If your website looks lame, so does your online giving!

A few weeks ago, I found this great post from Branded for Good that identifies 13 signs that your nonprofit or church website is outdated.

Just like socks with sandals or overalls with one strap hanging down might prove that you have time-traveled from the 1990s, scrolling text on your church’s website proves that it’s way out of style. The 13 signs identified in the post are indicators that your website may have been built in 1998 and has received little to no attention since. All 13 signs are worth the click-over effort, but the truth is, if your website is out of date, so is your online giving portal. When that is true, you can rest assured that you are leaving potential contributions on the table. Savvy donors simply move on because they think you don't "get it".

Here are some indicators your online giving tools are as out of style as denim shorts:

  1. Your online giving page is difficult to locate.
    Your online giving link should be accessible from the home page and immediately visible when the page loads. We call that placement “above the fold.”
  2. You don't inspire people.
    When people click on the "give now" link, be sure you take them to a page where you share a story about how their generosity will help you change lives. Whether it is some brief content about your vision or a short video testimony from someone you have impacted, stories inspire people to give and show you care about more than money.
  3. Users have to click several times to get to the donations form.
    Once they are on your donations page (see above), they should be able to get to the form in a single click.
  4. Users have to log in to make a one-time gift.
    If someone is inspired to give a one-time gift but they have to "create an account" to do so, you probably just lost that gift. This is OK for those who are a part of your church family and/or people who want to establish recurring gift schedules. Just be sure you also provide a way for those random givers to respond when promoted. This is why Church Community Builder’s online giving tools offer both options.
  5. There’s a long and detailed registration form for donors to fill out.
    Donors want a simple means of giving. Scale back the content requested. Minimize the amount of text that is displayed.

It is important to keep your website and online giving page up to date if you want to engage today’s user. A fresh site with easy-to-use giving pages makes for more gifts and more cheerful givers.

Do you have any online giving pet peeves? What are your big no-nos for online giving?

Topics: This entry was posted in Leadership Roles, This entry was posted in Administrative Support, This entry was posted in Finance & Generosity

Posted by Steve Caton on Sep 13, 2012, 12:37:47 AM