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6 Ways to Secure More Online Donations

BluePay is pleased to bring you this valuable information from our partner, Z2 Systems, Inc., the creator of NeonCRM, a cloud-based software made specifically for nonprofits. To learn more about the BluePay and Z2 Systems partnership, visit the partner page on our site.

Given that trends in the way people prefer to pay have evolved, it’s of course only natural that nonprofit donation trends have changed, too.

The biggest change is the rise of online donations.

By accepting donations through digital channels, nonprofits have enabled their donors to give with more ease, flexibility, and convenience than ever before.

The only limitation lies in the fact that many nonprofits aren’t yet sure how to optimize the online giving experience to secure more donations.

This article is here to help. We’ll cover 6 tips that are sure to secure your organization more online donations, including:

  1. Prominently display your donation button on your website.
  2. Add a “Donate Now” button to your Facebook page.
  3. Make sure your donation page is mobile-responsive.
  4. Automate recurring gifts.
  5. Set specific giving levels.
  6. Integrate a matching gift tool with your online donation software.

Let’s get started!

1. Prominently display your donation button on your website.

Why you’ll raise more:

Chances are, if your organization is accepting donations online, you’re doing so through a form embedded into your website.

Although some donors may receive the link to your donation form through other channels, many of your donors will have to access your form by going through your website.

That being the case, it couldn’t be more important for your organization to display your donation button in a prominent place throughout your site.

Doing so will ensure that your website is intuitive to users who want to make an online donation.

When your donation button is apparent and donors don’t have to search around for where to make a gift, more donors will give to your organization!

How it’s done:

Your organization will want to make sure that your donation button is easily spottable from all pages of your website.

One fail-proof design strategy is to include your button in the top navigation of your page, like this organization did:

To make your button stand out even more, fill it in with a bold color and use clear language that leaves no doubt that the button leads to a donation page.

Basically, the easier it is to spot, the better off your fundraising will be!

Takeaway: Featuring your donation button in a prominent spot throughout your website ensures that donors will always know where they need to go when they want to make a gift.

Bonus: For more nonprofit website design tips, check out Neon’s guide!

2. Add a “Donate Now” button to your Facebook page.

Why you’ll raise more:

Even though they might all prefer to give through digital channels, even your online donors still have various preferences.

Many donors might prefer engaging with your organization through social media. To be more successful in your fundraising, you want to meet donors where they are and appeal to their giving preferences.

That means that you should be providing donors as many different donation avenues as possible, including social media!

Since Facebook is the most widely used site, adding a donation button to your organization’s page is a great start to giving your donors more variety when it comes to giving online.

How it’s done:

Luckily, adding a “Donate Now” button to your Facebook page is pretty easy!

If your page is listed as a nonprofit organization on Facebook, the site will automatically give you the option to add a button to your page.

However, donors still can’t give directly through the site. Instead, the button links to your online donation page.

While it might seem like this is an extra step, this is actually a good thing.

Sending donors to your website keeps them interacting with your brand for longer. Plus, if your online donation form is integrated with your CRM, you’ll automatically collect all donor data you receive in your donor profiles.

Takeaway: Adding a “Donate Now” button to your Facebook page is an easy way to accept donations through social media and appeal to more of your donors’ preferences, empowering them to give on their terms.

3. Make sure your donation page is mobile-responsive.


Why you’ll raise more:

Just as donors will have different preferences when it comes to what channels they’re giving through, they’ll also have different preferences when it comes to which devices they’re giving on.

Some donors will still prefer engaging with your organization’s content over the computer, but nowadays a majority of browsers are surfing the web from their mobile devices.

In order to appeal to the donors who are engaging with your organization over mobile, you should ensure that your online donation page is mobile-responsive.

Mobile-responsive simply means that your online donation page is just as professional looking and easy to complete on a phone or tablet as it would be on a computer.

Having to pinch, scroll, zoom, or otherwise adjust their screen to complete a donation can really deter mobile donors from completing the process.

Interacting with a mobile-responsive page is more convenient for online donors, which increases the chances they’ll follow through on making a donation.

To raise your online fundraising potential to the max, double-check that your page is mobile-responsive.

How it’s done:

Most online giving software uses a responsive-technology framework that will generate a mobile-responsive version of your page. In layman’s terms, that means that your software should automatically format your page to mobile for you.

However, to be 100% sure that your page will look and function great on a mobile device, you should design with mobile in mind. That means:

  • Leaving plenty of white space.
  • Enlarging font and buttons.
  • Designing in a vertical, one-column layout.

And remember: you can always test mobile-responsiveness for yourself. Just take out your phone and try to complete your form!

Takeaway: Designing a mobile-responsive donation page will ensure that the online donation experience is always straightforward for mobile donors, resulting in more online gifts.

Bonus: Check out BluePay’s article on the future of mobile payment processing.

