Here at Mittun, we spent Giving Tuesday donating to many worthy causes across the country. While we support their missions, it was also part of a research project with the goal to decode what works in fundraising and what doesn’t. In this ever-changing industry, and certainly as we go into 2021, we want to ensure we are always building the most effective websites and fundraising tools so nonprofits can do the most good.

Take a look at what makes each one stand out, and where there is opportunity to give their fundraising efforts a boost.

Robin Hood

Robin Hood has been fighting poverty in New York for over 30 years. It is clear from the very start that they know a thing or two about fundraising.

What Impressed Mittun

Clear "Donate" Buttons

Every page of their website had a very prominent "donate" button.

Encourages Generosity

The donation form starts by saying that 100% goes to the cause. When people know that the bulk of their donation is going to the cause, they are more likely to give more.

Check out this Opportunity

Robin Hood uses Classy to collect donations – off to a very promising start. But with ClassyPress, they could enhance the experience with loads of fundraising tools. As I browsed the site, I saw how much data they use to back up their efforts and impact. With ClassyPress, they could add additional fundraising features using that data.

EngenderHealth

EngenderHealth is working for “a gender-equal world where all people achieve their sexual and reproductive health and rights.” Their fundraising efforts have enabled them to work with people in thousands of facilities across more than 100 countries.

What Impressed Mittun

Timely & Relevant

They relate their mission back to COVID-19 right on the home page. The information was timely and relevant, and it quickly told a story to captivate and inspire the audience.

Well-Designed Pop-up

For those who were ready to donate from the get-go, they had an impactful pop-up asking for donations.

Check out this Opportunity

The site design is very busy above the fold due to such a short scrolling page, making the user journey more convoluted. The donation form was also not mobile friendly. While the content and story told by EngenderHealth is incredible, an updated design could improve donations, especially among Gen Z.

Chill

Chill is a “positive youth development program where boardsports become a vehicle for empowerment.” Chill definitely hits you with the cool factor (Get it? Chill = Cool) as soon as you land on their homepage, but they take their mission very seriously. 

What Impressed Mittun

Facts & Figures

Chill proves their impact with facts and figures at the very top of their donation form. This is a great way to inspire donors and make them feel part of something bigger.

Social Media Engagement

While they sent me an email with my donation confirmation and a heartfelt thank you immediately after my donation, they also reached out again to engage me on their social media.

Check out this Opportunity

Their embedded form is a little clunky and looks outdated. Upgrading the donation process to a more seamless solution would mesh with the cool vibe of Chill.

Food Bank of CCS

The Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano has been helping to fight hunger for over 40 years. The community’s need for their services is heightened in the time of COVID, and their website can be a driving factor in providing food security to many people.

What Impressed Mittun

Testimonials

Alongside their donation forms, they had testimonials from community members that use their services, and additional numbers/information that show their impact. This is an easy and effective way to show the need in the community and potentially increase the value of their donation.

Giving Tuesday Pop-up

Their pop-up not only addressed Giving Tuesday, but also showcased their goal.

Check out this Opportunity

The navigation of the site was not the most user friendly. After clicking “Donate” from the hero on the home page, it led me to another page where I again had to click “Donate.” While it may seem like a minor inconvenience, making the process as smooth as possible invites more donors.

Also, as with several nonprofits, they utilize Classy. Upgrading to ClassyPress opens up so many more possibilities in fundraising.

American Academy of Religion

The American Academy of Religion is on a mission “to foster excellence in the academic study of religion and enhance the public understanding of religion.” The site looks professional and academic, and the donation process was no different.

What Impressed Mittun

Informative and Direct

The process was informative and very clear. AAR provided options for where you could direct your donation without making it overwhelming.

Creates a Donor Account

This is a great way to keep in touch after the initial donation and build loyalty by inviting them to be a part of it, not just a supporter of it.

Check out this Opportunity

The home page isn’t focused on gathering donations, which is completely fine if the goal of the site is not to promote a campaign. But it wasn’t the most intuitive to navigate to the donation page for those who want to support them. Adding a clear button or dropdown in the menu could elicit more support without drawing attention away from the goal of the site.

Gleaners Community Food Bank

Gleaners Community Food Bank has a vision of ending hunger in Southeast Michigan. Based in Detroit, they have been helping provide nutritious food and other resources to those in need since 1977.

What Impressed Mittun

Served Donors & Recipients

When I landed on their homepage, it was very clear how to get help or give help. Both are vital, especially now, and neither one overshadowed the other.

Giving Tuesday Match

Mentioning a match results in a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in average donation amount. Offering a match on a global day of giving is a great way to meet your goal.

Check out this Opportunity

While the process to donate was smooth and clear, it didn’t encourage a lot of interaction. The confirmation email and the page redirect thanked the donors, but didn’t offer additional opportunities to give (time or money) or further educate the donor on the community need and their impact. Adding links to other relevant content on the site can help engage the visitor and lay the groundwork for them to become a repeat donor.

Hansavedas

The Self Enquiry Life Fellowship is focused on preserving indigenous knowledge from the Sanskrit heritage and inspiring those interested in enlightened living. The generosity of the organization is evident from every aspect of their site.

What Impressed Mittun

Warm & Welcoming Feel

It's hard to not want to support an organization that feels like they are welcoming you into their home when you land on their website.

