7 Simple & Savvy Ways to Design an Outstanding Donation Page

Mark Kelly
April 24, 2018

Find out our favorite ways to design a donation page with fundraising software.

When it comes to your organization’s online fundraising efforts, there’s no better recipe for success than designing an attractive and optimized donation page. After all, your donation page serves as the last point of engagement before donors give, so it’s important to make a great impression.

Not only can a great donation page make the difference between a passive supporter and a dependable giver, but it can also set the tone for your organization online. If your nonprofit wants to build an effective online fundraising strategy, you’ll need to take a second look how you leverage fundraising software to design donation pages.

Think your team is ready to revolutionize how your supporters make online gifts? Check out our favorite donation page tips and strategies to get started:

  1. Design a compelling call to action for your donation page.
  2. Streamline your donation page’s user experience.
  3. Design your donation page with visuals in mind.
  4. Offer varied ways to give on your donation page.
  5. Customize your donation page design from campaign to campaign.
  6. Integrate the design of your donation page with your website.
  7. Emphasize social sharing in your donation page’s design.

With effective best practices in place, your nonprofit’s donation page is sure to impress. Let’s dive into these key strategies to learn more!

Design a compelling call to action for your donation page.

1. Design a compelling call to action for your donation page.

The first element of your donation page that supporters will encounter is your call to action. Your call to action comprises the short command placed at the top of your giving page that is meant to inspire readers to take action on behalf of your cause.

This brief but powerful message is one of the most important parts of your donation page’s real estate! Be sure that you abide by the following best practices when designing your call to action:

  • DO: Use active language. Your call to action should make it impossible to ignore your donation page. Leverage words like “Save”, “Support”, “Uphold”, “Prevent”, and other verbs that place the onus of action onto your reader.
  • DON’T: Be too wordy. This section should be succinct and easily scannable. Use no more than a single line of text and avoid unnecessary words. You’ll want readers to immediately understand what they’re looking at and the needs of your nonprofit.
  • DO: Address your readers. The key to compelling supporters to make a gift is to make them feel that their donation is integral to the success of your campaign. Frame your call to action in the second person to grab their attention.

Take a look at Salsa's donation form builder. With this effective interface, you can easily customize all aspects of your donation page, from your call to action onward.


Bonus tip! Creating a compelling call to action is just one aspect of effectively asking for donations. Want to learn more? Read up on asking for donations the right way with our top tips.

2. Streamline your donation page’s user experience.

2. Streamline your donation page’s user experience.

When your donation page is easy to navigate, it’s more likely supporters will complete their donations. For this reason, it’s important that your donation page is as streamlined as possible to help prevent donor abandonment and increase completion rates.

Luckily, when your nonprofit has access to smart donation page building software, optimizing your donation page is easy! Take a look at some of our favorite ways your team can streamline your donation page to make it more intuitive for supporters:

  • Include gift suggestion buttons to solicit gifts from supporters. These buttons take the guesswork out of giving and help ensure you receive the right gifts to reach your goal.
  • Mobile optimize your page so that it's legible by smartphone and tablet users. This will ensure that mobile device users can easily navigate your page, which will in turn prevent abandonment.
  • Only request key data from your donation page’s readers. When there are too many fields to fill out, it’s likely you’ll lose out on donors who abandon your page.
  • Include a submit button that’s compelling. Think of your submit button as a mini call to action and use succinct, active language that emphasizes positive action.

When your donation page is easy to read, intuitive to navigate, and promotes quick completion, you’re sure to see a boost in giving. Looking for more donation page optimization tips? Check out our guide to building a better donation form to find out more.

Design your donation page with visuals in mind.

3. Design your donation page with visuals in mind.

Another big factor in the success of your donation page is how it looks visually. Not only does it need to be attractive in order to increase the chances of a visitor completing their gift, but it also needs to effectively communicate your nonprofit’s identity.

When your donation page features unobtrusive, attractive visual elements, it’s more likely new and returning givers will be inspired to donate. As you design your donation page, keep in mind some key strategies for leveraging effective visuals:

  • Place your logo front-and-center. You’ll want readers to immediately associate the page with your nonprofit so there’s never any question of who the page belongs to. Be sure that your logo appears at the top of the page and on your “Thank You” message.
  • Customize your donation page with branded colors. Strengthen your online identity by continuing your nonprofit’s color scheme onto your donation page. This strategy works even better when your color scheme is reflected on your website.
  • Feature impactful photography. At the top of your donation page, you should always include a powerful image of your nonprofit at work or of an individual affected by your organization. This way, individuals know that their gift is going to a worthy cause.

