Is Your Website Donor-Friendly?
In one of our previous posts, we talked about how you can improve your website’s User Experience (UX) and for nonprofits, one of our most important user groups is the Donor community. Our donors make it possible for us to succeed in achieving the causes we stand for, but did you know that there are certain ‘donation-killers’ on our websites that could potentially drive donors away? Take a look at these statistics that are the results of a Donation Usability Research conducted by the Nielsen Group in 2009:
- 47% of the 'donation killers' were usability problems relating to page and site design such as cluttered pages, confusing workflow, and unintuitive information architecture. To quote Jakob Nielsen, 'If the customer can't find the product, the customer can't buy it'.
- 53% were content related issues such as including unclear or missing information and unclear terms.
These donation killers fall under the big umbrella issue of poor communication. As Nielesn says, nonprofits must clearly communicate their value proposition
if they want to attract online donations and, sadly, this is where nonprofits are falling short.
So, how can we make sure that our websites do not have the above donation killers? Nielsen's study offers more valuable information as well as a few insights on how nonprofits could improve their websites and make them a great fundraising tool.
1. What does a donor want to see?
According to the study, donors want to know what
the organization does (mission, goals
) and how
it will use their donations. In short, Take a look at your website. How easy is it to find this information? How many pages do the users have to navigate through to reach this vital information? Here is a screenshot of WebServes'
Home page with the Mission and Objectives:
2. Where is the donation information?
Surprisingly, on 17%
of the sites in the Nielsen Research, the users couldn’t find where to make a donation. In a previous post
, we touched on the topic of the necessity of having a prominent ‘Donate’ button and a good Donate page with enough information and a call to action.
At WebServes, our 'Donate' button is part of our header that appears on every page.
3. How can a donor contribute?
“Giving money on charity websites is 7% harder than spending money on e-commerce sites.”
In a follow up study
conducted by Nielsen in 2011, the researchers found that “completing the actual donation process took the users 7% more time on average than it took users to complete an e-commerce checkout process.” This is partly because e-commerce websites have a quicker and more streamlined checkout process and partly because it is harder to give
money away than it is to spend
So, make it easier for the donor to give! Have shorter forms to fill out. Have flexible, secure payment options. For example, we have a short, 3-step online donation process powered and secured by WePay
4. Who can a donor communicate with in case of questions?
This can be addressed very easily by having an up-to-date 'Contact Us' page and having the Contact information displayed on the Donation page as well. You could also have it as a page footer like we do:
The study notes that fixing a minor usability problem could potentially increase donations by 10% which is a significant amount for donor-dependent organizations. As Jakob Nielsen puts it, 'to improve fundraising, speak plainly and answer donors' main questions, and money will flow your way.'
Do you have other ways in which websites can be improved to be more donor friendly? Share them with us!