The following article originally appeared in The NonProfit Times Live from bbcon newsletter. To subscribe to a future newsletter, visit http://www.thenonprofittimes.com/enewsletters/

A donation form is one of the most important parts of a nonprofit’s website. A minimum of 7 percent of donation should come through an organization’s website. Many organizations are missing out on some good opportunities to capture online gifts.

Speaking during bbcon 2013, Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits in National Harbor, Md., Blackbaud interactive consultants Dominic Taverniti and Tom Thayer shared some key considerations for optimizing the all-important donation form:

  • Remove all barriers: It is critical to keep online forms as simple and clean as possible. You want people to be able to fill out a form quickly, so if you don’t need the info, don’t ask for it.
  • Remove all distractions: You’ve done the work to get them to the donation form, and they are ready to make their gift. Don’t give them a reason to leave.
  • It’s the little things… such as how you align labels and fields. If you have a field that is shorter in nature, put labels on top of each field so the user just has a single column they are reading. If it’s a longer form, use Javascript to add disappearing labels inside each field.
  • Instant field validation: It’s frustrating to complete a form, hit submit and have to go back and fix fields. Instant field validation achieved through custom Javascript makes sure the user is following the rules as they go, and gives them constant updates to ensure completion and reduce frustration.
  • Think mobile: If you have a responsive website, you can make mobile considerations (larger buttons, text and single-column layouts, for instance) at different response points. If you don’t, incorporate those mobile-friendly design elements from the outset.

Finally, the confirmation screen after a donation experience is also very important. People are proud to support an organization — give users a chance to share their experience of donating via social networks and email with their family and friends and your potential supporters.

 

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