Designing the Donation Form
Making the donation experience more user-friendly.
The Autism Gym is a small nonprofit that provides recreational activities for kids with autism.
I reached out to them to help redesign their website mostly because I wanted to donate money and couldn’t figure out how to.
So as part of the redesign of the Autism Gym’s website
, I wanted to make the donation experience more visible and user-friendly.
A few of the things I considered as I designed the donation form:
1. Make it easy to find
2. Keep it simple
3. Make it one page
4. Suggest donation amounts
5. Offer recurring donation options
6. Avoid placeholder text
7. Show impact
8. Say thank you
It’s really important that the donate button stand out from the rest of the website.
I included the donate button on almost every page of the site, as well as featured it prominently on the homepage, placing it above the fold and high enough so as to ensure that every visitor would see how to give.
The button remains in the same place on every page so that visitors know where that button is whenever they decide they’d like to donate.
A clean and simple donation page not only looks professional, but it also removes any possible distractions.
By removing unnecessary text, photos, or anything else that might divert donors’ attention, I was able to create a form that helps users focus on the task at hand.
The length of the donation form matters.
According to Beyond Best Practices
, the study found that one-page donation forms result in more donations than forms that have a second page.
I designed the donation form so that all necessary information is given on one page
Some users are not always sure what an appropriate donation to a non-profit should be. By providing suggestions, we’re able to guide the user into the appropriate bucket. I kept the option for users who want to donate a custom amount.
I used button styling for the inputs —buttons are more approachable, more tap-friendly, and more visually appealing than a traditional input.
Offer recurring donations
One of the easiest ways to boost donor retention rates is to offer recurring donations as an option on your donation page. Getting a one-time gift is great, but receiving a monthly recurring gift, even if for a smaller original amount, is so much better because it means long-term commitment. I made the donation form simple for your new donors to turn their gift into a monthly recurring donation.
Usability testing shows placeholder text tends to hurt more than it helps
. By removing this text and keeping field labels outside of the box, it makes it easier for potential donors to navigate the form.
Without placeholder text, it’s much easier for people to quickly scan to see what fields they still need to fill out and review the form before submitting.
It’s helpful for people to know the impact of their donation. I included some simple messaging that helps users understand how far their donation will go.
One of the best forms of gratitude is simply saying thank you. For many nonprofits this is a necessary part of the donor cultivation process. When any donation is received, the first thing that should be done is thanking the donor. I looped in email confirmation messaging as part of this process.
Donations are the lifeblood of any nonprofit. They’re pivotal to enabling the nonprofit to continue to do good work and creating donation forms that people will actually finish is really important.
The Autism Gym redesign is still a work in progress but once we have a well-designed and optimized donation form, our next steps would be to measure its effectiveness by testing it.
You can view a mockup of the donation form here