Optimizing Your Website For “Giving Season” Donations and Conversions

As we enter the “Giving Season” with the official kick off of Giving Tuesday on December 3rd, what some may forget is most nonprofits and charities are fundraising all year round to support their efforts.

According to a report published by CNBC in June 2019, “Charitable giving dropped last year in the wake of the new tax law. Charitable giving by individuals in the U.S. fell 1.1% to $292 billion in 2018, according to Giving USA. Giving by foundations and companies rose, helping to push total giving in the U.S. up by 0.1%, to $428 billion.”

So what does this mean for organizations that rely so much on the giving of others, especially during the holiday season? The quick answer, catering your website to appeal to donors. Below are recommendations for designing a high converting landing page that will make individuals and corporations want to open their wallets.

1. Before you do anything, define your goal.

Of course the goal is to generate donations, but what is the bigger goal? Let users know what their contributions will help fund. Is it an educational program for children in urban areas or restoring homes damaged in a storm? Users like to know what their money is helping to fund, so clearly state your mission. Which leads to…

2. Clarifying your mission.

Let users know who you are as an organization and what you stand for. Also define who you want to target as your buyer persona. Are you looking to appeal to a niche group in a specific area or a general national audience? Once this is determined you can customize your story to this buyer persona.

3. Tell your story.

Storytelling is the basis of education. Humanize your brand and tell your story in a genuine way. Speak to your defined audience in a way that creates an emotional connection to your organization. Human beings are by nature empathetic, by creating a connection through content, you are more likely to increase donations.

Once your foundation is set, you can begin to think about your digital strategy. Landing pages statistically convert 62% higher than websites. Why? Websites have too many points of entry and more importantly, exits. By designing a landing page that is reached via a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ad strategy, and remains focused on your value proposition and tells a story through content and visuals will most likely convert users, as opposed to allowing them to meander to other parts of the website.

If you don’t have the budget to design a landing page and implement a PPC strategy, you can use an existing page. Just keep in mind the average attention span of a web visitor is 8.25 seconds, therefore you have an extremely short amount of time to capture their undivided attention, you may need to make design tweaks, keeping in mind that only 28% of words are read on a web page. Therefore, hours are better spent crafting content and visuals that quickly express your message in a creative way.

Giving Season

Below are some attention-grabbing solutions for corporate and nonprofit clients when creating high converting landing pages.

  • Reduce text and utilize images or infographics to tell your narrative and creatively display organizational statistics that emphasis impact.
  • Optimize your content for SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This will help search engines such as Google and Bing to “read” your page and rank it organically, hence increasing your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) results.
  • Have clear CTA (Call To Action) buttons throughout the page. Instead of using the standard “Donate” button try more creative approaches such as “Inspire Change,” “Be the Difference,” or “Support a Child.” Also keep in mind that certain colors help conversions. Use this guide which is helpful.
  • Emphasize the work your organization does. A great way to do this is by using a short video that supports your mission, but also shows how the donor’s contributions will help support growth.
  • As previously mentioned, donors want to see what their contributions are being used for. This a great opportunity to utilize testimonials or quotes from people your organization has supported or helped. It validates what the contributions will be used for, and also builds trust and delivers peace of mind to donors that their contributions will help.
  • Sometimes people may not want to contribute a monetary gift, so offer other options. For instance, if your organization hosts events regularly, explain that there are other ways to give back such as volunteer opportunities, mentoring, or sponsorships. Again, be sure to clearly explain how this will impact the organization and its mission.
  • Finally, show that donor’s contributions make a difference. A great way to do this is graphically. One suggestion is to create a donation calculator. For example, $25 supplies a student with school supplies, $50 supplies a family of four with a holiday dinner, or $100 helps purchase holiday gifts for five children.
  • Expert Tip: Link your donation, volunteer, and contact forms to your email platform so end users can be added to your email list. You can send them an automated drip email campaign that educates them more about your organization and/or send them newsletters, event announcements, and impact statistics that will keep them engaged and more likely to continue to donate.

While the holiday season is a time to give back for many, for nonprofit organizations and charities the effort to generate ongoing donations is a year-round initiative. By utilizing the above website conversion tactics, you can create an ongoing strategy that continues to drive donations throughout the year. If you are looking for some landing page inspiration, here are some great ideas. Happy holidays!