5 Ways to Optimize your Donation Forms for Giving Tuesday | npENGAGE

5 Ways to Optimize your Donation Forms for Giving Tuesday

By on Sep 20, 2017


Nonprofit web design layout depicting ways to optimize donation pages for Giving Tuesday

As you start planning messaging and emails for Giving Tuesday, spread a little love to your donation forms too. Below I will outline the five tips that can help you stand out from the crowd on a day like Giving Tuesday but are also good enhancements for your everyday forms.

The five best (and easiest) ways to optimize your donation forms are:

  1. Eliminate all unnecessary fields
  2. Create large, tappable buttons for your donation amounts
  3. Make it easy to give monthly
  4. Add a compelling background image
  5. Include a ‘thank you’ page

Now, let’s cover the details of each step to make sure you’re organization is ready to capitalize on online giving this Giving Tuesday, and every other day of the year!

How to optimize your donation forms for Giving Tuesday


1. Eliminate all unnecessary fields

This first tip is what I’d call extremely low-hanging fruit. Any fields on your donation form that are not required should not appear on the form. That extra data may be “nice to have”, but it’s not worth losing a donation for it, right? Every additional field you include, even if that field is not required, is going to increase your abandon rate, so go ahead and eliminate them! Examples of unnecessary fields I often see are:

  • prefix (Mr., Mrs., etc.)
  • middle name
  • suffix or professional suffix (Jr., M.D., etc.)
  • phone number
  • address line 3
  • country
  • interests or “how did you hear about us?”


2. Create large, tappable buttons for your donation amounts

Not only are the donation amount buttons easier to use on tablets and phones, they also add some visual interest to your form, which will help you stand out. This may require some custom code but it’s a low effort improvement. Common Cause does a nice job with this on their main donation form:

Common Cause donation form with large, tappable buttons


3. Make it easy to give monthly

Since you’ve removed all of your unnecessary fields, let’s add one step to allow donors to make their gift monthly. While you’re at it, add a brief line of text that describes to the user why a monthly gift is preferable. Alzheimer’s Association’s main donation form does a nice job of this:

Alzheimer's Association donation form with option to donate monthly

Also, The Humane Society of the US offers different amounts for One-time vs. Monthly gifts and a t-shirt incentive for a monthly donation:

HSUS donation form with option to donate monthly

4. Add a fancy image background

Funny thing that’s happened in technology lately: as more of your donors use smaller screens like tablets and phones, your desktop donors’ screens are growing. Why not fancify their experience by showing a large, beautiful image behind or alongside your donation form. Check out the form on Easter Seals site that rotates between a few different images upon refresh.

Easter Seals donation form with image background


5. Don’t forget your thank you page!

Finally, don’t forget to revisit your thank you page. Include easy ways for donors to share that they donated on Facebook or Twitter and invite them to explore something new on your website. This is another great place to include some large, beautiful images.

What other improvements are you making to your forms as Giving Tuesday approaches? Please share in the comments!


Lacey Kruger, principal information architect for Blackbaud, designs online properties for nonprofits that delight and inspire. Whether a full scale website, a campaign site or a peer to peer fundraising site, Lacey guides clients through a research-based and user-centered approach to design. In her 15+ years at Blackbaud, she has developed a deep understanding of nonprofit web presences. That knowledge, along with her years of experience in information design, have established her as an industry expert.

Lacey has written a Blackbaud eBook, “A Guide to the Nonprofit Web Design Process” and her article, “Designing Nonprofit Experiences: Building a UX Toolkit” was published in User Experience magazine. She has presented at industry conferences including bbcon, IA Summit and BIG Design.

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