One thing you should do today to increase donations: Scrub your donation forms

Can you imagine running a marathon, getting to mile 26.1 and then not crossing the finish line?

That’s exactly what happens when someone abandons your donation form.

Once your would-be donor has gotten to your donation form, they should be at the end of the transactional race. If they don’t cross the finish line and submit their donation, all the effort it took you to get them there  (paid ads, email writing, design)  is lost.

Don’t let minor road bumps derail your would-be donor during the last steps of the race. Here are some tips:

(1) User test your form. Give a credit card to someone who has never seen your website before. Watch them make a donation. Have them verbalize what they encounter. What’s easy for them? What makes them stumble? Chances are watching 3 people make a test donation on your form will surface 80% of the usability bumps you need to fix.

(2) Remove global navigation from your form. If you want someone to buy vanilla, don’t give them 31 flavors. Remove all global navigation from your form. Make your logo the only clickable option — and have it go back to your homepage.

(3) Include “credibility boosters” on your form. This could be a testimonial from another donor, a 4-star Charity Navigator logo, or a pie-chart that showcases your non profits’ efficiency.

(4) Remove unnecessary form fields like Address line 2 and “give us your comments.” These will only suppress response.

(5) Remove multiple non-giving options from your form like “take action,” or “share this.” You can add these options AFTER someone makes a gift first.

(6) Add your organization’s address and phone number. During focus groups, donors often say they look for this information to assure them there is someone who can help in case the transaction doesn’t go through.

Here are some examples of strong landing pages you might want to use as models.

Amnesty International

International Rescue Committee

Human Rights Campaign

This is the second post in a weekly “One Thing You Should Do Today” series I’m writing throughout year-end fundraising season. Let me know if these actionable tips are helpful.