December 15, 2020

What Makes A Good Giving Page

Filed under: Branding,Communications — lidia @ 10:03 am

Photo by Akil Mazumder from Pexels

The ultimate goal of any giving page is to encourage visitors to make a donation. After filling out 10+ donate forms during this year’s GivingTuesday, I jotted down some best practices and I took note of the most engaging elements of a well designed giving page. 

The key to success is a good user experience, and while your supporter is there keep them involved. Whether you are creating a giving page for the first time or need to refresh your organization’s page with new content, here are 5 things to consider when designing a giving page. 

Focus on Branding

The giving page is an extension of your website. It’s important to create a trustworthy page by including your logo and your organization’s color palette. This simple step reassures visitors they are still on your site while making their donation. In a 2020 report, Nonprofit Tech For Good noted branded pages raise 6 times more funding than generic pages. Inspire your supporters to take action! Include compelling images, create an uplifting video message and add testimonials of who you serve.

Be sure to share how donation dollars were put to use over the past year. Network for Good reports donors give 38% larger gifts to branded donation pages than to generic pages. 

I love the giving page at All Stars Project Inc. They incorporate the spirit of their organization with a moving image. Their logo and color palette are clearly identifiable in the top left corner of the website and the organization’s mission is clear. They even provide a snippet of what your donation dollars can provide.  

All Stars Project Giving Page

Good Functionality

Great content is step one. Collecting the donation is step two. Don’t lose your visitor with a complicated form and too many steps. 

Make donating easy and inspiring with these simple best practices.   

  • Ensure your donate button is easy to find. Most are located above the fold (the fold is that imaginary line at the bottom of the page before scrolling downward).  Try placing the donate button at the top right corner of the page.  
  • Make your donate button stand out in a bright color.  
  • Provide options by suggesting donation amounts at various levels: $10, $25, $50, $75, $100.
  • Share what your supporter’s donation will provide or allow supporters to choose what the donation should go toward.
  • Offer a recurring donation option, making it easy for supporters to keep contributing.
  • Allow visitors to dedicate the donation in honor or in memory of someone.
  • Ensure a receipt is automatically provided at the end of the transaction and in an email. 
  • Add a friendly reminder that the donation is tax deductible in the U.S. 
  • You might also want to mention the CARES Act temporarily suspended contribution limits.

Cradles to Crayons is a great example of an easy donation form and includes many of the tips above providing a feel good experience. 

Cradles to Crayons Giving Page

Be inclusive of all donors

Make donating fun by celebrating a variety of ways to give. Start with a low amount ($10.00) so everyone can get involved.  Encourage free ways to give such as social sharing, invite family and friends to join, volunteer time, donate skills, organize an event or create a birthday fundraiser on social media. 

Don’t forget to highlight additional charitable ways donors can support your organization. Include information on corporate donations, employer donation matching, stock gifts, in-kind support, and estate planning options. 

Hope for Widows is a great example of starting with a low amount, making the experience more inclusive.

Hope For Widows

 Audience Engagement

Don’t lose a captive audience. Keep them engaged to the end. Once your supporter hits the submit button, encourage them to explore your site and learn more about you. 

Here are a few ideas you may want to consider: 

  • If you didn’t share with donors what their dollars provide on the donation form, share the information via a link or video.
  • Add a link to your site’s most popular articles.
  • Add a link to get involved with your organization. 
  • Add a link to join your next event. 
  • Invite donors to join your email list and choose how frequent they want to hear from you: weekly, monthly, quarterly.
  • Invite donors to follow your organization on social media.
  • Offer a donor FAQ page.

Have a Follow-up Plan

Be sure to write a meaningful thank you. Keep donors committed to your organization’s mission by sharing impactful stories of your accomplishments. Show how your donor’s hard earned dollars are being put to use. Don’t always ask donors for more money but definitely have a plan to ask again. Supporters will only donate again if they feel connected to your organization. On-going communication is vital to future fundraising success.

There you have it! A good giving page improves your fundraising performance. Classy reported one-time donors who started on donation pages are more likely to return than donors who started on peer-to-peer campaigns or ticketed event campaigns. This means solid branding, a compelling message, good functionality, providing a variety of ways to give and keeping your audience engaged are critical to meeting fundraising goals. 

To learn more about how branding can impact your organization, read my post on why your nonprofit needs brand guidelines and how to create them. 

It’s never too early to start preparing for GivingTuesday! Read my series on creating effective GivingTuesday branding and marketing

 

September 21, 2020

Making My “Stitch”

Filed under: Communications — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

I admit to having a feeling of powerlessness as I watched the recent news of racial injustice unfold. That is, until I watched a Wethos talk on how to establish an anti-racist workplace featuring diversity educator, speaker, and trainer Susan X. Jane.

In her talk, Susan explains that we are knitting a giant sweater: each of us can only make one stitch, so you must focus on a stitch that will make it stronger. This beautifully put everything into perspective for me: I don’t have to try to make a monumental change, I can start small, choose something I’m good at, and make my “stitch.”

As I’ve watched multiple talks and webinars over the last few months, taken notes and tweeted my takeaways, I quickly realized my “stitch” is collecting and sharing resources—something I’m passionate about in general.

