Checklist for an Optimized Online Donation Page

Two individuals looking at laptop with UW Give Now Page


According to the public relations agency, M+R, in 2021, organic website traffic comprised 41% of all nonprofit website traffic. Of those organic visitors, only .11% donated, resulting in the average revenue generated by an organic visitor of 15 cents.


What gives? It’s not that your mission isn’t compelling. It may be that your online donation page is not properly optimized.


Now that online giving is no longer an ancillary method of giving but a critical means to generate funding from individuals, your organization must ensure your online donation pages perform optimally.


Review your online donation page alongside the following checklist and ensure your page is up to these standards:


1. Place your online donation button above the fold on your homepage. 

This means that the user does not need to scroll to view the donation button. Remember, it’s all about simplifying the donation process for your website visitors. The more they need to scroll to give, the less likely they will do so.

Do you use a primary, contrasting button color? This draws the visitor’s attention and increases the conversion rate.

2. Ensure your online donation page is mobile-responsive. 

54% of nonprofit website visitors in 2021 did so on their mobile phones. If your online donation page is not properly optimized for mobile, you will lose critical donations from your supporters.

Use the Google Mobile Friendly Test to check if your website and donation pages are mobile-friendly. 

3. Provide multiple payment methods. 

Just as consumer brands offer multiple payment methods, nonprofit organizations must also offer these same options. By providing the ability to donate via credit or debit card or newer methods such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, Zelle or Venmo, you offer your donors flexibility. This flexibility will make the donation process easier and a positive experience. 

Multiple Payment Options

4. Use compelling imagery. 

Giving is an emotional experience for your donors. By utilizing a single image that reflects your organization’s brand and mission, you evoke an emotional response from your donor. Consider how you want your donor to feel when he or she views your online donation page (inspired or compassionate for example), and select an image that corresponds with that emotion.

In the following Give Now page, 4-H succeeds in utilizing an eye-catching, colorful image that draws the viewer's attention, reinforces their brand, and promotes their current giving campaign. 


5. Promote your monthly giving program.

Offer your donor the opportunity to convert their one-time donation to a monthly donation. Now is the perfect time since they are interested in your cause! Demonstrate the additional impact this support will generate. For example:

Donate $50 monthly to provide 15 students with access to digital educational resources.

By promoting your monthly giving program as an insider’s group of your most passionate donors, you encourage monthly contributions and increase donor loyalty and retention.

6. Offer designations. 

Donors are eager to support specific programs that your organization offers. By providing them the ability to select the program their donation will support, they feel more connected to your mission. If you track this information within your CRM, you then can tailor your follow-up communication with progress reports featuring this program. Another option is to allow your donor to donate his or her contribution to the "Area in Greatest Need." This will direct funding to the initiative or program in most need of support now. 

7. Offer tribute and memorial gifts. 

Donors may feel called to donate if a family member or friend has suffered a hardship or received services from your organization. By offering an option to dedicate a donation in honor or in memory of someone, the donor recognizes this individual and contributes to his or her legacy. Include fields to capture the recipient's information including name and email address so that an automated email is sent notifying the individual of the gift.

8. Provide benefits.

Does your organization offer benefits to donors who contribute at certain thresholds? If so, include these offerings within your online donation pages to incentivize gifts. ArtsWave, the first and largest community campaign for the arts in the nation, offers these benefits. If the donor clicks a higher donation amount, he or she is eligible to select a larger value benefit. 

ArtsWave Give Now Benefits

9. Include your strategic goals. 

Donors love to feel part of a larger mission. By outlining your organization's strategic plan with programmatic goals, your organization motivates donors to be a part of your vision. Check out United Way of Summit & Medina's Bold Goals by 2028. 

UW of Summit & Medina Bold Goals

10. Integrate your online donation page with your CRM. 

The most effective online donation pages integrate with your CRM, so gift amounts, donors' communication preferences, and constituent information sync with your data. This ensures your donor database is up-to-date with the most current information. This integration eliminates any messy manual importing or exporting or data reconciliation. 

Staci Glaser, Director of Development Operations at National FFA Foundation, commented on the efficiencies gained through the utilization of StratusLIVE's online giving solution, Give Now. 

"Give Now has been really great for National FFA. With Give Now, online gifts integrate directly in CRM. This is one less task our gift processing specialist has to do on a daily basis." 

The all-digital world offers immense opportunities for nonprofits to utilize modern digital marketing tactics to convert donors and ensure donor data remains accurate. By adhering to the above checklist, your organization will secure online donations and further engage these donors to become lifelong supporters.

Does your nonprofit organization need an online donation page that integrates with your CRM and offers an unlimited number of giving pages? Check out Give Now: 

Posted by Kelly Perry

Kelly Perry is a Digital Marketing Manager, Nonprofit Solutions at StratusLIVE. She has over eight years marketing and communications experience within nonprofit technology and the publishing industries.