What to Keep in Mind When Designing a Giving Day Website

In this quest post, by Murad Bushnaq, he stresses that Giving Day is indeed about the donors, and not the organization. For it to be a win-win, focus on the donors and keep the communication tuned to bandwidths they hear.

Giving days are effective at raising funds because they encourage supporters to contribute to their favorite nonprofits before time runs out. One of the most popular giving days is Giving Tuesday, which occurs on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving every year and kicks off the year-end giving season. There’s nothing special about this specific day besides many nonprofits encouraging donations. In other words, the drive to donate is entirely created by nonprofits using effective fundraising tactics. 

Your nonprofit can prepare for giving days like this by focusing on Principle 1 of The Eight Principles®: Donors are the Drivers®. To do so, you need to design your website to make the most of the giving day. To help your nonprofit redesign your website to meet your giving day donors’ needs, this article will cover how to:

  • Optimize your donation page. 
  • Make your website accessible. 
  • Ensure your mission is prominently displayed.

With a user-friendly content management system (CMS), most nonprofits will be able to implement these tips themselves, while others might benefit the most from seeking out a nonprofit web design consultant. 

Optimize your donation page. 

Supporters who reach your donation page on a giving day are at a critical point in their engagement, and the right content can convince them to start a long-term relationship with your nonprofit. A few elements you should consider adding to your donation page include:

  • Suggested giving amounts. As Morweb’s guide to donation page design explains, suggested giving amounts allow your nonprofit to increase your overall donations and convert recurring donors by transparently calculating how small and mid-level donations given over time can add up. 
  • Mobile optimization. Make sure all of your page elements reformat to work on mobile devices, and pay extra attention to page speed. 
  • Matching gifts search tool. According to 360MatchPro’s article on matching gifts, 78% of eligible donors have no idea if their employer offers matching gifts. Including a matching gift search tool can help donors research their eligibility. 

With all the ways you can optimize your donation page, don’t forget to keep it short and to the point. Remember, you can still collect valuable donor data with a short donation form! 

Make your website accessible. 

Any website you design should be accessible to all visitors. A few overlooked accessibility features to make sure your giving day donation forms include are:

  • Instructions outside information fields. It’s common to demonstrate what to type into an information field by placing example text or instructions inside of it. However, visitors will lose access to important instructions as soon as they start typing. 
  • Multiple indicators for required fields. Consider using symbols such as an asterisk to mark required fields, or make sure your directions specify which fields are required in plain text. 
  • Multiple ways to access important links. Many nonprofits have large, colorful donation buttons at the top of every page to make sure the link is always visible. In addition to this button, add links in your page’s footer and navigation bar so visitors can click the link that is most convenient for them. 

Most nonprofits should be able to implement these accessibility features themselves. An intuitive CMS may offer a web accessibility widget that allows users to increase the text size, change the font, and adjust the page to greyscale to improve legibility. 

Ensure your mission is prominently displayed. 

Principle 2: Begin at the Beginning™ reminds us of the importance of rooting your fundraising efforts in your mission. While your nonprofit should ensure that its website conveys your mission no matter what fundraising campaign you’re running, emphasizing your mission is especially important for fast-paced fundraisers like giving days. Your nonprofit can effectively spread its message on your giving day website by:

  • Using imagery. Eye-catching images of your constituents, volunteers in action, and your past events can communicate what your nonprofit does far faster than text can. 
  • Sharing stories. The best nonprofit websites don’t just share facts and statistics about their cause. Instead, they share powerful stories from people their nonprofit has personally affected to communicate how meaningful their mission is on an individual level. 

Giving days require your nonprofit to boil down its message into a few short sentences that can be easily understood at first glance, which gives you the chance to really get at the heart of what your work is all about.

Whether your nonprofit is participating in Giving Tuesday later this year or a field-specific giving day, your website can help bolster your fundraising efforts by creating a seamless and informational donation process. And remember, the right CMS will make optimizing your giving day website a breeze. 

Murad Bushnaq is the Founder and CEO of Morweb. Since its inception in 2014, Murad has acted as Creative Director and Chief Technologist to help nonprofits spread their vision online through engaging design, intuitive software and strategic communication.