How to Create a Successful Fundraising Page

Blog For FundraisersHow to Create a Successful Fundraising Page

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How to Create a Successful Fundraising Page How to Create a Successful Fundraising Page
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  • January 20, 2014

Online fundraising has proven to be an extremely effective vehicle to acquire donors. Core elements are the fundraising pages where users can read about organizations and their projects, donate directly online or start a fundraiser. But according to a study, 47% of donors give up before they have made a donation because the pages are not intuitive and engaging.

Let’s take a look at how charities can create a successful fundraising page.

Fundraising pages: focus on donors and their prospects

Fundraising pages should answer these three questions from the user’s perspective:

  • Where am I?
  • What can I do here?
  • Why should I do it?

A study found that high conversion fundraising pages answer the first two questions in seven seconds or less, which is the attention span of the average web user. For nonprofits the key is to step into their donors’ shoes and set up a page that is focused on the target group and their needs and as easy-to-use as possible. Or as Jeff Brooks writes on his website Future Fundraising Now: “It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them.”

The 3 following tips help charities with answering those three most important questions, creating a successful fundraising page and driving donations:

1. Branding: win the users’ trust

The role of brand is becoming more and more important in the nonprofit sector, as a study of the Harvard University’s Hauser Center proved. Therefore the organization’s logo is one of the key elements of donation pages nonprofits create on online fundraising platforms like At first glance, logo increases credibility, builds trust and shows who the author of the fundraising page is. Furthermore the users immediately know where they are and feel secure. A high brand recognition makes donors feel more confident about giving and makes it more likely that they’ll donate.

Including the charity’s contact information like phone, email and social networks in a visible place also builds confidence. It ensures the users that the fundraising page is legitimate and they can reach someone if there are questions. Moreover, it gives further options to donate.

2. Call-to-Action: drive donations

Converting website visitors into donors or fundraisers and boosting donations are the most relevant goals nonprofits determine for their fundraising pages. For this reason it’s important to draw the users’ attention to these options immediately. A successful way to do that is using call-to-action buttons, visual markers that trigger the users into a desired action. At first glance, the buttons focus the visitors on what they can do on this page, for example “give donation” or “start a fundraiser”.

Experts agree, that placement, design and copy of call-to-action buttons can greatly affect the impact on conversions of a page. Buttons that are easy to see, engaging, big and colorful make it more likely that users click them and donate.

3. Story telling: make donors feel connected to the cause

„Every time someone donates to a good cause, they’re buying a story, a story that’s worth more than the amount they donated.” – as Seth Godin sums up the relevance of personal stories within the communications of charities. Emotions are more important than simply reporting the facts. Studies confirm, that people are moved far more by the plight of an individual victim they can personally identify with than by that of several people, an abstract situation or a general statement of need. The more concrete and compelling a story is, the better it’ll make the potential donors feel that they can make a difference.

Pairing personal stories with compelling images – pictures or videos – is particularly successful. Humans are visual beings: They think largely in images, not words. Images boost attention, memory and believability and arouse powerful emotions. Emotions drive decisions and get people to take action. Many people donate with their hearts, not just with their heads. Strong visuals help make charity’s impact of donation clear and illustrate how the nonprofit is making the world a better place. Therefore it’s important that the visuals are genuine, match the message and support the reason for giving. Studies found, that especially younger donors prefer the combination of images and personal stories. 85% reported that a compelling cause motivates them to financially support an organization. This is more than 50% higher than any other motivating factor. Potential donors want to feel a connection to the cause prior to donate.

Online fundraising platforms make it easy to create a donation page

Online platforms like make it easy to set up successful fundraising pages. Knowing the important role of the charity’s logo, contact information and call-to-action these elements are automatically placed in a highly visible spot. Moreover, storytelling is supported: Allowing supporters of a charity to create an own, personalized fundraising page those platforms help nonprofits to connect their causes with powerful personal stories shared by fundraisers and donors.

Image credit: Galymzhan Abdugalimov via


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Kerstin Tiemann

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