3 Website Design Tips to Meet Your Fundraising Deadlines
Picture this: Your nonprofit is coming up on a tight fundraising deadline for your year-end campaign. You’re a few thousand dollars from meeting your goal, and you need to inspire giving quickly. You’ve churned out social media content, sent urgent email updates, and even texted your supporters to give, but you’re not seeing results quickly enough.
This is where tapping into the power of strong web design can help. Your nonprofit website is the foundational hub of your digital presence, helping you to connect with new and existing supporters. By intentionally shaping your website into a fundraising tool, you can keep your fundraising campaigns at the top of supporters’ minds and inspire large-scale giving.
If you’re new to website design or simply looking for a fast and easy way to revamp your site, the right strategies and tools will help streamline this process. Use these expert tips to incorporate your website into your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy:
- Create a user-friendly donation page
- Develop captivating landing pages
- Use simple navigation
Developing a user-friendly and engaging website doesn’t have to be difficult! Do your research to find a comprehensive website builder for nonprofits that offers drag-and-drop editing, ready-to-go website templates, and accessibility features. With a powerful CMS, you’ll be in great shape to add in your content, arrange it to your liking, and upload it in just a few moments.
1. Create a user-friendly donation page
Once prospective donors land on your website, are they met with a simple and engaging way to give to your nonprofit? Your donation page should make it as easy as possible for visitors to support your fundraising campaigns and push your goals forward. To streamline your donation page design, leverage these best practices:
- Limit the number of prompts. Donors should be able to fill out your giving form in just a few moments. Stick to the most essential prompts, including asking donors for their name, contact information, gift amount, and billing information. You can always ask supporters for more information later on through your donor stewardship activities.
- Incorporate accessibility elements. Users of all abilities should be able to readily access your page, fill out the prompts, and submit their donation with ease. To make your donation page accessible, add in alt text for visual elements, increase the color contrast between your foreground and background, and ensure your font size is appropriate. The right CMS will also provide a built-in accessibility widget, giving users the ability to adjust your content to their exact needs.
- Optimize for mobile. According to fundraising statistics from 360MatchPro, mobile-friendly donation pages yield 34% more donations. To capitalize on this opportunity, ensure that your on-page elements automatically resize to fit mobile screens and your donation page has a fast loading speed on mobile and desktop.
- Include a monthly giving option. Monthly giving can help your nonprofit establish a reliable revenue pipeline to support your operations year-round. Make it convenient to sign up by allowing supporters to change their one-time donation to a recurring gift directly on your donation page. Using your payment processor, you can automatically and securely take this amount out of their bank accounts and transfer it to your nonprofit each month.
Once you’ve optimized your donation page, share a mobile-friendly link to your form in your email newsletters, social media, and any other relevant platforms. This way, donors can access the giving experience in just one-click and have a seamless giving experience.
2. Develop captivating landing pages
To help donors learn more about your fundraising campaign and keep your deadlines top of mind, develop visually appealing and informative landing pages. Campaign landing pages allow you to dive deep into the details of your campaign in a dedicated resource and inspire new and existing supporters to give.
Your fundraising campaign landing page should include the following details:
- Your nonprofit’s mission. Some site visitors might be brand new to your organization and interested in learning more about your cause. Help them understand who you are by including your mission statement, verbal branding elements like your messaging and tone, and visual branding elements like your fonts, color scheme, and photos and videos of your beneficiaries.
- Campaign purpose and fundraising goal. Clearly explain the total donation amount you’re seeking and how the donations from your campaign will be used. This will help supporters understand why your organization is worthy of their support and add credibility to your cause.
- Campaign timeline. Let supporters know your fundraising deadline and create urgency by displaying this date and time prominently on your page. Consider also adding a countdown clock to motivate donors to give as soon as possible. As the deadline approaches, send reminders to your supporters to encourage last-minute giving.
- Instructions on how to participate. If your campaign has a peer-to-peer element or invites supporters to get more involved beyond donating, clearly list out how they can do so. For example, you could provide instructions on how to create a personal fundraising page on behalf of your nonprofit and share it with friends and family.
- Event information. Many nonprofits choose to pair their fundraising campaign with an exciting event, like a walk-a-thon, gala, or auction. If you do so, make sure to include event details, such as the date and time of your event, recommended attire, and registration instructions.
Using your website builder, you can embed a donation page directly into your campaign landing page so supporters can donate the moment they feel inspired by your content. Ensure your CMS comes with built-in website templates so you can easily create dynamic landing pages that captivate supporters and encourage them to interact further with your nonprofit.
3. Use simple navigation
Imagine this scenario: A prospective supporter sees your social media content about your fundraising campaign and is eager to support your fundraising efforts. They navigate to your website, but have trouble finding your donation page. After looking around for a few moments to no avail, they leave your website.
When you’re operating around tight fundraising deadlines, you need supporters to submit donations as quickly as possible—and they can’t do so if your donation page is difficult to find. To navigate around this issue and direct supporters to your giving page, you need a streamlined navigation system.
Use these best practices to create a smoother web experience for your donors:
- Feature a bold “Donate Now” button on your navigation bar. To grab your supporters’ attention, Morweb’s guide to the best nonprofit websites recommends visually distinguishing your “Donate Now” button by bolding the text or using a different color within your branding guidelines. Many organizations feature this button in the top right corner to catch the visitor’s eye.
- Create persuasive calls-to-action throughout your content. Thread calls-to-action in intuitive spots within your content where visitors might be inclined to take the next step. For example, if you create a blog post about the impact of your fundraising campaign, you could add a call-to-action button that says “Donate By Friday to Make a Difference.” Link this button to your donation page to make it easy for viewers to donate
- Add a search bar. A search bar gives supporters the ability to type in a keyword and quickly find the exact content they’re looking for. Not only is this helpful for supporters looking for your donation page, but it also helps them find other relevant resources such as your campaign landing page, About Us page, and other key pages.
To track the effectiveness of your navigation system, leverage your CMS to view metrics like the number of daily page visits to your donation page, donation conversion rate, and how supporters are arriving to your donation page. This will inform your web design strategy and point to new ways you can continue to optimize your navigation.
As you build out your website, consider your audience’s interests so you can craft your content (and its placement) with their needs in mind. Remember, a well-designed website is much more likely to pique new visitors’ interests, strengthen your relationships with current supporters, and fuel donations under tight deadlines. Continuously optimize your website with the help of your CMS each time you run a fundraising campaign to inspire increased giving in the future.
Murad Bushnaq is the Founder and CEO of Morweb. Since its inception in 2014, Murad has acted as Creative Director and Chief Technologist to help nonprofits spread their vision online through engaging design, intuitive software and strategic communication.