Bonus tip! Not a graphic designer? That’s okay! If you think your nonprofit needs an extra set of eyes to ensure your donation page is visually optimized, hire a fundraising consultant to aide in designing a stunning donation page.

Offer varied ways to give on your donation page.

4. Offer varied ways to give on your donation page.

If your nonprofit is looking for an easy way to promote giving to your cause, one strategy you can adopt is ensuring that individuals have the freedom to give however they choose when they arrive on your online donation page.

When supporters can give however they like, they’re more likely to follow through with their donation to your nonprofit as well as make additional gifts later down the line. Your team can boost giving by:

  • Enabling gift customization. This seems simple, but it’s worth restating. If you use gift suggestion buttons, always include a “customizable” button for custom gifts. This way, supporters can give at a level that’s comfortable for them.
  • Accepting debit, credit, and eCheck payments. The more payment options your donation page offers, the less likely it is a donor will abandon your page. Additionally, when supporters can give using their preferred method, they’ll feel financially secure.
  • Offering flexible recurring gifts. Many supporters will be inspired to opt into recurring gifts to your cause; be sure to make this sign up process intuitive and customizable. Allow them to set the size of their gift, the frequency of giving, and other factors.

With the right fundraising software platform, you can customize these donation methods during the donation page publication process. 

Customize your donation page design from campaign to campaign.

5. Customize your donation page design from campaign to campaign.

One big mistake that many nonprofits make is using the same generic donation page for all of their campaigns. Whether it’s your capital campaign, your annual fundraising efforts, or a mid-year fundraising push, you’ll need a unique donation page for each one.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have a central fundraising page. Of course you should! Your main fundraising page should address your general mission and steer donors toward giving unrestricted donations to your annual fund.

However, you team should create discrete fundraising pages dedicated to all of your ongoing campaigns that clearly differentiate themselves from one another.

The theory behind this is simple: if donors feel like they’ve already given to your “main” campaign (or have already decided not to give to that campaign), they’re more likely to disregard your donation page in the future and not make an additional gift.

Yet, when you design unique donation pages from campaign to campaign, you can signal to supporters that their donations would be going to new efforts on behalf of your nonprofit to further your cause.

You can make your individual campaign pages stand out by referencing the new campaign in your call to action, using different images as your core visual elements, and including a short note about why this new campaign is worthy of their support.

Integrate the design of your donation page with your website.

6. Integrate the design of your donation page with your website.

A big factor that can play into supporters abandoning your donation page before making a successful gift is feeling that your donation page isn’t a natural part of your digital identity. When an individual’s financial information is on the line, this can be the red flag that stops them from giving.

For this reason, you’ll want your donation page to be as seamless an element of your online presence as possible. In Section 3 we discussed some aesthetic strategies to accomplish this; however, you can also do so with a few key fundraising software features:

  • Donation form code. Effective fundraising software should offer your team the ability to embed the code of your donation form directly into your website. This way, supporters will see it as a natural part of your online identity.
  • Donation form buttons. These can be embedded into website pages using a special code, or they might be added to email messages to quickly direct supporters to your donation form. Since these buttons match your brand, they’ll seem safe to click.
  • Social media automations. What looks better, a simple link to your donation page or an optimized social media post that features your giving form? Find a fundraising platform that allows total customization of your social media communications to better promote your page.

Check out how Organization for International change leverages Salsa's tools to embed their fundraising form. By having the freedom to share their page with a link or directly on their website, they make donating an easy decision for inspired supporters.


Emphasize social sharing in your donation page’s design.

7. Emphasize social sharing in your donation page’s design.

If there’s one step in the giving process that’s too often disregarded, it’s your “Thank You” or “Success” page. On this page, you confirm that your supporters have made a successful gift, typically including a short message thanking them.

However, did you know that you can leverage this page to be an effective fundraising tool? Your team can include social media sharing tools in the design of your “Thank You” page that call on donors to spread the word about your fundraising campaign.

Social media sharing tools help givers share your donation page on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and more. You can customize which sites you feature on this page, as well as the social sharing call to action, as you design your donation form.

Emphasizing social sharing can be really effective at this stage in the giving process. Since the only supporters who arrive on this page are successful donors, you already know they’re inspired by your cause and are motivated to support your campaign.

As such, there’s no reason not to leverage social sharing tools on this page. By doing so, you increase the likelihood of growing your community by reaching individuals who aren’t already among your supporters. In the long run, this is crucial to achieving your fundraising goals!

Your donation page is the front line for fundraising at your organization, so it’s integral that your team designs it effectively. With these tips on hand, your next donation page is sure to be a huge success!

Want to master designing your nonprofit’s donation page? The key is effective fundraising software! Take a look at these fundraising software resources to get started:

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