedded donation form, they also feature a list of suggested donation amounts and state what those funds will be used to support.

Making your website and donation page more compelling and easy-to-use for prospective supportersdoesn'talways mean a complete redesign. Simple edits to images, typography, and calls-to-action can make a big difference.


Ceci is the Digital Marketing Manager at FORM, a web development and creative services firm for Arts & Culture and Nonprofits. She has 14 years of experience working with arts organizations and nonprofits and she travels the country speaking at conferences and hosting workshops.

Photo: David G. Kanzeg

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We are helping new nonprofit Oberlin Center for the Arts fulfill its mission to connect the community with the arts. In addition to designing the logo and brand guide, we created a suite of interconnected websites for OCA and its founding member organizations; the sites seamlessly share and cross-pollinate content to help raise awareness and encourage patrons to attend more arts events classes and classes.

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