I’m starting by curating a list of organizations who are making a change for racial equity (including many of my clients) as well as sharing my takeaways from related talks and webinars. I will keep adding resources as I go along in the hopes of bringing more awareness, as well as helping others in their journey.

Resources

February 11, 2020

RECAP: #GivingTuesday 2019 Impact Report

Filed under: Communications — lidia @ 10:00 am

Giving Tuesday 2019 Report Recap

#GivingTuesday first started in 2012 with the mission to inspire collective action towards improving communities and creating real change. Since then, the movement has done just that—igniting acts of kindness, both big and small, all over the world.

This year’s Impact Report gives an overview of #GivingTuesday 2019, showing how “when people demonstrate generosity collectively, they can create real and systemic change.”

Here are key takeaways from the report: 

Giving made a real difference

On #GivingTuesday 2019, PALTOWN Development Foundation, a nonprofit that provides online support groups to empower cancer patients (and comprised of only two members), raised 25% of its operating budget. 

Crisis Text Line, a nonprofit that help texters from self-harm, signed up thousands of volunteer crisis counselors on #GivingTuesday.

Food4Thought spent #GivingTuesday—and every other Tuesday in 2019—feeding the homeless and providing them with clothing and toiletries. 

There were measurable results

  • $511 million was donated online 
  • $1.46 billion was donated offline
  • 27 million people participated (13.5 million donated and 7.6 million volunteered)
  • 60 movements within the U.S.
  • 400+ community movements worldwide
  • 20.1 billion social media impressions worldwide.
  • 13% of the entire U.S. population participated in #GivingTuesday.

Records were broken in 2019

#GivingTuesday has continued to grow. In 2019, online giving increased by 28%, donations made online increased to $4.3 million (from $3.8 million in 2018), and average donation size increased to $119 (from from $105 in 2018).

People shared stories from around the world

In Portugal, the city of Chicco donated a baby basket filled with diapers, blankets, and other baby items to mothers that gave birth on December 3rd (“GivingTuesday babies”)

On #GivingTuesday in Liberia, leaders found volunteers to donate their wedding dresses to women that had lost their wedding photos. The leaders then organized a photoshoot so women could rebuild those lost memories. 

Organizations came together to make a bigger impact

Community campaigns within the U.S. have increased by 57%. In 2019, there was a new trend in which multiple organizations came together to fundraise and split the donations equally. Supporters liked this trend because it allowed them to donate to a cause, not just an organization. 

Kids got involved in giving

On December 3, 2019, kids from over 32 countries participated in afterschool acts of kindness and generosity through #GivingTuesdayKids

In Ukraine, students raised money for a local cancer hospital by organizing a school-wide fair that involved a bake sale and other hands-on giving activities. 

Brazilian child superstar, Isabella Casarini, led a social media movement to encourage kids to share their acts of kindness within their community.

It’s not too early to prepare for this year

It’s never too early to start thinking about your #GivingTuesday campaign. As you prepare for this year’s campaign, here are some tips from my series on branding and marketing your #GivingTuesday campaign: 

February 1, 2012

The Month of Letters Challenge: can you send a letter a day this month?

Filed under: Communications,handwritten — Tags: , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

As most of you know, I love cards. I love designing them, I love sending them, and I especially receiving them. So when I heard about the Month of Letters Challenge via twitter, I was intrigued.

Author Mary Robinette Kowal started the Month of Letters Challenge, which begins today, as a response to “taking an internet vacation” last year. She replaced her electronic correspondence exclusively with mail correspondence and was pleased with the outcome.

Your Month of Letters assignment:

  1. In the month of February, mail at least one item through the post every day it runs. Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, or a cutting from a newspaper, or a fabric swatch.
  2. Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items.

I plan to do this as successfully as possible—given the fact that I have a busy graphic design business and a 6-month old baby with boundless energy. If anything, I love the fact that it has me scanning the calendar for upcoming birthdays and thinking about who else I can send a card or note to. I hope I get some cards back too!

So, who’s with me? Let me know and let’s exchange cards!

February 22, 2011

Book Review: 365 Thank Yous

Filed under: Book review,Communications — Tags: , , — lidia @ 9:32 am

After hearing it mentioned in a segment on the CBS Evening News about writing thank you cards, I was compelled to pick up a copy of the memoir, 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralik.

After reaching a low point in his life, the author decides to focus on the positive: writing a thank you note every day for a year.

Written as a series of anecdotes followed by corresponding thank you notes, the book is a quick, uplifting read. As you follow the changes that occur in the author’s life, you observe the power of gratitude in a way that is both remarkable and inspiring.

Being a longtime fan of thank you notes, I can relate to the author’s experience with how expressing gratitude changes your mood. How can you be angry when you’re feeling grateful?

I think this is a must-read for everyone. Imagine how much happier we would be if we took time to express our gratitude to everyone who touched our lives? And not just business associates, but old friends, doctors, store owners, even your favorite barista. Perhaps not all of us can achieve the author’s lofty goal of one thank you note a day—but how about one a week, one a month?

Give it a try and see what happens.

Share your own comments about how writing thank you notes has changed your life.