Online giving

Is Your Website Donor-Friendly?

It’s that time of the year when donors make their year-end gifts. Is your school’s website ready to handle them? To optimize your website’s donation page for easy, feel-good giving, we’ve put together our favorite tips:

Use Fundraising Software – Sure, a link to PayPal or an address for mailing a check will get the job done, but online giving software makes everyone’s’ lives a little easier. Run reports or search through giving history with a couple clicks of the mouse. You can also send automated email thank yous to your donors and well as receipts for year-end tax purposes. Make sure to choose software that integrates with your office’s accounting software for easy import of data.

Introduce (or Remind) Donors of your Cause – Don’t lose donors because they second guess the impact of their gift. You can use a bold banner or picture at the top of your page to create a compelling, emotional appeal. Make sure to include your logo on the page – donors want to make sure they are on the right website before donating! Your giving page should explain where the funds are going (i.e. scholarships for students in need, new buildings and programs, etc.). This is also a great place to post your mission statement or a summary of your school’s mission.

Simplify your Donation Form – Long forms with lots of fields, dropdown menus, and text boxes are discouraging. A clean, simple form with the required information is all that is really necessary and looks much more presentable on your website. Eliminate any repetitive information (i.e. give potential donors the option to check a box if the billing address is the same as their mailing address, rather then re-typing everything out.) Keep required fields to minimum, and place optional fields (such as ‘where did you hear about us?’ or ‘do you want to sign up for our newsletter?’) at the end so donors can skip over them if they wish.

Make sure your site is Mobile Friendly – Most websites and giving software are automatically optimized for mobile viewing, but double check on your phone that the text is large enough to read, and that forms are easy to fill out.

Allow Donors to Create an Account (But only if they Wish!) – Not everyone is comfortable saving their information online. But many donors do like to create an account so that their information is saved for recurring donations. This is the perfect time to ask donors “How often do you with to make this donation?”, with the options of One-Time, Monthly, Twice a Year, etc.

We hope you can use these five tips to attract potential donors for your school! You are invited to learn more about Compuwerx’s tuition and giving software for schools from grades Kindergarten through High School as well as for Colleges and Universities.