Online payment

Fundraising advice


It's essential for charities to accept donations online. Here we look at how you can optimise the online donation journey for your supporters.

Put yourself in a donor’s shoes for a minute.

You’ve visited a charity’s website and looked around a bit. You understand the cause, feel a connection with the charity, and you’re now at the point where you’re ready to make a donation.

You click the ‘Donate now’ button and you’re re-directed to a third-party fundraising website. At this point you might be asked to register with the third-party site, agree to their terms and conditions and their own marketing consent statement.

Now because they’ve made the decision to donate, most donors will carry on to complete their donation. That’s job done for fundraisers, isn’t it?

Well, according to research for Charity Checkout by Maru/Usurv, given the choice 89% of UK donors would prefer to donate via a charity’s own website rather than via a third-party platform. And almost half of donors said they are ‘put off’ making a donation if they have to join a third-party fundraising platform to do so.

Take a second to think about that. How could these attitudes be impacting the donations your charity receives online?

People who responded to the survey also said they would be willing to give more when dealing directly with charities. Nearly half said they would donate more generously via a charity’s own website.

But why is this? The answer lies in the fact that most donors want to have direct relationships with the charities they donate to. Not the platforms they donate through.

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

Making your online donation journey a part of your own website is one way you can do this. It’s easier to do than you might think and there are lots of excellent examples you can learn from...

Embed the donation form on your website

BuildAid have done a great job of embedding their donation form on their website.

By doing this they’re able to surround it with their own brand and ensure that their supporters know they are dealing directly with them.

They've also surrounded the donation form with images of the people they support to help emphasise the impact that their donors money will have.

Own the marketing consent statement

Build Aid's form is a part of their website so their supporters aren’t required to create accounts with third-party fundraising sites that they might not want to use.

It also means that they own the marketing consent statement – so their supporters can be sure they’re agreeing to be contacted by the charity and not the donation platform.

BuildAid Donation Page

Share how your donors are making an impact

A final example from the 2018 Charity Awards overall winner, Who Cares? Scotland.

They’ve put their donation form on their website and aligned it next to their fundraising story for greater impact. This is a great way of re-inforcing to their supporters how their donation will make a difference.

Also, notice how they’ve changed the colours of the ‘Back’ and ‘Next’ buttons on their form so that they match with their brand colours. This is a small thing but by making sure you have this consistency you will breed familiarity amongst donors, and in turn, breed their trust.

WhoCares Scotland Donation Page

Next steps

It’s so important to think about how your supporters engage with your charity – and the online donation journey is just one of those points of contact. So, take the time to step into your donors shoes and re-visit your online donation journey. Are you confident it’s the best it can be?

How we can help

CAF Donate is our donations processing tool for charities. Here’s how it can help you improve the online donation journey for your supporters:

  • CAF Donate allows you to tailor your donation pages to seamlessly integrate with your website, meaning that your donors don’t feel distracted from their giving journey.
  • CAF Donate doesn’t ask your supporters to create accounts with third-party partners that they may not want to use.
  • CAF Donate donors are your donors, meaning that you and you alone can communicate with them and they won’t receive ‘promotions’ from other charities or parties.

If you're a CAF Donate user log in now and set up your own branded online donation pages.

Get more online donations


With CAF Donate you can easily create customised online donation pages and add them to your website.

Find out more

Charities Aid Foundation © | Registered Charity Number 268369
25 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4TA
10 St. Bride Street, London EC4A 4AD
Telephone: 03000 123 000