First let me be clear that the mere presence of a donate button does not guarantee online donations. But you sure won’t get donations online without one, and you can make some key improvements to your button quicker than you might think. Let’s remember the core principles:

  • Make it obvious — it should stand out. Don’t keep it within your color scheme (or, use a color from your color palette that doesn’t appear elsewhere on your site).
  • Your button should take the viewer straight to your credit card processing form. Don’t just send someone to a page talking about all the ways they can give. People often expect to go directly to a form.
  • Make your credit card processing form as simple as possible. Someone who lands there probably wants to make a donation, not watch a video or fill in fields other than what’s needed for donation processing. Remove anything that’s non-essential to the task of making a donation. Photos may help with your completion rate, but make sure they don’t push the form fields too far down on the page.
  • Look at your analytics.  How many people are clicking on the button compared to how many people are donating? Do people click on the button more from some pages than others? Are most people completing the process? Looking at your analytics will give you the basis for fixing it… or maybe for leaving it alone.

Other people with good advice about your online donation buttons and pages:

Network for Good: One Fool-proof Way to Make Donating Easier for Donors

Nonprofit Tech 2.0: 11 Donate Now Practices for Nonprofits

Alternate title for this post: Where’s your button and what happens if I click it? Make your donate button stand out and make your donation page simple to use. Make those clicks count.