Fixing This One Problem On Your Website Can Help You Attract Subscribers And Donors

As we mentioned in this post, we recently partnered with NextAfter to create The State of Nonprofit Email Cultivation, a free research report analyzing how 199 nonprofits communicate with subscribers and donors in the first 45 days.

In this post, we want to focus on one key finding from the study: the NextAfter team wasn’t always able to sign up for and get emails as a subscriber or make a gift and get emails as a donor. In fact, they couldn’t give to 20% of the organizations or sign up for email from 29% of the organizations in the study.

That’s worth repeating: When they tried to sign up for emails or make a donation through a nonprofit’s website, they weren’t always able to do so.

Of course, there may be extenuating circumstances. As the team explained in the study, the websites could have had broken forms or integrations might have failed. This is concerning, but the good news is that this is a relatively easy problem to fix.

Test & Optimize Your Website

As soon as possible, take the time to visit your nonprofit’s website and pretend you are a prospective donor or supporter. First, focus on your email signup forms. Could you easily find it? Were you able to enter your contact information and complete the signup process? Finally, did it work when you tested it?

nonprofit subscribe form

Make sure it’s easy for supporters to subscribe to updates about your organization. This nonprofit features a subscription form at the bottom of their homepage.


When you’re done, go to your homepage and pretend you’re a prospective donor. Are you able to easily find a way to make a donation online? If not, you may want to consider moving your donation buttons and donation pages somewhere more prominent. If you don’t have a way for people to donate online, we recommend changing that ASAP.

nonprofit website donation button

Make sure there are clear opportunities to donate on your website. This nonprofit uses a donate button to make it easy to supporters to give.


This is just one of seven key findings in The State of Nonprofit Email Cultivation. If you want to learn more, you can download the report for free here.