As someone who accidentally stumbled into the role of fundraising (and to be honest, didn’t initially like it), I’ve learned many important lessons. One of the most significant takeaways for me is that the donor’s experience throughout the entire giving process is critical.
While your donors won’t get to directly experience your programs, they do get a giving experience. Are you providing them with one that is engaging and helps immerse them in your organization? While many non-profits are great when it comes to storytelling, there are many common mistakes that are made when it comes to your campaign landing page. Let’s take a broader look at how to design an effective GivingTuesday landing page.
Why Do People Leave a Landing Page Without Donating?
Before exploring some components that help increase your success in fundraising, we must first think about the things that cause people not to donate. When someone clicks over to a fundraising landing page, they are highly considering making a donation. So, what causes them to leave without punching in their credit card digits? Here are four possible reasons:
- Flow to Friction – this occurs when the fundraising landing page is too incongruent with the rest of your campaign materials. Many organizations spend hours agonizing over the right decisions for newsletters and e-mails only to have a generic landing page that creates friction.
- Fear – identity theft and online scams are major concerns these days, making many people leery. People expect a GivingTuesday landing page to have colors, fonts, and designs that reflect the rest of your organization’s materials. When they look generic, it can increase fear.
- Confusion – this can occur when your prospective donors simply do not fully understand “the why” behind their donation. What will their donation help? There is a need for transparency in this process.
- Distraction – while transparency is important, concise transparency is the goal. Organizations that place too much text or links away from your fundraising landing page ultimately risk losing a prospective donor that won’t find their way back to the donation portal.
Storytelling as a Core Strategy
Storytelling is absolutely critical for non-profits to succeed. This is both an art and a science. Storytelling is integral for non-profits.
While we may be tempted to leverage data and statistics about our mission and efforts, the reality is that logical arguments don’t generate donations – emotional connections do. These connections are built from having strong storytelling.
Of course, I’m not arguing for neglecting data and statistics. These are important components of telling your story. However, an effective story will supplement its emotional appeal with data rather than relying on the data to drive the message. Storytelling is likely already a part of your newsletters and other marketing – it should be on your fundraising landing page as well.
Take on a Donor’s Lens
One of the most important strategies for improving your fundraising landing page is to take a look through the lens of a donor. Looking at your donation process as a whole – and specifically, your landing page – through a donor’s eyes will help you to better get a sense of what donors will see, think, and feel.
This will help you to begin to sense any confusion, fear, friction, or distractions that come to light. A good way to do this is to ask colleagues or friends to take a look through the process and provide feedback.
However, when it comes to evaluating the donor experience, there are three specific things that you should seek to assess:
- Stimulate Curiosity/Interest – effective campaigns and landing pages will help further the already existing interest in your work but will do so in a concise, clear manner.
- Build Urgency – perhaps most important is the ability to generate a sense of immediacy and urgency. This has been shown to be an effective way to move people to action. This is where the emotional appeals will really shine. How does the issue your organization addresses impact the donor’s community?
- Quantify Impact – This is where transparency comes into play. Organizations that utilize donation buttons to demonstrate impact tend to have more success by helping donors understand how their money specifically helps.
Four Core Components of an Effective GivingTuesday Landing Page
When designing your fundraising campaign landing page, here are four important things to keep in mind.
Clear, Consistent Messaging
There are many ways to demonstrate clear and consistent messaging. It is important that your landing page looks similar to your overall organization’s site and aesthetic. However, content is key too. You should have the following:
- An engaging headline
- Clear, concise text showcasing an emotional, impactful story
- Strong imagery or even video content that supports your storytelling
- A clear call to action featuring clickable buttons such as “Donate” or “Fundraise for Us”
One thing that can help create a sense of urgency is including some real-time metrics. These are great in showing major information about the campaign. For example, consider including the following:
- A fundraising thermometer or graphic showing the goal and amount received to date
- A count of the total number of donations received to date
- A countdown (in days or the exact time) to the end of the campaign
Opportunities for Engagement
A great way to motivate your donors is to provide opportunities for engagement. People who engage with an organization are more likely to donate while those seeing others engage are also more likely to invest. Here are some great ways to do this:
- Provide social proof by including comments from donors, listing gifts (allow donors to opt out when they donate), or provide stories about fundraising teams.
- Provide prospective donors with clickable buttons that allow quick and easy sharing on their social media, which can help them spread the word to their colleagues and friends.
- Provide easy-to-find contact information for your organization so that questions can be answered.
Make It Personal
Finally, you want to make your fundraising landing page as personal as possible. This can be done in many ways and the following should definitely be considered:
- Text should have a warm, welcoming tone and feel like a human voice including custom error messages.
- Include encouragement throughout the process such as encouraging messages on each screen.
- Use custom buttons that personalize the impact such as “Donate $125 to feed a family for a month.”
- Have a custom confirmation e-mail that addresses the donor by name and provides more context about how their donation will help.
If you are like me and have found yourself initially being a bit stressed about the prospect of fundraising, don’t fret! I learned to love fundraising and to also be quite good at it. If this is an area I can get right, it is certainly one you can excel at too!
Fortunately, there is a lot of science behind fundraising. When developing your GivingTuesday landing page for the upcoming campaign season, keep the tips in this article in mind.