How to improve donation forms on a nonprofit website

Online donation forms are one of the most important facets of a nonprofit's website. While social media and websites are great for raising awareness for a cause and keeping people informed about recent updates or news that pertain to the cause, it is important to stay on top of each and every social marketing strategy. The main purpose for promoting the cause on the Internet and leading prospective donors to the website is to guide them to a donation form. Engaging people on the Internet will become just as important as meeting face to face and discussing the future investment in a cause. When trying to attract first-time givers, it is important that the nonprofit makes the process uncomplicated and enjoyable for them.

The Internet is a great tool for raising awareness and getting people involved in something that they feel passionately about. To do so successfully and get people to follow through with their donations, organizations need to optimize their forms properly. Here are four important rules to keep in mind when optimizing:

1. Keep it simple
Don't confuse or bore potential donors with a long and complex form. Only ask the necessary questions and make sure to usher them through the process quickly and effortlessly. Getting them to the "Donate Now" button is the key, says npENGAGE. Long paragraphs about the cause are not always a great way to rope potential donors in as they may become bored.

2. Make it emotional and personal
Pull at the heartstrings and make donors feel as though they are giving to something that is close to their personal lives. Offering photos, short quotes or statistics on how the organization is making a difference in the community it serves will have an impact on potential donors. People are more likely to give their money to something that they feel a connection with and when they think they can see their money truly changing their world.

3. Offer an explanation
Show donors stories or statistics about how their money is going to a good cause that supports issues they care about in this world, says The Masterworks Blog. Don't overwhelm readers with too many stories before or after the donation form, but keep people informed and give examples of the types of work the nonprofit does with their funds.

4. Get donors engaged
After the form is completed, give donors a way to get engaged with the organization, whether it is through social media, volunteering or continuing to donate. Keeping people interacting and interested in what the organization has to offer will help raise awareness and encourage others to start helping along the way.

5. Say thank you
A thank-you letter or small gift will make a huge difference with donors as they will realize they're not just a number, but an individual who is making a difference in the lives of others and who is valued by the organization he or she supports.

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