How To Create The Perfect Donor Experience

Jasmine SomaiahJuly 30, 2019

How to Create the Perfect Donor Experience header image

Are my donors getting the perfect experience they want and deserve? That’s the question every nonprofit organization must ask themselves.

If not, then you have to revamp your standard donation process and build a stronger relationship with your donors.

Keeping your donors happy and recognizing their contributions will make them want to give more to your cause.

So, how do you go about it?

There are two things you have to evaluate to create a perfect donor experience:

  • First, make sure that your website is easy to use and has content that keeps people engaged.
    Next, look at how you can simplify the donation process, to turn people into recurring donors.
  • Once you know where you stand, you can follow these tips to create the perfect donor experience.

#1 Engage with donors

Research shows that 47% of people who start a donation journey do not end up completing it. They either find the website hard to navigate or isn’t convinced with the cause. Nonprofits must work hard to make the user experience smooth. So, when potential donors arrive at your homepage, it’s essential that the content is engaging and nudges them toward making donations to your cause.

How to go about it?

  • Show the outcome of your organization’s work and convey a sense of urgency. This should be shown at the top of your homepage.
  • Provide social proof, put a link to your social media accounts. Potential donors want to know how you do on social sites and want to see your supporters.
  • Explain what you will do with the donations, reassuring donors about how their money will be used. For example, say every $20 buys books for two children. Being transparent with donors will help you gain their trust.
  • Give donors the option to give to a particular project, making them feel they have control over their donations.
  • Balance your content for a wide range of audience. This will help you gain support from millennials and Gen X.

#2 Ask donors to contribute

Once you’ve engaged your donors and given them the information they are looking for, you need to nudge them to contribute valuably to your organization. You need to provide a smooth experience, making donors feel that they are moving in the right direction. This means the images and designs must be able to meet more than just the eye, it must touch their heart. So, put thought into the message and images you display.

How to go about it?

  • Provide a clear call to action button on the homepage. Experiment with different buttons before finalizing on the design. Your Call To Actions help people find an easy route to make a donation.
  • Promote regular giving by tying it to a specific purpose. For example, UNICEF provides options such as supporting anti-malarial treatment for 33 children.
  • Give examples of how each donation amount will help your cause. For instance, Mercy Corps tells stories about people and how each level of giving can help them.
  • Provide alternative options for donors to give.
  • Include a trust symbol on your donation page, reassuring potential donors who are concerned about online security.

#3 Make the process easy

The donation process must be easy to avoid the risk of high drop-offs along the way . It must be quick and straightforward. To simplify the process online donation forms must be clutter free, easy to navigate and donor friendly.

A few things you can do:

  • Provide a process indicator which tells donors how many steps it takes to finish the donation and what to expect.
  • Streamline the process by providing only a few steps to complete the donation process. For example, Marie Curie Cancer Care requires only three steps to complete a donation.
  • Your donation page must not have too many links, it must be isolated. This way it will not distract donors from completing the process.
  • Provide reassurance by maintaining brand consistency. That is, the donation form should align with your brand.
  • Your donation form must not exceed one page. So, collect only relevant information.

#4 Thank your donors

Instead on displaying the standard thank you message after making a donation, send out personalised texts or letters to donors. Express sincere gratitude for making generous contributions to your organization. Your donors will feel appreciated and good about the decision they’ve taken, encouraging them to donate again. You’re donors will further want to engage with your organization and spread the word among friends and family.

For example, Innovista created personalised videos for their donors. This made donors feel special and a valuable part of the organization.

#5 Keep your donors updated

donors shouldn’t feel left out After donating to your cause. You need to keep them updated. The updates should include progress on your current project and the projects you will take up. Send monthly newsletters and email updates. This way donors will feel like an active and important part of your organization.

Updates help donors see how their contribution is being put to use and helps in building trust with your organization, making them want to donate again. It makes them feel good about their decision to give to your organization.


  • Use empathy while talking about your cause as people respond to it better
  • Show your donors where their money is going
  • Provide alternative options for donors to give
  • Use images donors can relate to
  • Tell donors how a specific amount will help your cause
  • Come up with creative ways to thank your donors
  • Use social validation to tell potential donors what others are doing for your organization

These are just a few tips on how you can not only build a better donor experience but also increase your fundraising revenue.

Schedule a live demo with our partner Bloomerang, and we’ll show you how easy it is to create and automate reports, utilize online and offline fundraising tools, quickly integrate and access all your data, and ultimately create more time to engage your donors.

Filed Under:   Fundraising