When it comes to making online transactions, most of us are looking for simplicity. This means easy and quick execution when making online purchases and donations!  

[Donate with One Click] for instance is much more appealing than [Create Your Account] so you can then [Donate Now].  

As a nonprofit that utilizes online fundraising, you’ll want to remove as many barriers as possible between your donor and their donationThis means assessing and making changes to your online donation form. 

4 Steps to Improve Your Online Donation Form:

1. Do An Internal Assessment

Referencing an interview we had with ForeFront, make an online donation to your own organization to see how simple (or not-so-simple) the donation process is.

Have members of your family or close friends who are not in the nonprofit sector make an online donation as well. Then request their honest and unbiased feedback!  You might find that you’re asking for too much information up front.  Or as our friend Delia from Forefront put it:  

“Completing an online donation shouldn’t take longer than ordering a pair of shoes from Zappos!”  

2. Decide What Information you Actually Need

First, ask your donors how they prefer to be contacted.  You can do this in your thank-you email after receiving a donation.  Knowing that your donors will only interact by email removes the need to gather any further contact information.

It’s very likely that the majority of your donors will tell you that they prefer to be contacted by email, which is super cool because you probably already have that important piece of information!

IMPORTANT NOTE:  If your donors tell you that they don’t like receiving letters in the mail or they don’t like being contacted by phone, but you STILL insist on asking them for their mailing address and phone number, you could be jeopardizing those relationships. 

Your goal should always be to maintain great relationships with your donors, and an easy way to accomplish this is by really listening to and accommodating them.  

3. Segment Your Donors

Different donors should be communicated with differently.  You wouldn’t communicate with your best friend in the same way as you would with your grandmother, so why are you treating all of your supporters like they’re the same person?

You should view your relationship with your supporters as one that needs to be nurtured and respected, which means you should ask about their preferences, listen to them, and then accommodate accordingly! 

Instead of lumping all your supporters into the same bucket, sending them all the same email messages at the same time, segment your donors based on what you already know about them AND what they’ve told you regarding their contact preferences.

4. Get Creative with Info Gathering

After you’ve figured out how your donors prefer to be contacted and you’ve segmented them accordingly, you may still have a group of them who tell you that they like to receive letters via mail or to be called over the phone, so what do you do now to get this information? 

Well, if they told you they like being contacted in this way, let them know by whatever means you have available (likely their email) that you’d like to contact them through their preferred channel and to please share their mailing address, phone number, or both. 

If you have something in the works that you feel absolutely requires a mailing address or phone number, you can try some of the following outreach techniques:

Examples of ways to gather more info

Dear (Donor Name)…  

  1. As a thank you for your recent donation, we’d love to send you a thank-you card in the mail.  Please provide us with your mailing address if interested.  Thank you for supporting our cause!
  2. We’ll be holding a special event and would like to send you an official invitation by mail.  Please provide us with your mailing address if you’d like to receive this exclusive invitation. Thank you!
  3. Thank you for your recent online donation!  We value our nonprofit supporters like you.  So to ensure that we have accurate information for our files, we would like to request your phone number and mailing address.  Also, please specify if there’s a mode of communication you DO NOT want us to use and we’ll make sure it doesn’t happen in the future 🙂  Thank you!

Your online donation form should preferably only require the following info:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email Address
  • Credit Card information
  • Billing information

Simplifying your donation form is a fairly quick and easy way to improve your relationships with your donors and possibly see an increase in the number of online donations being made to your nonprofit!

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