A donation page can’t be everything to everyone. That’s why you need multiple donation pages. But how many donation pages do you need?
One of the biggest mistakes nonprofits make today in their online fundraising is putting up only one donation page.
After all the work of getting a donation page up and running—it’s tempting to sit back, relax, and wait for the donations to start rolling in.
But then you realize donations just aren’t coming in fast enough.
Why isn’t your donation page bringing in the funding?
Even if you spent a lot of time and money in perfecting that one, general donation page… the problem isn’t always that the page isn’t beautiful or slick. It’s that you haven’t accounted for the most important factor: your donor’s motivation.
Every donor has a different motivation to give.
High-performing donation pages only focus on developing one value proposition—or one main reason to give.
So if your general donation page has only one main value proposition, then it will only motivate gifts from donors who resonate with that motivation.
Unfortunately, some nonprofits see this as a design flaw. In turn, they try to create a donation page that fits every kind of donor with every kind of motivation.
But when you cram a hundred value propositions into your general donation page, it becomes an unfocussed mess.
It connects with no one.
And worst of all—it implicitly tells your donors that:
- You don’t know who they are
- And you don’t know what they want.
To put it even more bluntly: it will diminish your conversion rates.
You might think that by appealing to everyone’s possible motivation, you’d get more conversions. But in reality, it’s the opposite.
Focusing your donation page copy on one primary motivation isn’t a design flaw—it’s a feature!
So how do you solve the challenge of appealing to more donors with varied motivations?
I’m glad you asked.
You need more donation pages to serve more donors adequately.
Motivation is difficult to identify, but it’s the most important reason why someone chooses to give.
Differing motivation is the reason why your general donation pages and your campaign donation pages should be different.
Two Kinds of Donation Pages You Need
In research with our friends at NextAfter, we’ve identified two main types of donation pages every organization needs to use:
- a general donation page
- and a campaign donation page.
The General Donation Page
A general donation page is typically where the “Donate” button on your website lands. Because it’s always there and always available to everyone who walks through your digital door—you normally don’t know who they are, where they are coming from, or what their motivation is.
They could’ve heard about you on the news, from a friend, clicked through a blog post, or just Googled a topic. It could be anything.
But what you should know is that someone visiting your general donation page is likely more motivated to give because they arrived on their own. You didn’t go to them—they came to you!
Because of that, you don’t need to fill a general donation page with a lot of copy, facts, and figures. The donor is already highly motivated, so clearly and succinctly reinforce the primary reason someone would want to give to your organization.
But even if you have a well-crafted and high-performing general donation page, you are still limited to targeting your message to a general audience. There are so many more opportunities to connect your mission to a potential donor.
This is why you need campaign pages.
The Campaign Page
A campaign donation page is a landing page that you create for a fundraising campaign. Examples might include a year-end appeal, a matching gift initiative, or a community fundraising event.
In a campaign scenario—you’re probably using email, direct mail, ads, etc to drive specific people, with a specific motivation, to a specific page. So you must align the messaging on your page to reinforce this motivation.
But keep in mind that unlike people who land on your general page, these prospective donors didn’t come to you. You invited them. So donors visiting your campaign page will not be as highly motivated as someone on your general donation page.
Naturally, these visitors will be quick to hit the eject button if they lose interest—so your campaign pages have to fight harder to win them over. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to be succinct and assume they already trust and understand you.
On the contrary!
On a campaign page, you want to encourage the donor to understand exactly why they should give to you.
Here’s a pro tip: on a campaign page, avoid bullet points or copy that is too scannable. The reason is that this opens the door for a potential donor to quickly glance over the page and not engage with the value of a donation. And when donors don’t engage with your value proposition, they are far more likely to bail on the giving process.
Show the donor how they fit into the story. How they can personally help. And why their help makes everything possible.
When you help people understand the problem you are trying to solve and why a donation to your organization will help solve it, you will attract more donors to your cause.
So those are the two kinds of pages you need, but we still have to answer our original question…
How many donation pages do you need?
Having donation pages for each of your programs or funds is far better than having just one general page—but you really need to go beyond this.
You need to create a donation page for every fundraising campaign you launch.
For example—many successful organizations create a new donation page for each month of campaigns. Throughout the month they craft email, video, and/or blog content revolving around that month’s campaign with links to the donation page that they created for that campaign.
Every month features another focused value proposition for the donor—which requires a new donation page.
Can you create too many donation pages?
Maybe. But I haven’t seen any data or historical cases supporting this.
Most of the time, nonprofits err on the side of not having enough donation pages. And with just one or a handful of donation pages, they can’t appeal to a variety of donor motivations.
If you’re not seeing the conversion rates you need—take a look at the number of donation pages you have created.
Chances are, there’s a world of opportunity awaiting. Find out what motivates your donors and create opportunities for people to specifically and intentionally engage with your mission.