The title of the article: A Complete Guide to Creating A Donation Page (with Examples).

A Complete Guide to Creating a Donation Page (with Examples)

Picture this: You’ve just led a successful marketing campaign that earned high engagement rates on social media and through email. You see traffic coming to your website, but for some reason, supporters seem to stop at the final hurdle: your donation page.

With all the work that goes into fundraising, ensure your donation page makes the giving experience better rather than being one more obstacle to get past. To help your nonprofit design a better donation page, this guide will explore:

If you’re ready to elevate your giving process with a new and improved donation page, let’s get started.

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How to Set Up Your Donation Page

Donation pages consist of two parts: the donation page and the donation form. The donation page hosts your donation form, and the donation form is the part of the page where donors input their payment information and other relevant details.

To start setting up this page, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a donation platform. There are hundreds of fundraising and donation management tools available to nonprofits. Choose a donation platform that is secure, compatible with the rest of your technology, and has the donation acceptance capabilities you need. For example, while most nonprofits just need donation processors that can accept recurring donations or let supporters make donations in someone’s name, others may look into platforms that can accept cryptocurrency and stock donations.
  2. Design your donation page. Customize your donation page to align with your nonprofit’s brand, such as by uploading your logo and adjusting the colors. Doing so will create a consistent experience for supporters and reassure them that they’re giving to your nonprofit when they click on your donation page.
  3. Set up payment processing. Most donation platforms will come with a payment processor, but you may be able to choose your own processor and potentially go through several steps to set up your payment system. For example, you will likely need to create or link your nonprofit’s merchant account to receive payments.
  4. Launch your page. Once your donation page is configured correctly, it’s time to launch it. Consider testing your donation form a few times or even on a recurring basis. You can do this by making small gifts to ensure donations are being processed correctly.

How much you can customize your donation page depends on your software and technical expertise. For small organizations, there are many out-of-the-box donation forms you can embed into your website with only minimal customization necessary. In contrast, larger nonprofits may choose fully customizable solutions and work with developers to fine-tune every aspect of their donation process.

Donation Page Best Practices

The purpose of the page that hosts your donation form is to make the giving process as easy as possible. Essentially, when designing your donation page, consider how each element can help supporters get past this final hurdle to complete their donation journeys.

With that in mind, a few best practices include:

  • Clear structure and calls to action. There should be no question about how to use your donation page. Include clear donate buttons, and potentially divide your donation page into giving levels. These levels explain to donors how their gifts will make a difference.

Examples of donation levels.

  • Consistent branding. When navigating to your donation page, supporters should feel confident that they’re still on your website and giving to your nonprofit, which consistent branding can do. Plus, if your donation page gets shared around separately, such as through a social media campaign, it can still build brand awareness for your nonprofit.
  • Social sharing options. Giving donors the ability to share that they’ve given to your cause on social media accomplishes several things at once. Donors are able to earn public recognition for their good deeds and promote your nonprofit to potential donors. 32% of donors are most inspired to give via social media, and giving your supporters easy ways to tap into social media sharing is always in your best interest.
  • Mission summary. Providing a quick summary of your mission and how donors impact your cause can help reinforce their decision to give. This summary should be just one or two sentences that focus on the impact and urgency of giving.

After submitting a donation form, supporters should be greeted with a confirmation page that thanks them for their gift. You can get creative with your confirmation page by adding photographs and illustrations or playing with your typography. However, the financial information should be clear, so there is no confusion over whether a donor’s gift went through.

An example donor confirmation page.

Additionally, follow up with supporters with a donation receipt. The IRS requires all gifts of $250 to receive written confirmation, but it’s good practice to create receipts for all gifts.

Donation Form Best Practices

Your donation form is an essential part of your nonprofit’s donation page and can play a pivotal role in a supporter’s decision to donate.

This includes collecting:

  • Donor details. Basic information such as a donor’s name, contact information, and payment details are expected parts of the donation process. Avoid the temptation to gather more information as 65% of website visitors refuse to fill out a form if it asks for too much personal information.
  • Use a PCI-compliant payment processor. The Payment Card Industry set standards for payment processors to prevent breaches, protect consumers’ financial data, and fight fraud. When researching donation processors, check their security measures to ensure they are PCI-compliant.
  • Add suggested giving amounts. Also called donation levels, suggested giving amounts are pre-selected donation amounts supporters can choose from. Adding these to your donation page makes the donation process easier and can encourage supporters to give in higher amounts.
  • Make recurring giving easy. Recurring donations provide consistent support, and opting into them should be as easy as possible. Add a checkbox or button to make recurring giving possible in just a few clicks.
  • Encourage matching gifts. Many companies offer employees matching gift programs. Through these corporate giving initiatives, the company will match donations eligible employees make to nonprofits. Use matching gift software to add a matching gift search tool to your donation page. That way, donors become aware of matching gifts and can jump-start the matching gift request process right when they’re contributing.

