If you’re like many nonprofit organizations you probably have a “Donate Now” button on your site. But does it really do anything for you? Do you get donations from it at all? Or does it simply sit there, like a wart on a frog, something visitors expect to see and promptly ignore?
Why Is That Donate Now Button Failing to Work
If you’re like me, you put up a “Donate Now” button on the site and wonder, why WOULDN’T anyone click on it? But the truth is nobody is going to click on that “Donate Now” button because you have not given them ONE REAL REASON to click on it. The secret to a working “Donate Now” button is simple: it has to have context or a call to action. Without context a Donate Now button is a worthless bauble cluttering up your nonprofit site design.
Let’s Fix That Donate Now Button
What’s context? In this case context is simply giving people a reason, preferably one particularly strong reason, to donate. It’s not enough to say: We’re a good cause; we always do a good job in the community; people come to our site and see the good we offer. Business marketers know this well. A confused mind does not buy. So while you present your site visitors with a lot of reasons to donate, the truth is they often won’t because they don’t have ONE REASON to donate.
You see this during public broadcasting pledge drives. They ask for donations throughout the drive, but when do they get the most? It’s when they are giving you a reason to donate beyond the “It’s the right thing to do” presentation. Free coffee mugs, t-shirts or water bottles entice some people. Matching campaigns from corporate sponsors are another. And that’s where I think an easy win for nonprofits can be found.
When you present your “Donate Now” button, add a line or heading beneath it that provides context for the donation. Let’s look at three simple examples:
As you can see the “Donate Now” button has context associated with it. What makes each of these effective is that they have an expiration date so site visitors realize this is something they should act on quickly. They have some sort of enticement. They also can be links to separate pages that explain the campaign in detail. Just don’t forget to put “Donate Now” links and buttons on the campaign page as well.
I’m sure you expert fundraisers have a lot of other effective ideas. The key point to remember is that whether you’re using your “Donate Now” button to do an online-only campaign or whether you use it to support a campaign or fundraiser, displaying it with context will improve your results.