Featured Goal

The homepage showed how close they are to their 2020 goal. This is a great way to get people personally invested and feel like they are contributing towards something real.

Check out this Opportunity

Unfortunately, it isn’t clear how to donate initially. In the navigation menu, you must go to “Participate → Donate” or scroll down to the bottom of the page to get to the “donate” button. While the mission is always front and center of any nonprofit, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to gain supporters so you can do more good!

Plan International

Plan International wants to make the world a better place by advancing children’s rights and equality for girls. With a clear donate button in the menu and a call to action in a motivating hero image, PlanUSA checked all the boxes.

What Impressed Mittun

Round Up Pop-up

After submitting your donation, it asks you to round up. Making one final plea for an additional $5 likely adds a great deal to their fundraising goals since they are targeting people who already believe in their cause.

Interactive Redirect

The redirect after the donation offered lots of interaction, like the ability to make an account, receive updates and additional donor information.

Check out this Opportunity

The method of payment is more like a shopping cart instead of a donation. Because of that, it says “Congratulations” after making the donation instead of a “Thank You.” The transaction process is similar, but the feeling the user has on being congratulated for a purchase and thanked for helping make a difference is distinct. Switching up the language could encourage repeat donations.

Faith in Practice

Faith in Practice serves “the poor of Guatemala through short-term medical mission trips that take an integrated approach to care that strives to reach those in the greatest need.” Their teams see nearly 30,000 patients each year thanks to donations and volunteers.

What Impressed Mittun

Thanking donors upfront

At the top of their donation form, Faith in Practice is already thanking their donors and letting them know their work isn’t possible without donor support

Tells a story through pictures

A picture is worth a thousand words. It may sound like a cliche, but on a website like this, it is the truth. By using rotating hero banners with impactful images, they tell a story without overwhelming the visitor with copy.

Check out this Opportunity

While they have a clear “Ways to Give” button at the top of each page, it doesn’t take you directly to a donate page. The other options for getting involved are all important and necessary, but streamlining that top button could ease the process for many donors.

Their forms are also powered by Classy! By upgrading to ClassyPress, they could take each campaign to the next level and invite donors to be a part of their journey.

Distressed Children

Distressed Children “looks forward to a day when no child is left behind because of lack of resources and opportunities to develop his/her full potential.” Between the success stories and achievements listed on their site, they build confidence between the donor and the mission.

What Impressed Mittun

How Funds are Used

The question every donor has is "Where is my money going?" Distressed Children breaks it down right on their home page for transparency.

Heart-shaped Button

For those looking to donate, each page has a heart-shaped “Give” button at the top.

Check out this Opportunity

On their donation page, you are given a plethora of options. You can choose to donate based on cause or by country. You can learn the names of children to sponsor. You can choose to gift school supplies, hygiene products or clean water. It was enlightening to learn what was needed and the costs, but it took a bit of digging to find where to give a general donation. These options should not be taken away, but a general donation option at the very top could alleviate some of the confusion.

Charity: water

Charity Water brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. And in terms of their donation process, they really nailed it. From their front and center donation form, to the multiple emails offering thanks and interaction, it was an engaging experience.

What Impressed Mittun

Sticky Form

Not only do you not have to scroll down the page or navigate away from the home page, the donation form actually stays in place, never leaving the visitor’s attention.

Video

After donating, Charity: water utilized video on both the Thank you page and in their confirmation email. They thoroughly immersed the donor into the organization.

Check out this Opportunity

While it is hard to find criticism with Charity Water’s donation process, they overlooked one detail – checking the links in the emails they sent. They had archived several of the blog posts, so the links in the emails sent me to a dead end. Just a good reminder to check and recheck every link, especially before big days like Giving Tuesday.

Key Takeaways

No matter your mission, no matter your goals, no matter your design – there are a few key takeaways from this research. Every online fundraising campaign and donation form should include these items:

Genuine Appreciation

It cannot be emphasized enough. You need to say "thank you" to each and every donor, you need to mean it, and it wouldn't hurt to do it more than once.

Engagement

You don't want your donation process to lead to a dead end. Make sure the redirect page and/or follow-up email offer more opportunities for your donor to stay engaged.

Transparency

You need to let your donors know where their money is going and how it is being used. It builds trust and encourages future donations.

Connection

You don't want the process to feel too much like a transaction. Building a connection, by sharing testimonials or insight about the cause, builds loyal donors.

Clear Navigation

Buttons, well-designed pop-ups and menu items can help to steer every website visitor to the donation page and increase your conversion rate.

Receipt & Tax Information

Follow-up emails should not only contain a heartful thank you, but also a receipt and information about tax deductions.

What now?

Explore your own organization’s donation flow. Sometimes it helps to put yourself in the mindset of a new donor and do some “secret shopping” for your own nonprofit. Look at it with a fresh lens and evaluate every step of the process, asking yourself these questions.

  • Did I feel appreciated?
  • Did I receive a receipt that included information about tax deductions?
  • Do I know where my money went?
  • Was I engaged after the donation was sent?

Not sure where to begin on the audit process or how to revamp your donation flow?
We’ve got you covered.

Mittun is a premium website provider for nonprofits and mission-based brands. If you’d like some assistance with your website or donation flow, drop us a line.

Contact Us

How is your organization’s donation flow?

Contact Mittun for a free assessment today.

Leave a Reply