Have you ever sat in the waiting room for a doctor, filling out one of those ridiculously long medical forms? You fill in your name, address, emergency contact, allergies, surgery history, and a massive array of answers to insanely detailed and personal questions – questions no person should ever ask another person. I’m going to bet it’s not your favorite experience; it’s certainly not ours here at GiftFold. Unfortunately, filling out a donation form is often much like that.
Fortunately, there’s an easy fix: cut it out. Literally. Ask less of your donors. Create less barriers for them to give you money.
To be sure, making your donation form shorter is not likely to result in a 500% increase in donations. However, your donation form isn’t just about increasing revenue; it’s also about creating a better donor experience. By making your donation form simpler, you’re telling your donors you care about them, and they in turn will like giving to you even more.
So here are some tips to give your donors a better experience:
- Only use fields which are absolutely necessary for the majority of your donors. Drop the title, fax, and third-cousin-twice-removed fields. If you need to collect more information for a special purpose (e.g. tribute gifts or demographic surveys), use a separate form.
- Think mobile. A significant number of donors have adopted mobile forms of giving. This obviously means a mobile responsive donation form, but it also means using drop-downs instead of radio buttons, large fonts with good padding, and less clutter.
- Show your donors you care. On any receipts and/or confirmation pages, read back to a donor the details they gave you. Don’t let them wonder, “Did they get that comment I left?” Communication 101: repeat back what a person says to show you are listening.
- Don’t force your donors to create an account. This is a common mistake that many of us make when we first start collecting online donations. While a significant number of donors do want to create an account, the majority do not. Registration should be optional and unobtrusive.
Over the coming weeks we’ll talk more about these and other tips to improve your donation form. Just remember, it’s not just about collecting more donations; it’s also about wow’ing your donors. Consistently give your donors a great experience and they will be loyal to you for life.