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organization on the web before you donate

Organize online before you donate

Did you know that 58% of donors say they search an organization before the donation, according to a Donor Trends survey?

So, if you are not considering whether your website meets the needs of your donors, I suggest you start ... and soon.

Because you literally can not think about it. Here are some recommendations on how to improve the experience of donors, prospects, and institutions that visit your site.

Donatella Versace 1997


Organize online before you donate
Organize online before you donate

Introduce yourself. Your homepage should contain an amazing, engaging, zero-point image of the second that shows who you are and what you do. Anyone reading it must understand what you are now.

Get Emotional. If you go to your website and do not feel anything, it is likely that you are not getting any money.

Show me the work you're talking about. Give me pictures Give me stories change life. Give me a reason to answer.

Make a strong case. Be sure to answer the question, "Why should I give you my money?" Regardless of how describing you feel your organization is, you must make the case for why you are worth supporting.


Make it easy to find things. If people can not find it fast, they are not going to stick around. Especially online.

Clear navigation is critical. Not sure if your navigation is clear?

Invite a few people who do not know your organization well (if at all) and have not been on your site before to come in and play with it.

Ask them to find a few things on your site and watch where they go to look for them. You'll learn a lot.

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Building Trust

Tell us where you spend the money you get from donations.

More and more, donors want to know how their contributions will be used. Include expenditure pie charts showing where the money goes.

You should also include links to your annual report, your 990s, and your audited financial statements.

Virtually no one wants to look at things at this level of detail. But it's the message you're sending that's important -

"We have nothing to hide and we're happy to show our books to anyone who wants to see them."

Show that you're reliable and legitimate. If you have graphics from Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau, display them prominently on your home page and your donate page.

If you do not, then show off some other kind of endorsement from someone outside your organization - quotes of support or testimonials from supporters outside the organization go a long way.

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Name names. List who's on your board and make sure you keep it up to date. The same goes for the staff.

Listing employees who no longer work there does not send a good message.

And your staff list should also include phone numbers and email addresses for each person.

Put your contact info on every page. The name of your organization as well as the address, phone number, fax, and an email address should be on the bottom of every page, not just on the contact page.

Keep the site fresh and up to date. If you list your events, newsletters, press coverage, etc, on your site, make sure your last post is not from 2007.

It's equally important to make sure older links throughout your site are still active, so periodically test those as well.

donatella Versace young

Giving and More

Have a big, bold donate button above the fold. No one should miss your "Donate" button.

It should appear on every page and stand out from the rest of the navigation.

Visitors should be able to find it in 2 seconds flat! Anytime someone is moved to give, you want that button to be right there.

Offer safe, secure online giving. Be sure you have encryption technology for donation processing.

And display whatever logo or badge says it's secure above the fold on your donation page. It should be one of the first things visitors see.

Give an offline giving option. For people who do not want to donate online, provide a form they can download and mail back to you.

Request more money. No one wants to feel like you're just looking for their money. Give opportunities for volunteering and your organization's involvement beyond the donation.

But do not do it at the same time or at the same place as your application for donations. This will confuse things only. Make one ask at a time.

Now, go to have a look at your website. How do you measure?

This article was previously featured in the July 2010 issue of Keep the Change, a free monthly fundraising newsletter.

Donatella Versace

Donatella Versace Young

Plasma Donation

Donatella Versace 1997

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Find an organization before you donate. Did you know that 58% of donors say they are searching for a web institution before donating,