Laptop with a donations page displayed

Fundraising Fundamentals

BOOST YOUR ONLINE DONATIONS

Your charity's website is an important tool for raising funds. We've put together some top tips to help you drive online donations.

Fundraising Fundamentals

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1  Make it match — Brand consistency!

Building and maintaining relationships with your donors is the key to successful online fundraising. The value of your charity’s brand is vital in helping to maintain trust with your supporters. 

Make sure that you have consistency across your website and communication channels. The use of different fonts, colours and tone of voice can all have an impact on how donors perceive your organisation. Donors like to give to the brands that they trust. 

Make sure that the copy and call to action on your donation and fundraising pages reflect what you've used in your marketing and communications. This is called 'message match' — a marketing term that refers to consistency throughout your campaign.

Glasgow City Mission's website is a great example of brand consistency. 

Glasgow City Mission website screenshot

2  Make it super easy

  • Can your visitors easily find the information they are looking for?
  • Is the donation button or page prominent on your site?
  • How many clicks does it take for someone to be able to make a donation? 

One of the key benefits of online donations is the speed and convenience for your donors. Unfortunately, too many charities make their online donation process unnecessarily complicated.

Once donors arrive at your donation page they're ready to give. You need to offer them the fewest number of steps possible to complete a donation. This means including a minimum number of fields on your donation form and allowing donors to give without requiring them to log in or create an account. 

When a donor or prospective donor hits donate, you don't want to distract them from the action of donating. If you can, remove the menu tab in your website header, sidebars and any other calls to action (like newsletter sign-up forms, menu tabs, etc). Feature only the key information that will help them complete the donation.

Your donation process should be easy to understand without much, if any, guidance. If you have to explain it, it’s not easy enough! Take a look at how Neuroblastoma UK and Right to Life UK have made it easy for their donors to donate online.

3  Make your online donation form user-friendly

With 26% of UK donations being made online according to our latest UK Giving report, it's crucial for charities to have an user-friendly online donation form available on their websites. 

If donating feels too much like hard work, people give up. So when creating your donation form, be sure to make it clear, user-friendly and most importantly, mobile responsive. The Charitable Giving 2018 report found that online giving to UK non-profit organisations increased by 5.5% in 2018, which means that charities are taking this sort of guidance on board.

Check out CAF Donate

CAF Donate is our GDPR compliant, safe and secure online donations platform, which allows charities to embed customisable donation forms on their website.

Providing donors with the options to make one-off and regular donations with Gift Aid through various payment methods, the CAF Donate form tailors itself to your charity's branding and seamlessly integrates into your charity's website, without referring donors to a third party. 

Take a look at how charities are using CAF Donate.

CAF Donate responsive donation widget screenshot

4  Make more than one ask

On many charity websites, the only call to action available to supporters is their “Donate Now” button. This misses a major opportunity to engage different types of supporters in different ways and to link their donation to a specific impact right from the beginning of the journey.

Our CAF Donate charities tell us that one of the most effective ways of increasing donations is to have more than one online appeal or fundraising campaign live on your website at the same time. Some donors might be more interested in donating to one project over another. Each one should be linked to the specific impacts that the donations will make.

Another advantage of regularly launching online appeals is that they provide new reasons for supporters to give, with the possibility of linking each new appeal journey you create to a fresh marketing campaign. For instance, many of our CAF Donate charities set up new appeals specifically for Giving Tuesday.

Take a look at how Bournemouth Parks Foundation and Humanity Without Boarders have used multiple appeals on their websites.

5  Make sure you show the Impact

Demonstrate to your donors how the money they donate will make a difference to your cause.

Case studies, testimonials, statistical data and videos from work in the field will give donors the confidence that their contributions are making an impact, and encourage more giving. 

Find out what you should include when demonstrating impact to your donors.

6  Make your website easy to find

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a range of techniques used to help a website get traffic from and rank higher in organic search engine results.

Producing web content about your work and topics relevant to your charity will help to boost the SEO value of your web pages and help your website rank higher for the keywords you feature in it.

Moz has put together an easy way to judge the value of your keywords, and lists a number of free online reporting tools available to help you see which keywords are the most (or least) popular to the topic you are promoting.
 
Regularly producing short articles, refreshing existing ones and writing blogs can all help drive the SEO value of your website.  

Remember, having broken pages and 404 errors will negatively impact your ranking, so make it a habit to review your website regularly to make sure all your pages are working and still relevant.

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Charity resources

FUNDRAISING FUNDAMENTALS

A toolkit to help you put the foundations in place for an effective fundraising strategy

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