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10 easy and effective online giving form strategies

April 28, 2022
A woman makes a donation using an online nonprofit giving form on her laptop.

Online giving is the fastest, easiest, and most convenient way for your nonprofit organization’s donors to give. Whether they’re responding to your latest fundraising appeal or making a gift to your annual fund, donors are increasingly favoring digital gifts.

With the right fundraising software solutions, your nonprofit can design intuitive and inspiring online donation forms that will enhance support for your purpose. To help your team revitalize your giving form to better appeal to donors, let’s explore some effective donation form strategies.

1. Brand your online giving forms.

A well-designed donation page should serve as a cohesive representation of your organization’s purpose, impact, and identity. Customize your online donation form by incorporating these aspects of your nonprofit’s identity:

  • Color scheme
  • Fonts
  • Logo
  • Tagline
  • Messaging

When supporters land on your branded donation page, they’ll feel more confident that their contributions will go directly toward driving your nonprofit’s impact. This increases the likelihood that they’ll complete the giving process promptly. Make the most of your fundraising software to build attention-grabbing online giving forms branded to your nonprofit.

2. Add a recurring gift option and suggested gift amounts.

Cultivate a reliable source of revenue by allowing your nonprofit’s donors to effortlessly opt into your recurring gifts program. Simply include a button on your online donation form asking donors to turn their one-time gift into a recurring one. 

Additionally, inspire your donors to give more by including suggested donation amounts on the giving form. This makes it quick and easy for supporters to decide on an impactful gift amount and complete the giving process. Ultimately, the more convenience you offer prospective donors, the more likely they’ll contribute and the higher their gift sizes will be.

3. Use custom fields in your online giving form to capture data.

A tailored giving experience is essential to maximizing support through your online donation form. Include custom fields to collect meaningful data that is relevant to your organization. By gaining a deeper understanding of your donors, you can refine the giving experience to better appeal to them.

For instance, your nonprofit might include forms asking donors about their:

  • Contact information
  • Preferred communication method
  • Reason for giving to your cause
  • Profession and affiliations
  • Social media usage

This information should seamlessly integrate into your donor database to guide you in developing more effective communications and appeals moving forward.

4. Leverage compelling visual elements in your donation form.

Elevate your nonprofit’s online donation form by adding eye-catching visuals to capture the interest of your supporters. Use images to share your organization’s story and impact all in a single glance.

You can include powerful photos featuring the community you serve, your staff or volunteers hard at work, or snapshots of your most recent fundraising event. Regardless of what you choose, be sure to select relevant, high-quality images that capture your cause and inspire donors to give.

5. Accept multiple secure online payment methods.

Increase the number of online gifts your nonprofit receives by accepting multiple types of payment on your giving form. This ensures that your giving process is as accessible to as many prospective donors as possible. The most essential payment methods include:

  • Direct deposit
  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • PayPal
  • ApplePay

By offering all of these major online payment methods, you ensure that supporters feel safe and comfortable making a gift. When they’re able to contribute using their preferred method, they’ll feel confident that their information is secure and that funds will go directly to your nonprofit.

6. Optimize your online giving form for mobile.

The average mobile user spends over 5 hours each day using their phone. By making your giving form accessible to mobile users, you’ll provide supporters with the added convenience of contributing whenever and wherever they desire.

Choose online fundraising software that facilitates mobile giving by allowing your team to preview your donation form as a desktop, tablet, or smartphone viewer. Ensure that your donation form is functional and works well in all these views. By making the giving experience intuitive and easy for everyone, you’ll show supporters that you care about their experience.

7. Embed your online giving form on your website.

The fewer clicks it takes for prospective donors to reach your online giving form, the more likely they’ll be to make a gift. Feature your donation form in a prominent place on your website for visitors to find. Your team can easily accomplish this by leveraging online fundraising tools that facilitate embedding your giving form on your nonprofit’s website. Additionally, you can boost its results by sharing links to it on your other communication channels. 

8. Place “Donate” buttons in emails and on your website.

To encourage more support, you can also add “Donate” buttons to emails and web pages. Use your fundraising software to customize your “Donate” message and add the button wherever you feel is most effective. Your nonprofit can include the button:

  • On your “Ways to Give" page.
  • In emails announcing new campaigns.
  • In newsletters recapping fundraising and volunteer events.
  • On your homepage.
  • On your "About" page.

“Donate” buttons are excellent for securing gifts from email recipients or website visitors who become inspired to contribute to your cause. Once they click the button, it will send them to your online giving form, where they can immediately complete the donation process.

9. Create dedicated online giving forms for campaigns.

While you should always have a main giving form available for collecting gifts throughout the year, online donation forms for individual campaigns can help boost your fundraising results and motivate supporters to contribute. For example, your nonprofit might decide to design a form for:

  • An upcoming fundraising event.
  • Ongoing, long-term campaigns like your capital campaign.
  • Giving days like GivingTuesday.

While you may not choose to create a dedicated online donation form for every one of your campaigns, it’s always helpful to have software on hand that empowers your nonprofit to produce multiple forms. Remember to evaluate your organization’s fundraising software regularly to ensure you have everything you need to maximize your results.

10. Ask supporters to share your online giving form.

Make your online donation form more effective by including social sharing tools to help supporters share your form with friends and family.

Once a donor contributes, they’ll see a call to action that enables them to share the form on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and more. You can even include a message thanking the individual for their gift and emphasizing the importance of spreading the word about your cause. Remember to communicate the direct impact of donors’ gifts to underscore how vital they are to reaching your goals.

Making the most of your nonprofit’s giving form

Your nonprofit’s online giving form is crucial for reaching your fundraising goals. Ensure that it’s optimized for the greatest impact by following our strategies, and don’t forget the importance of following up with your supporters to express gratitude for their contributions. While a compelling giving form can go a long way toward securing funds for your purpose, stewarding strong and lasting relationships with donors will power your impact year after year.

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    Donor Engagement
  • Nonprofits
  • Digital communications & marketing
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