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An increasing number of nonprofits have started placing their donation button above the fold on their websites. What this means is that the donate now button is prominently displayed at the top of every page. Items above the fold also remain at the top of the page, no matter how far down you happen to scroll, making it easy for visitors to click to give at any time.

With the growing popularity of this practice, it might seem redundant to include a separate donation page in your site’s navigation. While it might look like a bit of overkill if you have a donate button above the fold, including a donation page on your site is still an important part of fulfilling your visitor’s expectations. It also gives you another opportunity to explain the impact of one-time and reoccurring contributions.

The following are a few best practices to help you design a donation page that encourages visitors to get involved and make a difference.

Keep Your Donation Page Clear and Concise

Avoid the temptation to bombard donors with too much information on your donation form, as this can lead to frustration and make them tempted to click away. Avoid using Flash, or overly large images, that can slow down page loading. Use responsive design to optimise your site for mobile visitors.

Simplify your donation form so that it has only a few fields, and is quick and easy to fill out.

Make your call to action clear. Include descriptions of the impact of giving at different levels. Make certain that it is easy for donors to choose to make a one-time gift, or a regularly reoccurring contribution. Use tools that make it easy for potential donors to contribute at levels that qualify for matching funds.

Emphasise Security to Reassure Potential Donors

Some potential contributors are reluctant to donate online. Reassure them that your site is safe by using PCI compliant processors for all of your payments. Be certain to include their security logos on your donation page.

Use Your Thank You Page to Simplify Your Donation Page

Since you want to make donating as simple and straightforward as possible, some of the information that you might be tempted to include on the donation page is best moved to the thank you page.

Once the donation is complete, your site should take your donor directly to the thank you page, where it’s a good idea to include information on other ways that donors can help your cause, such as volunteering and advocacy.

The thank you page is also a good time to remind donors to stay connected with your nonprofit and keep up-to-date on the latest developments. Include buttons that make it easy for them to sign up for your newsletter and alerts about upcoming events.

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donorsMany nonprofits place the focus of their fundraising efforts on broadening their base of support, and increasing the reach of their messaging in order to recruit new donors. Retaining your current donors, however, is just as important as attracting new ones.

Generally, it’s easier to convince an existing donor to donate again than it is to convince individuals that are unfamiliar with your organisation to donate to your cause. This is because your current donors are likely already acquainted with your nonprofit’s mission and the important work that your NFP does to help its community.

While existing donors are already aware of the good work that you do, that doesn’t mean that you no longer have to put forth any effort if you want to receive additional contributions. In fact, it can require a great deal of follow-up and interaction to retain an existing donor and encourage them to continue to donate on a regular basis.

Maintaining the relationship and encouraging donor engagement is critical, the following are a few tips to improve your relationship with your existing network of donors so that they are more likely to want to continue to support your cause.

Show Gratitude

One reason way some donors choose to not make repeat donations is that they do not feel as though their contributions are appreciated. On your organisation’s website, make certain that you are expressing a heartfelt thank you to all donors, regardless of the level of their donation. Ensure that your online donations send an automatic expression of thanks at the moment that the donation is made.

To encourage repeat donations, especially to contributors who make larger contributions, or re-occurring payments, use a more personal touch to show your thanks. A handwritten note sent by post, a telephone call, or even taking the time to thank the donor in person all require extra effort and show your donors that your organisation truly appreciates their support.

For regular donors, and large donations, you might even consider sending complimentary free tickets to your nonprofit’s next gala, ball, auction or other event to show your appreciation and gratitude. Offering donors, perks, awards and other forms of recognition goes a long way towards building a relationship with your donors and keeping them happy and engaged with your nonprofit.

Keep them Updated

Donors are more likely to continue to contribute to your nonprofit when you keep them updated and informed about your latest, news, events and projects on a regular basis. Ensure that your website has a page that is devoted to interest stories that show the impact of your non-profit’s work.

Use social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep donors updated as well as to offer recognition for their efforts by giving individuals donors a shout out when they participate and give during special drives and other fundraising events.

Make certain that you post updates on items of interest to your donors in all of your nonprofit’s publications, including newsletters, emails, podcasts, and videos. Donors normally contribute because they want to make a difference and they are more likely to contribute on a regular basis when they can “see” the progress that your nonprofit is making towards fulfilling its mission.

Be Transparent

Donors are more likely to give to nonprofits when they trust them and the individuals that are involved with the day to day operations of the organisation. Take steps to increase your NFP’s transparency. Publish financial updates that show the status of your nonprofit’s financials. Devote a specific page to financials on your nonprofit’s website and update it frequently. Include staff pages and short biographies for board members, administrators and other employees or volunteers so that donors can learn about the backgrounds and personalities of those who are integrally involved in your organisation.

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Portrait Of Kitchen Staff In Homeless ShelterAustralians as a whole, are known for their giving natures, with many Australians reporting that they give both money and time each year to their favourite causes. According to a 2014 report by The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS), nearly one-third of all adult Australians volunteer hours each year to a non-profit organisation. A 2014 report from Charity Navigator also states that individual donations to non-profits by Australian adults totalled $258.5 billion AUD last year.

With so many individuals giving to charity, you may wonder why your business should donate resources to their community. But, just as many individuals derive several benefits when they give, businesses also reap several rewards when they make the effort to give back. The next time that you are on the fence as to whether or not your business should donate or volunteer for a cause, consider the following three ways that giving back boosts your business.

Giving Builds Stronger Teams and Increases Morale

All of us benefit when we feel that our work is meaningful and makes a difference. When businesses give back to the community, it helps associates to feel as though they are part of something that is bigger.

You can encourage your workforce to increase their giving, and build a stronger team in the process, by offering to match the funds that they give as individuals. Increase morale and introduce a fun competitive element by placing workers on teams that compete to raise or donate the most to the cause.

Don’t forget to offer special recognition or a reward for the team that volunteer the most time or raises the most funds. By working together to help others, your associates forge bonds of trust and mutual respect with one another that they will carry back to the workplace. Greater harmony, cooperating and job satisfaction is often the result.

Volunteering Provides Opportunities to Learn New Things

When you and your associates assist your community through volunteer work, you gain an opportunity to discover different perspectives as well as to learn new skills. This is especially true when the volunteer work that you and your workforce perform is significantly different from the regular duties that you perform in the workplace.

Volunteer work often places you and your associates in a different environment, so it is a great way to shake up routines and help everyone to start to think in new and creative ways. Learning new skills and boosting creativity can all lead to innovation in processes when you and your team return to your business.

Just Like Life, Business is About Building Connections and Having Fun

By stepping out of your normal routines and habits through volunteer work, you give yourself and your associates the opportunity to connect with others in the community. You not only improve your company’s reputation within your community, but you also increase the pride and connection that both workers and clients feel for your business.

Donating time, money and other resources to your favourite cause is also the perfect way to show just what you and your business value and will help to draw others to you and your business that share your values.

As you and your associates take the time to give back on the corporate level, don’t be surprised if you find that you are having fun! Embrace the energy and use it to help you and the other members of your organisation stay motivated to keep pushing towards your goals!

With so many benefits to be gained when your business gives back to the community, it’s easy to see why the adage of “it’s better to give than receive” continues to ring true!  If it seems as though your associates are stuck in a rut and your business is struggling to get everyone on the same page, then it’s time to boost your business by giving back!

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