It goes without saying that donor retention is an essential part of any nonprofit organization. A nonprofit’s digital presence is one of its most important tools for building and maintaining relationships with donors. It serves as a way to keep donors in touch with your team by displaying all the good work your organization is doing.
As dependence on technology grows, it’s becoming increasingly important that organizations of all sizes rethink and maximize their online marketing strategy to reach donors across all devices.
Your website can mean the difference between securing donors and losing prospects’ interest before they even donate. However, the last place you want to spend your hard-earned fundraising dollars is on a pricey web development expert to code, implement, and maintain your website. Instead, you should invest in a content management system (CMS) that’s easy to manage and will provide consistent value for your organization.
With the help of an intuitive CMS designed for nonprofits, you can engage with your donors using the following web design tips:
- Encourage donations with a well-designed donation page.
- Increase usability by featuring a responsive design.
- Promote important initiatives with a comprehensive calendar.
- Expand your reach with social sharing elements.
There’s no secret to retaining donors. Rather, you need to take a strategic approach to maximize donor engagement. Your approach’s main priority should be consistently updating your website to allow donors to stay up-to-date on your nonprofit’s work.
Take a look at Morweb’s list of best nonprofit websites to see examples of well-designed websites in action. You may pick up on a few elements you want to include on your nonprofit’s website. Now, if you’re ready to learn how your website can boost donor retention, let’s dive in.
1. Encourage donations with a well-designed donation page.
Submitting a donation is when donor engagement is at its peak. Don’t drive donors away with a poorly-designed donation form and a slow interface. Considering that 54% of donors prefer to give online, it’s more important than ever that you design this page with thought and care.
When creating your donation page, design it with the user experience in mind. By featuring a straightforward navigation, more prospects will likely complete the donation process. Luckily, when your nonprofit invests in intuitive donation page building software, optimizing this page is easy. Consider these top tips for securing donations and boosting donor retention:
- Brand the page to your organization. When users click through to your donation page, they shouldn’t feel as though they’ve been redirected to another site. Using third-party vendors may actually require donors to leave your website to make a gift. Instead, make sure your CMS allows you to create and brand your donation page directly on your website with your organization’s logo and colors, so prospects feel secure when giving.
- Only request important information. The more fields donors have to fill out, the more likely they are to abandon their donation. Limit your donation form to one page by requesting only key information such as your supporter’s name, contact information, and payment data.
- Offer multiple ways to give. Accept debit, credit, and eCheck payments so that donors can give whichever way best suits them. Also, offer a recurring gift option and let donors set the size and frequency of the gift, so they can opt in to support your organization long-term.
- Include suggested donation buttons. These take the guesswork out of giving by providing donors with a framework for how much they should donate. These suggested amounts may even inspire some donors to give more than they originally planned.
No matter your design, ensure your donation form is navigable and easily accessible across your site. Drive traffic to this page with compelling calls-to-action and by featuring the link to your form in your navigation bar. Whenever donors feel inspired to donate, they’ll be able to quickly access your donation page and submit their gift. Prioritize the donor experience by learning about and implementing the components of effective donation page design, and watch as donors stick around and continue supporting your nonprofit.
2. Increase usability by featuring a responsive design.
Roughly half of all nonprofit website traffic comes from mobile users, according to this nonprofit fundraising statistics resource. For this reason, there’s a good chance that many of your supporters are interacting with your website via smartphones and tablets. Because of this, an important part of the web development process involves mobile optimization. A well-designed website is one that’s accessible to all users, no matter what device they’re using. To accomplish this, you’ll need to create a responsive website.
A responsive website is one that adjusts the structure, content, and presentation of information in response to the user’s screen size. Not only do these websites look good on mobile devices, but they also make it easy for mobile users to interact with your website.
To reduce the amount of extra work needed to make your website mobile-friendly, be sure to work with a platform that features automatic mobile responsiveness. This way, you won’t need to develop multiple versions of your website for different devices. As you start designing your website for mobile users, keep these best practices in mind to improve the user experience:
- Design for speed. Users won’t wait more than a few seconds for your website to load. In fact, this study shows that if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 40% of users will click away. To quicken page load time, compress your images and reduce the number of animations, videos, and other top-heavy elements.
