Follow these tips for advancement donation page success
Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

With the prominence of online giving today, the advancement donation page on your school’s website has become vital.

But after all the work that goes into engaging and stewarding supporters, it’s important that your website has everything it takes to convert them. Here, we look at what makes a donation page perform as well as possible:

Advancement donation page design

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to the web, design certainly matters. There are three keys to the style of an advancement donation page. The design should be:

  • Simple: A complicated page will confuse your supporters at the point when you want to make it simple for them to complete their task. An effective donation page should avoid clutter and any unnecessary elements.
  • Modern: Making sure your donation page looks up-to-speed gives the impression that your organization is as well. An outdated look-and-feel, on the other hand, would suggest that your school is relying on older, less-efficient practices.
  • Mobile-optimized: With the continually-rising percentage of donations that come from mobile devices and tablets, you will want to make sure that your form shows up clearly on any type of screen.

Include a final appeal

While you certainly don’t want to clutter your page, it can be very effective to include one more appeal above or beside your donation form. In some cases, your supporters may hesitate before making their gift. In others, they will become distracted and leave the page open on their screen. When they return to it later, a short message reminding them of the reason for a gift can help conversions.

This message can take a few forms. You can share a message from someone who benefits from the gift or from your school’s senior leadership. Alternatively, you can recap the main message from the appeal that sent them to the donation page as a quick reminder.

Read More: Wondering how to write a great advancement appeal? Read about the four factors that influence higher education donors.

Suggested donation levels

Suggested donation levels are a tactic that don’t always make an impact on conversion rates. However, they do tend to improve the average gift amounts that your school receives.

Your form should give a few options – typically between three and seven – of recommended amounts to give. These amounts will help guide your supporter, and can often encourage them to give a bit more than they would have otherwise.

Of course, you should still include an “Other” option where the donor can enter their own amount. This will help prevent them from becoming discouraged if none of choices fit them. Still, you will often see that a donor increases the amount they will give when they see an option that is a bit higher than what they had planned.

Offer various giving types

You want to make it as easy for your supporters to donate as possible. That includes providing them options to give in the way that best suits their interests and needs.

The most common giving options are one-time and recurring gifts, both of which should be offered on your donation form. Many of your donors will also want their gift to be made in honor or in memory of someone else, which should be made an option to them.

If applicable, you may want to offer the option to direct funds to a specific functional area at your school. For example, some donors will want to make sure their gift goes towards the library, while others will want it to go towards scholarships.

Match your school’s branding

Even as online payments become more commonplace, many people remain wary of giving out their credit card details online. You can help alleviate these concerns by making it clear that the donation form is your organization’s and not a third-party’s.

When possible, it is best to place the donation form right on one of your webpages, so that the donor doesn’t have to leave your URL to make their gift.

If you must transfer them to another website or URL, you should ensure that the branding matches your school’s as closely as possible. This includes properly using logos and color schemes exactly as they are on your existing website.

Automatic receipting

The giving experience doesn’t end when the submit button is pressed. It is also crucial that your donation form triggers an automatic receipt that is sent to your supporter as soon as possible – within a few minutes at the very most.

These automatic receipts are valuable to your donors for tax purposes, and they also give them a confirmation that the gift was made successfully. This will prevent them from worrying about fraud or whether they accurately completed your form.

Be sure that the receipt sent to your donors follows the guidelines in your region to avoid any complications for both your organization and your supporters.

Curious how your donation page compares?

We’re excited to offer a free donation page assessment for higher education institutions! Just click here to request your free, personalized assessment.

Advancement Donation Page Assessment


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