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Six Ways to Make Web Sites Donor Friendly

20 January 2004 at 12:01 pm
Staff Reporter
When online fundraising is a major goal, a Not for Profit's website must be both secure and donor friendly … or the organisation could risk losing potential donors, and dollars.

Staff Reporter | 20 January 2004 at 12:01 pm


Six Ways to Make Web Sites Donor Friendly
20 January 2004 at 12:01 pm

A well-planned website can serve many important purposes for Not for Profit organisations. When online fundraising is a major goal, the website must be both secure and donor friendly … or the organisation could risk losing potential donors, and dollars.

Kintera Inc. is an innovative US provider of software to the third sector and offers six important tips to make a website more welcoming and responsive to donors:

1. Provide personalised, targeted content to supporters. When supporters join a Not for Profit community, members should be able to log in to their own account on the website, and even track their giving and volunteer history. Organisations can provide dynamic content based on member preferences, which engages supporters and makes the nonprofit site a primary point of interest. A personalised and targeted experience will encourage community members to return to the website more often, which should also increase their donation and volunteer activities.

2. Educate with interactions, not just content. With today’s technology, NFPs can provide interactive ways for donors to learn more about the organisation’s mission and various initiatives through activities such as polls, quizzes and games. These interactive functions give supporters a fun way to obtain information, and because results are immediate, offer instant gratification. Interactive and interesting content also helps to draw donors back to the website time and again.

3. Provide an easy way to donate online. Although more than 50 percent of all Internet users have purchased items online with credit cards, some donors may have security concerns when it comes to giving to their favourite charity. Nonprofits can allay these fears first by ensuring that their website donation collection function is secure by using a reputable vendor, and then by prominently posting security symbols and statements for web visitors. Organisations should use standard Internet technology to make web-based donating as familiar and simple as possible for supporters to ease any concerns. Additionally, donors are more likely to give if they are offered a variety of online payment options such as major credit cards, electronic checks or BPay. Make it easy to give to generate more donations.

4. Scale and redundancy = reliability. Donor friendly websites must assure fast transactions with processes in place that prevent the site from going down. Websites that have slow and/or broken transaction mechanisms make it difficult for supporters to give online. Nonprofits must account for both scale and redundancy in their website payment area to ensure that a smooth and efficient transaction takes place, and that the site runs smoothly 24/7.

5. Provide immediate acknowledgment. After donating, supporters should receive some form of personal acknowledgment or thank you. Most websites offer the ability for the organisation to send automated confirmation/thank you e-mails to those who donate online. Confirming the donation immediately, as well as listing the amount, lets supporters know that their online gift was received with no complications. More advanced sites allow the donor to list their name and the amount of the gift on the website in real-time. Others can send e-mail or printed tribute cards on behalf of the donor.

6. Make it simple to take further action. One click of the mouse should take donors to other actions such as volunteering for an event or activity. By making it easy for supporters to get engaged in other areas within an organisation, Not for Profits can build loyalty and help keep volunteers and donors involved.

Kintera is an innovative provider of software as a service that helps NFP organisations foster a powerful sense of community to achieve their mission.


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