Additionally, your entire website should follow website accessibility guidelines, but there are a few additional elements to consider when it comes to forms. For example, for each entry field, add a text indicator, such as an asterisk, for required fields rather than relying on color alone. Try navigating your donation form entirely by keyboard, running your page through colorblind filters, and making sure all text can be read by screen readers.

Now that you know what a donation form and page should look like, let’s explore a few examples of these best practices in action.

10 Donation Page Examples

1. Humane Society of Forsyth County

Limit distractions on your donation page. The Humane Society of Forsyth County shows you how to create a page that does just that.

A screenshot of the Humane Society of Forsyth County's donation page.

This minimalist design uses limited graphical elements and conditional logic to move donors smoothly through the giving process. If donors check a box that needs extra information, one clearly appears and disappears if the check is removed. This avoids clutter and ensures donors only engage with the elements they need to make their gift.

Plus, this donation page is also a showcase for creating suggested giving amounts. The boldest and most colorful part of the page in this stripped-down design is the donation levels. This prompts supporters to engage with them and the recurring giving options below. Plus, supporters also have the option to adjust their total gift amount even after selecting a suggested giving amount, reassuring supporters that how much they give is ultimately up to them.

2. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital provides maximum flexibility to donors in terms of how they give.

A screenshot of St. Jude's donation page.

When choosing a payment method, supporters can click several large buttons (which are easily accessible for mobile users) to give via credit card, PayPal, or even check. Pressing each option alters the rest of the donation form to reflect only that payment method, so supporters don’t have to scroll past entry fields for payment types they’re not using.

When it comes to payment methods your nonprofit will accept, consider at least offering a third-party processor like PayPal in addition to credit and debit cards. These processors provide donors more control over their gifts, helping them feel rest assured that their financial information and donations are protected.

3. World Wildlife Fund

One-time gifts are helpful, but recurring donations are reliable and allow your nonprofit to connect with donors long-term. To drive as many recurring gifts as possible, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has a donation page that defaults to monthly giving.

A screenshot of the WWF's donation page.

The entire donation page is set up to encourage supporters to upgrade their one-time gifts to recurring ones. Clicking on the option to “Give Once” causes a message box with an arrow pointing to the monthly giving option to appear, emphasizing how much more of a difference recurring gifts make by calling these donors “heroes for nature 365 days a year.”

Additionally, the suggested giving amounts for one-time and monthly giving options also persuade supporters to become recurring donors. Toggling back and forth between the two options only requires a button click, and supporters can compare the relatively low monthly donation costs to the equivalent one-time options.

The value of monthly gifts for both the WWF and donors is only further emphasized in the brief donation page description. This section shares how donors can become Partners in Conservation with a gift of $84+/month or $1,000+. While monthly donors will give a little more than $1,000 a year at $84 per month, many supporters will see the stark contrast between these numbers and feel the monthly option is the better deal.

4. Feeding America

Feeding America has a strong donation page, but where it really shines is in its search engine marketing.

A screenshot of Feeding America's Google Ad.

Anyone searching for “Feeding America” will be shown a Google Ad for Feeding America. This ad strategically takes up the entire above-the-fold section of the search results page with sitelinks, which extend the Google Ad with additional landing pages. These links let nonprofits list important pages (like your donation page) and allow users to jump straight to them.

Plus, with Feeding America’s strong search engine optimization strategy (SEO), you can find high-ranking Google search results for their site for nearly all terms related to U.S.-based food banks and feeding children in America.

To achieve similar results for your nonprofit, consider working with an SEO marketing agency or investing in the Google Ad Grant. For reference, the Google Ad Grant provides $10,000 in free ad credits nonprofits can use to create Google Ads.

Our recommended Google Partner can create persuasive Google Ads for your mission. Discuss your advertising plan with Getting Attention.

5. American Heart Association

84% of donors state they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered. The American Heart Association leverages this giving behavior by prominently emphasizing matching opportunities right on its homepage

A screenshot of the American Heart Association's homeapge.

