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  • Connor Larsen

Cultivating Donor Journeys: Grow Your Online Donations

Persuading a website visitor to donate is hard. Are your online donor journeys making it even harder?

When I visit an organization’s website with the intention of donating, I want the process to be quick, easy, painless. And I definitely don’t want to have to double check I’m on the right page!

Use this article as a checklist to evaluate your donation pages and your donor journeys. From using data to develop a stronger development plan to understanding the impact UX has on internet users, cultivating donor journeys online requires a well-developed and researched strategy!

(PS: Read all the way to the end for our Golden Rule of Donor Journeys!)

Data-Driven Online Donor Journeys

Hopefully, your donation page tracks analytics and — especially — your conversion rate. Before you can begin to implement updated strategies, you need to know how many people visit your donation page without completing a donation!

If your giving page doesn’t track conversions, see if you can find the number of page visitors and compare it to the number of gifts your org received in the same period. If your rate is below the 20% average, your online donor journeys are in need of a major makeover.

Next, take a look at your site analytics. What pages receive the most visitors? What journey do they take throughout your site? What pages do they spend the most time viewing? Use the answers to begin creating your new donor journey maps!

Design Pages to Convert

The way your giving page is designed has a big impact on your conversion rate. There are three things to keep in mind when you create your giving pages:

  • Consistent branding: If your giving page takes your site visitor to a new page, away from your website, they need to know right away that they’re in the right place. At minimum, make sure your logo is on the page. Eventually, you’ll want your entire donation page to reflect your website’s design!

  • Well-crafted copy: Sometimes we see nonprofit giving pages with no ask. Nowhere do they ask, “Can you give today?” These language cues are critically important to direct your visitors’ actions. But you’ll want to make sure you nest the ask into a short story that highlights the impact individual donors have on your organization. Make them feel part of a movement, a player in your story, a member of an incredible organization.

  • Use UX principles: There are at least 21 elements of UX (user experience) that dictate how site visitors respond to a webpage. Not every principle will apply to your giving pages every time, but it’s important to keep these in mind. Research has shown that well-designed pages can have as much as a 200% increase in conversion rates!

The Golden Rule of Donor Journeys

You’ve reviewed your analytics and developed a plan to update your online cultivation strategy. You’ve explored your donation page designs and copy, and now you’re ready to implement changes.

So the #1 thing to remember when you create a donor journey map?

The fewer clicks, the better.

That’s it. Make it easy for your site visitors to donate to your organization, to support your mission, and you’ll see your conversion rate rise.

But we know that analyzing data, writing donation asks, and implementing UX principles can be easier said than done. Talk with your team to learn if they can handle evaluating and revising your online donor journeys. (And don’t forget to talk about how you’ll cultivate new donors!)

And if your team doesn’t have time? Sunrise is here for you! Reach out to us anytime to learn how we can start partnering with you.


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