Using Donation Pages to Connect, Not Transact

Struggling to boost your donation pages’ conversion rates? Motivating more donors to give a gift on your donation page might be as simple as changing your approach.

In online fundraising, conversion rates are king.

Conversion rates are simply the amount of people who land on your donation page and choose to give based on what they see on the page. 

In other words, a conversion rate puts a percentage on the number of people who were “converted” to giving to your cause. 

Out of the total number of people who landed on your donation page, how many of them gave a gift?

That’s your conversion rate. 

In our work with NextAfter, we’ve learned so much about how to increase conversion rates on donation pages.

While there are hundreds of insights in our report (download it here FREE!) on how to do that, you could really sum all of them up into a simple change of mindset.

To increase donation page conversion rates, you need to connect with donors rather than transact with donors.

That means changing your mindset from making transactions to connections with donors.

This really is the difference between raising donors and raising money.

Here’s how to use your landing pages to connect rather than transact with your donors.

Remember, your donors are human beings

By nature, we are social (even the introverts!) and long for connections with other people.

Not only do we live in communities, but we also need each other for everything from physical protection to emotional fulfillment.

When your donor lands on your donation page, they need to feel like they’re connecting with another person.

No one wants to feel like they are an ATM.

ATMs are where you go to get money.

People are where you go to experience connection.

If you change the way you approach your donation page, your copy will become more conversational.

Write as though you are encouraging a friend to support your cause.  

Then they’ll know your nonprofit is interested in a relationship rather than a transaction.

Tell stories on your landing page

One reason donors choose not to give is that they just don’t relate to problems you’re fighting to solve.

How do you yank them out of the humdrum of everyday life and get them to understand how people are starving, the climate is changing, politics are going downhill, animals are dying, etc.?

In other words, how do you connect your donor to the real issues?


Telling stories on your donation pages is a powerful way of connecting donors to the real problems your nonprofit is solving every day. 

By including testimonials on your landing page, you can describe the problem your nonprofit fights to resolve and how your nonprofit is meeting the need.

One example of a real nonprofit doing this is Shelter, a nonprofit in the UK.

Shelter didn’t just use a story on their landing page—they made it the motivator on their homepage to go to the landing page.

Amy’s story leads donors to the landing page and is featured in the middle of the landing page’s text…

Amy’s story is so compelling!

It also clearly tells donors how Shelter combats homelessness and how the donor could help.

Sharing stories connects your donors’ giving to your nonprofit and to your beneficiaries.

And that makes a donor feel like a human being helping another human being.

Give the Problem Enough Space on the Landing Page

You’d think brief copy on a landing page would increase giving. 

We’re all busy. We’ve all got better things to do, right?

But it doesn’t.

The results in our benchmark study with NextAfter show how the exact opposite is true. 

More donors give when there is more copy to read. 

The report concluded that…

“Giving is a process; it’s not as easy as making the decision and then completing information. There is a series of little micro-decisions all the way through the giving process, and it’s our job to help donors through those.”

The content on your landing pages should guide the donor through these micro-decisions to the moment of giving.

Your donation page shouldn’t just tell donors what they should do, but also why they should do it.

The answer to “Why should I care?” isn’t as obvious as we tend to think.

Don’t be afraid to give enough space on your landing page to show the depth of the problem and how it affects the things the donor cares about.

Riley Landenberger of NextAfter shares insights from Amy Harrison’s online course, Copywriting for Online Fundraising, in her post, which includes an amazing tool to help with this process.

Answering these questions before you begin writing the copy on your landing page will equip you with the content needed to properly explain the impact of the problem you’re facing.

Answer your donor’s emotional questions

Donors have a lot of questions when they come to your donation page.

Most of them come from a deep, emotional place. 

Can I really make a difference? Do I trust this organization?

Do they understand me and what I care about?

Will my donation be used for something meaningful?

A good donation page should answer all these emotional questions.

Show how donors can make a difference, not just that they should do something.

Describe how their gift helps the beneficiary in concrete, emotive ways. 

“Thanks to your gift, Shawna can finally rest at night knowing she and her kids are safe.”

“Your gift helps nourish hungry bellies and heal wounded hearts.”

Connect with us

Raise Donors gives you the tools you need to raise more donors!

Contact us today and find out how Raise Donors can help you create donation pages that connect with your donors and motivate more giving.