Donating to charity is an emotional decision, not a rational one, so charities need to ensure that they fully explain their story on their website, detailing what their cause is and their goal from fundraising. This means there’s going to be a lot of information to digest and as a result websites can be crowded, dense with copy and not so easy to navigate around.
What’s your goal? Do you want people to donate to your charity directly? Are you looking for volunteers? Or do you simply want to raise awareness of an issue? With our tips to improve your user experience, you can ensure your call-to-actions will be noticed!
What is user experience?
Defined by the International Organization for Standardization, it is a “person’s perceptions and responses resulting from the use and/or anticipated use of a product, system or service.” In this case that would be your website or app, and how easy it is to use in order to reach your goals. Often referred to as UX, implementing simple changes to improve your user experience can directly impact the quantity of donations and the amount raised.
1. Make sure your website is mobile responsive
You’d think this would go without saying, but even now in 2017 there are still a number of companies out there that haven’t adapted their sites. Make sure that your site is mobile responsive, this means the pages will automatically fit to the size of any device, mobile or tablet screen, ensuring the font and images are still in a readable size and the viewer can easily move from page to page. In 2016, donations made via mobile rose to 17% and here at Givergy a whopping 65% of users access www.givergy.com from their smartphones!
2. Ensure your message is clear
Explain in simple terms, what your cause is trying to do, who you are trying to help and more specifically - if you are asking for people to donate - where exactly that money will go and what it will be spent on. This should be mentioned upfront, in your headline or the first paragraph, to immediately inform visitors they are in the correct place.
3. Use case studies
Tell real stories about the people who you have helped. This can play on people’s emotions, offering them a connection to your cause and impact funds raised. PHASE Worldwide said “encourage donations by clearly highlighting what each size donation can provide.” E.g. £50 can feed a family for 6 months.
4. Make your donation button stand out and easy to find
CTA’S (Call-To-Actions) should be in a prominent place, in a standout colour and clearly explain what the button will do. Repeat them on each page, if necessary, and use specific terms like ‘donate here’ to clearly explain what the button will do, rather than just ‘submit’.
5. Use default donation amounts
Make life easy for people and give them a few donation amounts to choose from e.g. £10, £25 or £50. Look back at your donation history and see which amounts are most common. This saves the user having to think of an amount to donate and will also encourage those that were originally thinking of donating a lesser amount, to jump up to the next level, simply for ease of use.
6. Don’t ask for unnecessary information
Studies have shown that for every extra field you ask someone to fill out, your conversion rate will decrease. When the Norwegian Cancer Society reduced their donation forms from 11 fields to 4, the number of completed forms increased by 140%. Experts say this is because making a donation is an emotional decision, not a rational one. If you start making people use the rational parts of their brains by completing complex forms, you're going to lose their gifts.
7. Use a trusted payment provider
Encourage donations by using a well-known and trusted payment provider. Using a third-party who is PCI compliant will put your sponsors mind at ease. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard ensure card details are processed and stored securely. Once you’ve chosen your preferred provider, include the PCI compliance stamp of approval on your payment check-out page, this will give donors ease-of-mind, knowing that their personal and financial details are secure.
8. Make it easy to subscribe
Email campaigns are proven to drive donations; the percentage of donors motivated to give online by an email has jumped up by 40% since 2015! Place an email subscription field in a prominent place to encourage people to sign up. Your previous donors will enjoy seeing how their money is making an impact and potential donors can be persuaded to support your cause!
How do you know what aspects of the site need to be changed?
Research and test! Ask individuals not associated with your charity to run through your website, look at which pages they instinctively go to, how far down the page they scroll and what copy they skim over. Ask those individuals what they think the purpose of the site is. If their ideas don’t align with yours, then you’ll need to change your call-to-actions. Look at your site analytics to figure out which pages on your site users spend the most time on and where they click! Once you’ve done all this you’ll be able to improve the overall experience for every single visitor to your site and you should see a direct improvement from this. Even if you have a small budget there are tons of free tools to provide the data points you need to make an informed decision.
Fiona Warner, Givergy’s UX Designer said “User experience is a modern field, but it’s been in the making for about a century. With the growth of personal computing and the web, the importance of creating clear, flowing and delightful human-computer interaction has also grown. People often connect UX with user interface design, but this is only part of the story. UX doesn’t even have to be just about the tech product, it relates to anything that a human interacts with, including services.”
*Stats from Wired, Stylus, Institute of Fundraising, Blackbaud Institute