On the donation form itself, a brief description explains the importance of the American Heart Association’s target issue. After this call to action, there is another brief reminder about an ongoing matching campaign. This helps instill urgency as it explains that donors need to give “now” and that this match applies to “gifts today,” indicating supporters may not get this opportunity if they put off donating.

Additionally, the American Heart Association’s donation page is designed to prevent cart abandonment, which occurs when an individual begins a checkout process but stops before finalizing their payment. When a donor exits the donation form, a pop-up appears prompting them to share their email address to be reminded to give later.

6. United Way

Public recognition applauds the donor who just gave and encourages fellow supporters to follow suit. United Way adds public recognition to its donation page with a donor leaderboard.

A screenshot of United Way's donation page.

Recent donations are listed on the donation page, reflecting gifts as they’re processed in real time. This means donors can give and check back in on the donation page to see their own gifts reflected.

Plus, a donor leaderboard that constantly updates in real-time shows that United Way is a healthy nonprofit with a lively supporter base. This reassures potential donors that their gifts will be put to good use by a reputable nonprofit.

7. International Rescue Committee

While donation page designs should be free of clutter, adding your mission statement or an example of impact can go a long way toward getting donations across the finish line. The International Rescue Committee’s donation page shows a strong example of how to demonstrate urgency and impact.

A screenshot of International Rescue's donation page.

The photograph on this page shows potential beneficiaries, helping donors picture just who their gifts will help. The text over the picture, “DOUBLE your impact for refugees,” provides additional context in case a visitor needs clarification about the photograph.

The mission statement below the photo states the International Rescue Committee’s belief that everyone deserves safety and provides a few examples of locations where they are focusing their efforts.

8. University of Georgia

Nonprofits should keep their donation pages short and to the point. However, as the University of Georgia (UGA) shows, you can add a few extra entry fields that provide extensive value.

A screenshot of UGA's donation page.

Near the end of this donation page, supporters are prompted to add their employers’ information to discover if they are eligible for matching gifts. This user-friendly search tool auto-completes as supporters type, letting them find their employers in seconds.

UGA also uses its donation page as an opportunity to gather information for its appreciation and donor retention strategy. Supporters have the option to add their social media handles for Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) in an entry field that explains how UGA’s social media accounts regularly post about donors.

Both this and the matching gift entry field are not required, letting interested supporters opt in, while those who just want to make a donation can be on their way.

9. Humane Society of Broward County

Giving in honor or memory of someone else is a powerful way for donors to give their support to others and remember loved ones impacted by your cause. The Humane Society of Broward County demonstrates how nonprofits can make memorial donations an effective part of your donation form.

A screenshot of the Humane Society of Broward's donation page.

As a humane society, this nonprofit recognizes that many of its supporters are likely animal lovers and have pets in their lives currently or who have passed that they may want to recognize. Supporters can easily choose to make their donation in memory or honor of a pet or a person.

While pets may not be able to read the personal messages supporters write, the donation page description explains that gifts of $25+ made in honor or memoriam of an animal will be printed in the Humane Society of Broward County’s newsletter. This provides public recognition, creates a keepsake for the donors, builds donor relationships, and prompts supporters to give a bit more.

10. Canadian Radiological Foundation

Let’s take a step back from donation pages and take a look at another page you can create to accompany your donation page: a donor recognition page. The Canadian Radiological Foundation encourages support from new and existing donors by creating a virtual donor wall of their names.

A screenshot of the Canadian Radiological Foundation's donor appreciation page.

Of the names listed, several are highlighted in blue to signal that they are part of an exclusive donor group known as the 500 Club. The 500 Club is a fundraising initiative launched by the Candian Radiological Foundation that donors can join by giving $500. This strategy encourages donors to upgrade their giving level to become part of an exclusive club and earn a limited edition pin and recognition in external communication, such as the donor acknowledgment page.

If your nonprofit wants to do something similar, you can create a virtual donor wall. List the names of donors who gave above a certain amount, gave to a specific campaign, or fulfilled any other requirement you feel deserves extra recognition.

More Donation Resources

Donors are the lifeblood of your nonprofit, and your donation page is the key tool your organization has for collecting support online. When maintaining your website, planning a new marketing strategy, or launching a rebrand, your donation page should always be at the top of your priority list.

To improve your donation earning potential, explore these additional resources on how to earn and make the most of each donor relationship:

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