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Website Prep Tips for Giving Tuesday Campaigns

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Published: Nov 10, 2021
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Giving Tuesday is a worldwide generosity movement that gets people to give to causes they care about through donating, volunteering, and raising awareness. For nonprofits, it’s an excellent opportunity during the year-end giving season to connect with current supporters and also acquire new donors

And Giving Tuesday drives incredible results. According to the Giving Tuesday 2020 Impact Report, U.S. donors gave $2.47 billion on Giving Tuesday in 2020, a whopping 25% increase from 2019. 

This year, Giving Tuesday is on November 30. That might feel far away now, but as a nonprofit fundraising professional, you know it’s never too early to start preparing for a successful Giving Tuesday. One of the best ways to get ready is to optimize your website for your Giving Tuesday campaign. Because much of the donating on Giving Tuesday takes place online, you want to ensure your website is at its best when the giving begins. 

Even if you’ve participated in Giving Tuesday before, you might still feel overwhelmed at the prospect of preparing your website for it again this year. Luckily, we’re here to remove the stress. In this post, we’ll walk you through five tips you can use to get your website ready for Giving Tuesday 2021:

  1. Leverage your organization’s branding. 
  2. Revisit your donation form design. 
  3. Optimize your site for mobile users. 
  4. Make your site accessible.
  5. Build in a thank-you for every donor.

To prepare your website for Giving Tuesday, you’ll want to rely on a content management system (CMS), also known as a website builder. A CMS built specifically for nonprofits can provide you with tools you’ll actually want and need for big campaigns like Giving Tuesday. 

Optimizing your website is one of the smartest Giving Tuesday strategies you can implement and can ultimately set you up to fundraise successfully on the big day. Plus, using your CMS to keep your website updated beyond Giving Tuesday will benefit your everyday fundraising efforts, too.

Let’s get started!

  1. Leverage your organization’s branding. 

The first thing your website visitor notices is the overall look and feel of the site. That means you always need to pay special attention to your website’s branding

But branding is especially vital when it comes to Giving Tuesday. It’s likely that many new donors will find their way to your organization’s website through links on social media, recommendations from their families and friends, and web searches. You want to make an excellent first impression so that they follow through with donating and will continue engaging with your cause long after Giving Tuesday is over. 

So, what should you pay attention to when branding your website to your organization? Here are some things to consider: 

  • Who is your target audience? Picture your site visitors and the people who are usually interested in your cause. What do they care about? What information are they looking to learn? What resources do they want to access on your website? Put yourself in the shoes of your supporters (or potential supporters). Thinking through the experience they want to have with your website will help to guide you when optimizing the site.  
  • Is your cause at the center of your brand? Some organizations focus on color and flash when it comes to branding instead of making their brand revolve around their cause. Look at how your cause is represented by the site’s colors, images, graphics, and logos. Is it clear what your mission is? Your goal is for your supporters to connect your website’s branding with your cause, so make sure you aren’t missing the mark.
  • Are the colors and fonts you’ve chosen visually appealing? Occasionally a push for better branding turns into a push for anything and everything that catches the eye and adds a wow factor to your website. However, things like bright, flashy colors or crazy fonts will likely signal a lack of professionalism on your part and will probably be too much for a website user to take in. Keep things simple and pleasing to the eye so that your visitors will take you and your nonprofit seriously. We recommend sticking to three or so colors and a readable sans-serif font or two throughout the site.
  • Is your branding consistent across all your operations? Focusing on your website’s branding won’t do you any good if, say, your volunteer program is using a completely different branding approach in their print materials. Streamline your website branding so that it matches the branding across all of your nonprofit’s operations. Consistency is key to presenting your organization as organized and focused on accomplishing your mission.  
  • Is your brand memorable? You don’t want someone’s visit to your website on Giving Tuesday to be the last time they engage with your organization. Plan your branding in such a way that it leaves a lasting impression on supporters, so when they have time and money to give, they think of you. 

Your brand helps to signal to the world what your organization is and what you’re all about. Since thousands of nonprofits participate in Giving Tuesday every year, you want to make sure your organization’s brand is in tip-top shape so that it can stand out from the crowd. 

  1. Revisit your donation form design. 

Once your supporters are on your website, they should be able to navigate easily to your donation form. Your donation form is arguably the most important part of your website on Giving Tuesday, because that’s where the actual giving happens. 

That means the design of your donation form is key to getting the most out of Giving Tuesday that you can. According to Morweb’s article on effective donation page design, “When donors find a donation page to be untrustworthy, lengthy, or difficult to use, they’re more likely to abandon their gift before their transaction is complete.”

