In the nonprofit world, the organization's website has the most influence on whether or not a person donates to its cause, according to Convio's Online Consumer Holiday Giving Trends from last year. In a recent whitepaper from Convio, entitled "Kick-Start Your Holiday Campaign: Proven Practices You Can Put Into Play Now," the fundraising software and marketing company discusses many best practices to boost a holiday campaign.
Here are three ways to make sure your nonprofit website gives the right impression to site visitors and prospective donors:
1. Make sure the development department gets the most visible space on the homepage
Holiday season is when people are hurried and want to give a donation quickly. The "Donate" or "Give Now" button needs to be placed prominently, along with compelling copy about how that donation will help that will perhaps convert the visitor into a donor. If it's hard to find, visitors will click away.
2. Gifts need to be tangible
Instead of asking folks to make a donation to a general end-of-year campaign, make it more fun and tangible. Perhaps a $10 donation can "buy" a seeding, a $25 donation can "buy" a mature tree and a $75 donation can "buy" a forested half-acre, for example. If you communicate the direct impact that different donation amounts have, you often can persuade donors to give a bit more.
Remember, it's the season of giving! When penning copy for the ask, give good information to donors to help them make their decisions (how the gift will impact your cause, such as meals served or vaccines given) and state your need very clearly ("need X amount to meet our holiday goal!") so the donor understands the value of supporting your cause.
3. Use photos that appeal to the visitor's emotions
Too much text, no matter how good, will turn off the visitor. You must place images that communicate your mission and represent how the nonprofit is doing the right things for people and/or the world.