4. Automate recurring gifts.


Why you’ll raise more:

In our fast-paced, technological society, convenience is key. Nowadays you can do almost anything at the click of a button, from ordering groceries to depositing a check.

In order to remain competitive in a society driven by convenience, nonprofits have to make the donation experience as short and sweet as possible.

The best way to do that? Automate recurring gifts.

By giving donors the option to set up automated recurring gifts, you’re making the donation process significantly more convenient for them (they won’t even have to do anything to give again later on!).

Not to mention, because the process of setting up recurring giving is so easy this way, more donors will be inclined to do it. Recurring givers are incredibly valuable for nonprofits; it’s said that they give on average about 42% more in just one year than donors who give once.

In other words, automated recurring gifts are a recipe for online fundraising success!

How it’s done:

Your online donation software should give you the option to place a recurring gift field right on your form.

To get set up, donors will just have to choose that they want to become recurring givers and select the giving option that’s most convenient for them (for example, monthly, quarterly, etc.).

Your software will automatically process the payment methods recurring donors have on file every time a donation comes due, so both you and your donors will have one less thing to worry about!

Takeaway: Recurring givers are a valuable source of funding for nonprofits. To increase retention, make recurring giving convenient by offering automated recurring gift processing as an option on your online donation form.

5. Set specific giving levels.

Why you’ll raise more:

Knowing exactly where their gifts are going can help donors feel confident about giving to an organization for the first time and continuing to give to that organization.

By being able to clearly envision the results of their gifts, donors are not only assured that their money is going toward good work but also that it’s actually making a difference. And that’s why they donated in the first place!

Setting specific giving levels allows your organization to more clearly demonstrate the results of your donors’ gifts.

By splitting gift amounts out into levels or tiers, you can equate each donation amount with the specifics of what it can buy, which can help you build more trust with online donors and convince them to give.

How it’s done:

To optimize your donation page, you’ll first have to be strategic about setting gift sizes.

When setting gift sizes, consider these three major factors:

  1. Your campaign goals. How much will you have to raise to reach your campaign or project goals? Keep your goals in mind to ensure you’re setting gift amounts at a level where you can realistically achieve them.
  2. Your average gift size. Studying your average gift size can help you set your amounts based on your donors’ giving habits and preferences. However, try to push the average slightly higher to encourage upgrading.
  3. Similar donation forms. Do some research and study the donation forms of organizations similar to yours. You’ll want to set your amounts at a competitive level.

Once you have some reasonable gift levels laid out, you’ll want to equate each gift with concrete results. Try to make the results as specific and quantifiable as possible, so it’s crystal clear to online donors where their gifts will be going.

Takeaway: Setting specific gift amounts can make online donors feel more confident about giving, since they can more clearly envision the results of their contributions.

6. Integrate a matching gift tool with your online donation software.

Why you’ll raise more:

Matching gifts are one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways for nonprofits to increase the funds they raise significantly. After all, it’s basically 2x the funds for the same amount of work.

The issue here is that many donors aren’t aware of matching gift opportunities. It’s up to the nonprofit to communicate these opportunities to their donors, yet many organizations aren’t sure where the matching gift opportunities lie.

To more effectively pinpoint matching gift opportunities, your organization should consider integrating a matching gift tool with your online donation software.

This tool will be placed directly on your donation form, prompting donors to type in their employer’s name to see if they offer gift matching. If their employer does offer gift matching, this tool will then help guide donors through the application process.

Using a matching gift tool not only raises awareness of these opportunities among your donor base, but also gives your organization a more comprehensive list of professional connections to draw from.

If you see that a donor works for a company with a matching gift program and hasn’t completed the application process, you can follow up with them and encourage them to do so.

Either way, integrating a matching gift tool solves the problem that both donors and nonprofits face: limited awareness. Raise awareness, and you should see more funds!

How it’s done:

To get started with a matching gift tool, you’ll have to do some research to see which services are out there.

The biggest consideration here is that you should be looking for a tool that can be easily integrated with whichever platform you currently use to accept online donations.

The easier your tool is to integrate, the sooner you can start finding matching gift opportunities!

Takeaway: Matching gifts are an easy way for nonprofits to multiply their funds exponentially. To find opportunities among your donor base, integrate a matching gift tool with your online giving software.

As you can see, optimizing the online giving process isn’t too difficult!

All it takes to secure more online donations is making the process convenient and meeting your donors where they prefer to be met.

Blog Post By: Jeff Gordy

Jeff Gordy is the Co-Founder and CEO of Z2 Systems, Inc., the makers of NeonCRM for nonprofits. Jeff has been working with his team for the last 12 years on building the optimal fundraising, CRM database, and marketing solution for nonprofits. Before starting the company, Jeff worked for the Kidney Cancer Association and knew that nonprofits needed better software solutions to help with their many challenges.


Topics: Guest Blog Posts, E-Commerce and Online Payments, Nonprofits, Small Business Tips

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