Here are some tips to help you avoid those common donation form pitfalls: 

  • Provide easy access to the form. Use multiple CTAs across your website and attention-grabbing buttons. These will snag your site visitors’ attention and help to guide them to the donation form. 
  • Make the form intuitive and easy to use. We’ve all been in a situation before when an online payment process gets frustrating enough that we give up on making a purchase. Don’t let that happen to your donors. Make your donation form simple to fill out. Only request necessary information that will affect payment processing and data collection. Clearly mark fields that must be filled out, and don’t make the form too long. Length equates to difficulty when it comes to giving.
  • Brand the form to your organization. The same tips on overall site branding that we covered above also apply here. You don’t want your website to spit your donor out onto a third party donation form that looks completely disconnected from your organization and your cause. Build the donation form directly on your site and brand it so that it feels like the giving experience is a natural extension of caring about your mission. 
  • Include multiple ways to give. Offer multiple payment methods to accommodate supporters, like credit cards, debit cards, and popular platforms like Stripe and PayPal. It’s also a good idea to add suggested donation amounts that are slightly higher than your average donation so that potential donors will consider bumping up their contributions to be a little more than they were originally planning to give. Another selection you might offer is a recurring donation option, which will help you to retain the donors you’ve engaged with on Giving Tuesday. 

Since your donation form will be crucial on Giving Tuesday, it deserves some special attention and optimization well before November 30. Focus on the donor experience and ask yourself if your donation form is easy to use. Then use your CMS to make the needed changes. 

  1. Optimize your site for mobile users. 

It’s important for you to be prepared to reach every potential donor you can on Giving Tuesday. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you might be letting some donors fall through the cracks, especially because many people discover organizations they care about through social media. 

The right nonprofit CMS will help you ensure that the mobile version of your website is easy to use and encourages the donor to follow through with their desire to give. We suggest that you pick a CMS that offers automatic mobile responsiveness, meaning that each page on your site will automatically adjust to fit the size of the screen it’s being viewed on. 

Another way to optimize your site for mobile users is to avoid pop-ups. It’s frustrating for mobile users to try and work around pop-ups, especially if the button to dismiss them isn’t easy to find. Avoid using them altogether so they don’t interrupt the mobile user experience. 

You’ll also need to improve page speed. Nothing turns a mobile user away like slow load speed. To make your pages load quicker, compress the images on your site, trim out excessive code, and avoid redirects. 

Once your site is set up to work well on mobile devices, you can tackle another user issue—accessibility, which we’ll cover in the next section. 

  1. Make your site accessible

Just as it’s important to optimize your website for mobile devices, you also want to make sure that your site is accessible to people of all abilities. This is another step you can take to make sure you’re reaching every possible supporter on Giving Tuesday. 

Here are some general tips for making your site more accessible: 

  • Use high contrast colors, like black and white. 
  • Pick fonts that are easy to read. 
  • Add alt text to images, which will describe the images to anyone using screen reader technology. 
  • Offer media alternatives—like closed captioning or video transcripts—for those who have poor vision or are hard of hearing. 

These are just a few steps you can take to make your site more accessible. Also, keep in mind that web designers widely follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which are regularly updated, and a new version is set to come out sometime this year. Consistently check back to make sure your website adheres to these guidelines to ensure everyone can interact with your site all the time, not just on Giving Tuesday.

  1. Build in a thank-you for every donor. 

Giving Tuesday is a great movement to get involved with during year-end giving, but it’s also a one-off event compared to the rest of the year. And according to Qgiv’s guide to donor retention, 70 percent of donors only give once. So, how can you make sure your donors give again? Your best bet is to go into Giving Tuesday with a plan to retain donors, and your website can help substantially. 

Good donor retention starts with staying thank you right when a donor gives online and sending a more formal thank-you after Giving Tuesday is over. Whether you plan for a personalized thank-you message to pop up after a donor completes a donation form or you’re planning to send personalized thank-you emails or texts, make sure you and your team have incorporated donor appreciation into your Giving Tuesday website strategy. You’ll thank yourselves when your donors continue to give far into the new year!

The Gist

Giving Tuesday can be part of your larger outreach strategy to get more people involved with a nonprofit’s cause. With careful planning, you can get your website ready for Giving Tuesday and avoid stress during end-of-year giving season, giving you more time to focus on your supporters and your mission. 


Author: Murad Bushnaq

morweb-author-bio

Murad Bushnaq is the Founder and CEO of Morweb. Since its inception in 2014, Murad has acted as Creative Director and Chief Technologist to help nonprofits spread their vision online through engaging design, intuitive software and strategic communication.

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