Ashley Smith-Hammond

The third instalment in our digital fundraising mini-series looks at online donation buttons for improved conversion on your website.

In our previous article, we looked at some of the big online fundraising platforms that allow your fundraisers to create personal giving pages. In this piece, we turn to online donation buttons. These can be sourced externally, which can save time and effort on development and maintenance.

why install

Having a good donation system on your website is crucial. Take the example of Cancer Research UK, one of the biggest UK charities. According to reports from the Institute of Fundraising, in 2016, it saw a 30% increase in single donations being taken through its online payment platform as supporters embraced its digital platforms.

Ease of use is critical on both mobile and desktop websites. Improved user experience (UX) is directly correlated to improved conversion rate. For Cancer Research UK, mobile traffic accounted for over half of visits to its website in 2016.

some options

The most popular buttons are offered by PayPal and its rival, Google Wallet. These buttons are easy to use and digital wallets have the benefit of being familiar because of their ubiquity in online shopping. Importantly, with PayPal’s button, users don’t need to have PayPal accounts to make donations, so the barrier to conversion is lowered even further.

If you have set up a PayPal GivingFund account, you can also collect Gift Aid on these donations – increasing your donations by a minimum of 25%.

These buttons can be a real catalyst for cultural organisations’ transition to online fundraising. You’ll need some technical know-how, but you’re not investing in a payment portal from the ground up. It’s an existing, highly customisable, secure solution that’s worth exploring.

Main image credit: Donations Please by Michel Clark (CC BY 2.0)