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11 Donation Page Examples That Are Proven to Increase Donations

Published by Nathan Hill

Looking at donation page examples from other nonprofits is a terrible way to figure out how to increase your online donations.

Why is this a terrible way to improve donations?

Because the vast majority of nonprofits are using gut instincts and “best” practices to guide their donation page designs and layouts.

In fact, an analysis we conducted of 500+ nonprofit donation pages showed that 95% of donation pages have clear elements of friction that have been proven through a/b testing to kill donation rates.

How are these 11 donation page examples any different?

Rather than show you a list of pretty-looking donation pages to copy, I thought it would be more helpful to give you a list of donation page examples that demonstrate new concepts that are proven to increase donations and revenue.

Every donation page example you find below is an a/b test. That means the nonprofit had an idea, ran a proper fundraising experiment, and proved to a high degree of confidence that the tactic worked to increase donations.

You can explore the donation page examples below to get new ideas that you can test on your pages with a high level of confidence that they will lead to positive results.

11 Donation Page Examples with Tested and Proven Ideas to Increase Donations

#1 Using Personalization & Communal Language 

Organization: The Navigators

Tactic or Principle: Personalization & Communal Language

Result: 46.6% increase in donations

In this donation page experiment, The Navigators had been running some Facebook advertising for a free eBook. The primary goal was to acquire more email addresses.

However, after someone downloaded the eBook, these new subscribers were shown what we call an “Instant Donation Page”. This serves as a means of turning a new subscriber into a new donor right away.

They wondered if using more personalization on the instant donation page, as well as a concept called “communal language”, would lead to more donations.

As you can see in the example, the treatment donation page uses a personalized headline. And the following copy uses friendly, unassuming language meant to reinforce shared values and a sense of belonging.

This personalization and communal language led to a 46% increase in donations.

Key Takeaway: Make sure your donation pages are personalized and use communal language.

#2 Adding clarity and specificity on your donation page

Organization: Prison Fellowship International

Tactic or Principle: Specificity and Clarity

Result: 68.7% increase in donations

It’s easy to assume that visitors to your donation page are already fully motivated to give. But this couldn’t be more wrong.

Time and time again, we see donation page examples like this one from Prison Fellowship International.

Their original page had an image and brief description of the child you could sponsor. And it would seem like there was sufficient copy and explanation of the cause.

However, they tested adding more specific language on the page to help the donor have an abundance of clarity on exactly how their donation was going to be used.

This increase in specificity and clarity led to a 68% increase in donations.

Key Takeaway: Make sure your donation page copy provides an abundance of clarity about a donation is used.

#3 Changing the order of your donation form fields 

Organization: Care Net

Tactic or Principle: Credit Card Field Layout

Result: 35.8% increase in donations

It’s easy to gloss over the details of the “boring” aspects on your donation page, but Care Net wondered if the placement of the credit card field was affecting donations.

On the original page, their donation form was ordered like this:

But they wondered if putting the credit card details as the last step would lead to more donations. They tested this order:

Re-ordering the steps to put payment details last led to a 35% increase in donations.

Key Takeaway: Put your payment information as the last step of your donation form.

#4 Testing your gift array to know how it impacts overall revenue

Organization: CaringBridge

Tactic or Principle: Gift Array Amounts

Result: 6.2% increase in donations

In this example, CaringBridge had a longstanding gift array using the following options: $50, $100, $250, Other.

They wondered if adding a $30 option to the gift array would affect donations and revenue.

While they saw a 6.2% increase in donations (or actual donors), they saw a 7.7% decrease in revenue. This is an important learning for us as fundraisers.

We must consider how our donation page design is impacting all key metrics – and make a data-informed decision on which is more valuable: more donors, or more immediate revenue.

Key Takeaway: Consider the impact of your gift array on both donors and overall revenue.

#5 Using copy to explain your value proposition

Organization: Illinois Policy Institute

Tactic or Principle: Value Proposition Copy

Result: 150.2% increase in donations

There has never been a clearer donation page example showing how important your nonprofit’s value proposition is.

A value proposition is simply the answer to this critical question: “Why should I give to you, rather than some other organization, or not at all?”

In this donation page example, Illinois Policy Institute realized that they had minimal value proposition copy on their donation page.

So they tested a new version of the donation page that articulated a clear answer to this critical value proposition question.

By communication their value proposition using copy, they saw a 150% increase in donations.

Key Takeaway: Make sure your copy fully explains why someone should give to you.

#6 Emphasize the impact of a donation with a sticky bar on your donation page

Organization: CaringBridge

Tactic or Principle: Sticky Bar to Emphasize Impact

Result: 13.1% increase in donations

As you’ve seen in several of these donation page examples, you can’t over-emphasize the reasons why a donor should give on your donation page.

