Aug 7, 2013
Today, nonprofits have more considerations for their fundraising efforts than they did in the past, and the rise of online donation services has created a greater need for organizations to assess their strategies. While some charities invest in search engine optimization and online newsletters, the easiest way for organizations to lose donations is if their online donation form has usability problems.
Nonprofit websites can experience a form abandonment rate of up to 70 percent, according to npENGAGE. This means visitors read information on the page, clicked the donation button and did not finish filling out the form. However, improving the online donation form slightly can lead to significantly higher Internet contributions.
Taking steps to optimize the online donation form can help nonprofits achieve higher fundraising revenues. If organizations have a two-page form, potential contributors can drop out as soon as they realize they need to fill out a second set of fields.
How to improve online donation forms
One of the easiest ways to reduce donor abandonment is to decrease the number of fields, npENGAGE said. The form should only collect as much information as the organization needs to process the payment and stay in contact with the contributor. If the form looks too long, people may leave the page. Some organizations have a "review and confirm" step in the online donation process, and individuals can confuse this for a receipt and exit the page without realizing the gift hasn't been fully processed.
Another easy way to reduce form abandonment is to include a security badge, which will make donors feel confident their transaction is being processed with no risk to their personal information. Single-page forms typically perform better than multiple pages, but this may be different for mobile users.
The credit card processing companies nonprofits use also have an impact on the success of online giving, Fundraising123 stated. The service should provide a smooth experience for contributors, and the form should be different from an online shopping transaction. Nonprofits can add a short message on the same page as the form to remind donors why they are making the gift. Forms can also include newsletter opt-ins and the option to set a recurring gift.
Every nonprofit is different, and varying form techniques may prove effective. Analyzing the page's abandonment rate can help organizations determine the areas that need to be improved.