7 Elements Your Nonprofit Website Needs to Increase Donors

by | Nov 19, 2018

Gaining donors through your website can be difficult if you’re not using a strategy and incorporating specific elements. This doesn’t mean you’re tricking anyone into donating, but rather you’re showing them why donating to your organization is beneficial. You need to look at things from the user’s point of view and anticipate their needs.

Because nonprofits are so important to society and I want to see them succeed, I’ve compiled a list of 7 elements to include on your website to help increase donations! Mental health is an extremely important topic to me, so I’ve used mental health nonprofits as examples to demonstrate each point.

1. Easily Found Donate Button

If the main goal of your website is to increase donors, you want the donate button to be easily found. This means that not only should it stand out on the page, it should also be visible on every page. One way to do this is to put it in the top navigation.

On CAMH’s website, they have the Donate button in the main navigation and make it stand out from the other menu items by using a different background colour and changing the font style to bolded and uppercase.

2. Easy Donation Process

It’s also important to make donations themselves easy. Make the process as simple and easy as possible for the user, and don’t include unnecessary fields when asking for their info. It’s a great idea to provide the option of recurring donations on the donation page, as it’s a simple way for a user to continue to donate without the effort of completing the form again.

On Active Minds’ website, they make it simple to choose from a one-time or monthly gift, and provide the user with options on how much they want to donate. Below that you can see the beginning of a form, in which they ask necessary information only, to keep things as short as possible.

3. An Emotional Connection

You want to make an emotional and personal connection with the user, aka, the potential donor. You can do this by keeping the language focused on “you”, the donor, showing the impact the organization has made so far, telling a story through the writing, and having short yet impactful videos.

Active Minds creates an emotional connection to the user by getting someone who has been impacted by their organization to share how it has changed them. This prompts the user to make a donation to be able to have a similar impact on someone else. Conveniently (completely on purpose), there’s a Give Now button right below the quote for people to make a donation. The background features images of people who are part of Active Minds, suggesting they have also benefitted from the organization.

4. Clear Mission

Ensure your mission is clear to anyone entering your website. This includes clearly stating who you are and what you do. Be sure to keep your message simple and personal.

Youth Mental Health Canada states exactly who they are and what they do on the homepage of their website. They keep things short and sweet, yet still provide enough information for the user to get a good understanding of the organization.

5. Prioritize User Engagement

There are multiple ways that a user can engage with your website. Some of the ways include having a Donate button, including videos, social media links, having an e-newsletter signup, providing links to resources, and giving the user ways to support the cause (ex. to volunteer or participate in an event).

On the Heads Together website, the homepage has multiple opportunities for engagement. The user can join the conversation by using certain related hashtags in their social media posts, they can view helpful and meaningful videos, join the newsletter, or seek help.

6. Financial Transparency

Tell the user where their money is going to go if they choose to donate. People want to know that their money is going towards the specific cause they want it to, and not somewhere else. If possible, you can provide charts or graphs that show users exactly how many cents of each dollar go where.

Active Minds has a page on their website where they clearly state how many cents of each dollar go to education, training, research, etc, and they also provide charts and graphs with more numbers, such as where the money they get comes from and the amounts that go to each service they provide.

7. Responsive Design

Having a responsive design allows users to visit your site and donate easily from any device. You don’t want to alienate users who primarily search the web on mobile, including potential volunteers and donors. Even though they may be able to go back on a different device later such as a desktop or laptop, it leaves an unfavourable impression and requires them to remember to go back on. Another reason to have a responsive design is that it increases your search engine ranking. Whether your site is a nonprofit or not, know that responsive design is now crucial.

As you can see on the mobile version of HeadsUpGuys, everything is easy to read, buttons are large, and the menu has been collapsed into a hamburger nav. The website adjusts accordingly to whatever size the device is that you’re using, and works well on any platform or browser.


To encourage donations on your website, you need to view things the way your ideal donor does and show them the impact that can be made. By implementing elements such as having an easy-to-find donate button, having an easy donation process, creating an emotional connection, providing a clear mission, prioritizing user engagement, showing financial transparency, and using responsive design, you are helping to create the ideal website for a user to want to donate.

Interested in having your nonprofit website designed? I’d love to hear from you! You can set up a free call with me or fill out a form for a free quote.

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