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Make Donating Easy Through Good Online Form Design

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Online donations make it very easy for supporters to get money to you in general, but the design of your form can thwart potential donors if it isn't user-friendly. Not only should the processing time be kept to a minimum and the form be very visible on your website, but it should also follow a few other guidelines for easy use. When the process for donating to your organization is clear, people who might otherwise skip the form might stop to send in a little something.

Be Clear About What Information Is Required and What Is Not

Personal information has become a controversial commodity, with people wanting to keep as much as possible private without making it difficult for you to process the donation. Make it clear on the form which information is actually required. For example, if you need the person's name and address to verify a credit card donation but not their email, place asterisks or another marker by the name and address boxes with a note that the marker means the information is required.

Allow a Range of Payment Methods

Credit and debit payments are pretty standard online, but if you can also allow payments from processors like PayPal, that increases the chances of getting more donations. Online payment systems and payments based through tech companies are gaining in popularity, and if you can sync your system with those to allow for payments, so much the better.

Keep the Form Straightforward

Donations typically need donor info, payment information, and payment amounts, with the occasional comment box. Don't complicate the form by including options for subscriptions, newsletters, and more. Those clicks might seem tiny to you, but for the donor, having to refuse several options before actually being able to donate is annoying.

Offer Smaller Donation Options

You can have donation forms that have suggested amounts along with a box where the donor can type in another amount. However, if you do have those suggested amounts, include smaller amounts. In other words, don't offer options for only, say, $25, $50, $100, and $500; offer $5 and $10 options as well. The Great Recession never really ended for a lot of people, and seeing that suggestion that $25 is the minimum (because even if it's not, it adds pressure to meet a certain donation standard) can be off-putting. Let donors know you'll accept small amounts.

Keep reviewing the donations and what's filled out on the form to get a sense of how people are receiving it. If you notice that no one is including non-required information, for example, you may want to redo the forms to remove those boxes. Whatever you choose, though, keep the form simple and clear.

Contact a local tech company for more information on creating a form for donations to your nonprofit.