In this example, CaringBridge wondered if adding a sticky bar at the top of their donation page would reinforce the value proposition and increase donations.

Sure enough, it did.

They included a simple message in a sticky bar at the top saying: “Thank you for making a gift to CaringBridge in honor of Kelly!”

Just that simple prompt increased donations by 13%.

Key Takeaway: Reinforce the primary reason to give using a sticky bar on your page.

*This blog post will help you learn more about using sticky bars and other unexpected fundraising tools.

#7 Highlighting a matching gift with a donation page sticky bar

Organization: FamilyLife

Tactic or Principle: Matching Gift Reminder

Result: 44.2% increase in donations

Similar to the CaringBridge example, this donation page example from FamilyLife shows how a sticky bar can be used in a matching gift campaign.

The original page used key urgency tools including a matching gift challenge and a progress bar showing how close they were to their donation goal.

They tested a new donation page using a high-contrast sticky bar at the top to call out the matching gift challenge.

This reminder led to a 44% increase in donations.

Key Takeaway: Use a sticky bar to highlight your matching gift challenges.

#8 Using smaller, hourly goal instead of one giant campaign goal

Organization: CaringBridge

Tactic or Principle: Power-Hour Donation Goal Counter

Result: 25.1% increase in donations

This CaringBridge donation example is a little bit different.

It’s not strictly a donation page, but it illustrates a new example of how to highlight a giving goal.

In the original version of this donation widget, they used a standard progress bar to show how close they were to their overall fundraising campaign goal.

The treatment version took a different approach – and led to a 25% increase in donations.

Instead of the progress bar, they created what they called a “Power Hour” with hourly goals to get a certain number of donations – rather than a certain revenue amount.

By creating smaller, more attainable goals based on the number of donations, they were able to increase donations.

Key Takeaway: Test using smaller, more attainable fundraising campaign goals based on donations instead of revenue.

#9 Using more text instead of a video

Organization: Buckner International

Tactic or Principle: Using Text Instead of Video

Result: 560% increase in donations

This donation page example is not very popular – in particular for fundraisers that rely heavily on talking-head style videos of their founders to make their case for support.

However, what’s “unpopular” with fundraisers is often the best performing.

This donation page experiment from Buckner International used a video on their original donation page. The video explained why someone should give to Buckner.

They tested a version of the donation page that didn’t use video at all. It highlighted the key points from the video using text instead.

Pictures (and videos) may tell a thousand words, but actual text led to a whopping 560% increase in donations.

Key Takeaway: Don’t use a video on your donation page.

#10 Reducing the number of decisions on your donation page

Organization: Compassion International

Tactic or Principle: Reducing Decision Friction

Result: 14.4% increase in recurring donations

One of the biggest killers of online revenue is donation page friction. And one of the most common examples of this is called “Decision Friction.”

Most “Decision Friction” occurs when fundraisers give their donors too many options to choose from.

This most commonly shows up when we use gift arrays with 5 or 6 different options. But in this donation page example, we see decision friction at work when signing up for a child sponsorship.

The original page allowed you to select a child to sponsor who shared your birthday. However, this would often generate a long list of children to choose from.

This created “decision paralysis” because the donor would be overwhelmed with options.

The donation page they tested recommended a single child to sponsor – limiting the decision to “Yes” or “No.”

By eliminating decision friction, Compassion International saw a 14% increase in sponsorships.

Key Takeaway: Eliminate decision friction. Don’t overwhelm your donors with too many choices.

#11 Calling out your most popular gift option

Organization: Americans for Prosperity

Tactic or Principle: Adding a “Most Popular” Gift Array Option

Result: 94.4% increase in revenue

This donation page example may sound overly simplistic, but it’s very powerful.

Americans for Prosperity wondered if they could go the extra mile in pre-selecting a gift array amount.

Their original gift array used a $25, $50, $75, and $100 option. But it didn’t have any pre-selected.

The new donation page that they tested not only pre-selected a gift amount, but it called out the $100 selection as being the “Most Popular” option.

This led to a 94% increase in revenue, and most impactful for users on a mobile device. It made it quick and easy for a potential donor to see how much a donation was valuable.

Key Takeaway: Call out your “Most Popular” gift array option to boost revenue.

Looking for ways to improve your donation page?

As you saw in some of these donation page examples, friction is one of the biggest killers of online donations.

But it’s hard to identify which elements on your page are causing friction when you look at it every day.

This free donation page friction assessment will help you identify what could be slowing donors down on your page and give you specific tips to increase revenue.

Take your free donation page friction assessment here.

Other Donation Page Examples

If you want to see more donation page examples (with a/b tests and proven tactics), you can explore our whole library of online fundraising experiments.

And if you have an example to share, feel free to drop it in the comments below.

Published by Nathan Hill

Nathan Hill is Marketing Director at NextAfter.