- Make sure pop-ups scale for mobile. Otherwise, mobile users will struggle to find the “x” to close unwanted pop-ups since it will be off-screen. If they get frustrated, they may abandon your site altogether.
- Include a “call us” button. Remember, these users are accessing your website with their phones. Make it easy for them to contact you with a button that automatically initiates a call on their device.
By not optimizing your content for mobile use, you risk a higher bounce rate (the rate at which users leave your website after only viewing one page). This is a common but easily avoidable web design mistake that many nonprofits make.
When each element on your site adapts to any size screen, you’ll enhance the user experience and encourage prospects to click through to other pages on your website.
3. Promote important initiatives with an updated events page.
The best nonprofit websites act as an engagement resource for supporters. To encourage donors to get involved while exploring your website, feature upcoming events and fundraisers. The best way to do this is by creating and maintaining an up-to-date event listing on your website.
By making an easily-accessible events page, donors will know exactly how they can stay involved with your nonprofit and launch your efforts forward. Consider adding your events page to the navigation menu, so users know exactly where it is the moment they land on your homepage. This also ensures it’s visible across your entire website, which will help to funnel prospects directly to this page.
Once you schedule a new activity, make sure to add it to your events page. Some of these opportunities include:
- Fundraising events
- Donor appreciation events
- Fundraising campaign dates
- Board meetings
In addition to updating donors on important engagement opportunities, you can also add key giving times. Make sure to incorporate important dates such as Giving Tuesday as well as year-end tax receipt deadlines.
Also, ensure your CMS offers built-in events functionality to make this process as smooth as possible. Choosing an events management tool that allows users to easily register or purchase tickets through your website will encourage donors to commit to going. Make sure that this tool allows you to feature a header image, a date and time, and a registration button.
These simple design elements make your events page much more engaging than a generic white calendar. In any case, your tools should streamline the calendar creation process and offer straightforward editing capabilities, so your team can save time and make campaigns and events more accessible.
By maintaining an events page, you can showcase any and all events and initiatives, taking donor engagement to the next level.
4. Expand your reach with social sharing elements.
Your online engagement strategy may start with a well-designed website, but it doesn’t stop there. To fully engage donors and increase your nonprofit’s visibility, you need to connect with them through other online channels. When done correctly, outreach will encourage donors to learn more about your organization, ultimately funneling them back to your website. The best place to start conducting outreach to philanthropic individuals is through social media.
If you interact with supporters on social media, you should include social sharing features on your website. This way, they can share your valuable posts with their friends and family on their favorite platforms with the click of a button.
Incorporating social sharing elements offers the following benefits:
- It meets donors where they are. Different donors prefer different engagement strategies. Some may prefer interacting with you directly on your website while others prefer doing so through social media. By integrating the two channels, you can meet donors’ preferences and give them every opportunity to interact with your organization.
- It helps you reach new donors. When donors can easily share your engaging content with just a few clicks, they’ll be much more inclined to do so. Make sure to include these buttons on blog posts, donation pages, event registration forms, and more, because social sharing serves as an effective and organic way to reach new prospects.
- It maintains consistency. When you take a multi-channel approach to online fundraising, integrating your outreach channels is of the utmost importance. Social sharing buttons serve as a great, simple way to do this. This ensures that your message is consistent across all channels, which in turn helps to build trust and maintain credibility with donors.
Developing a multi-channel nonprofit digital fundraising strategy is essential for growing and maintaining donor support. By incorporating social sharing buttons on your website, you can easily integrate and streamline all of your online marketing efforts.
Making your mark online as a nonprofit shouldn’t seem out of reach. Technology plays an important role as it can simplify the process and substantially enhance your nonprofit’s impact.
By investing in the right web design tools, you can reach new prospects, maximize donor engagement, and secure long-term support. To help expand your reach even further, take a look at Qgiv’s donor retention guide. Apply these best practices to your web design strategy, and you’re sure to secure even more support.