We’re always talking about the ecommerce checkout process here on the blog. Features like guest checkout, progress trackers, and basket summaries – they’re all helpful for streamlining the path-to-purchase.
But what about when there’s no product at the end of it? This is the task at hand for charities, who are asking consumers to hand over their hard earned money in exchange for the promise that it will be going to a good cause.
It’s hard enough for charities to convince consumers to want to donate in the first place, never mind guiding them through the process – so which charities do it best? Here’s just six examples and the reasons why they’re so effective.
Charity: Water’s website is one of my favourites in terms of design, using eye-catching imagery and informative content to nudge donations. It also makes giving very easy, letting users know that there are a variety of ways to get involved.
Its donate button is easy to spot, including a nifty drop-down menu that instantly tells users there’s more than one option.
The main reason I like it is that it offers choice – and not just in terms of how often or how much to donate. It uses a fun and enthusiastic tone of voice to encourage people to fundraise in a variety of ways.
In fact, it lets users decide, allowing them to set up a bespoke campaign page detailing exactly how. Charity:Water also makes it as easy as possible for people who don’t have the time or inclination to fundraise, giving them a ready-made campaign page that lets people ask for donations in place of birthday gifts.
American Heart Association
According to a survey, 65% of organisations require online donors to click three or more times to make a donation. This undoubtedly results in an increase of people abandoning their journey.
The American Heart Association’s donation page is a great example of how to counteract this. It uses a one-page form to simplify the donation process. What’s more, it automatically fills in elements of the page, pre-setting suggested amounts to reduce form filling.
Research also shows that suggesting gift amounts leads to bigger donations. This is perhaps because people might use the suggested amount as a minimum, whereas they might select a lower amount if left to their own devices.
Finally, American Heart Association has an integrated Amazon Pay feature to let users pay in a single click if they are logged in their account, making donating as quick and easy as buying something on Amazon.
Cancer Research UK
According to PSA’s annual report, text donations fell by 7m last year. However, it’s been suggested that this was due to a reduction in marketing spend, with PSA also predicting that it will rise again in 2017.
Cancer Research UK heavily promotes text donations, allowing users to give £3 by texting a code. While the website itself does not overtly promote the feature (you need to click through to ‘other ways to donate’ to find it) – it is very clearly explained here.
Text donation is certainly one of the most user-friendly options, with charities able to capitalise on user’s spontaneity and in-the-moment urge to give.
Cancer Research UK’s easy UX is also continued onto its mobile site. It has recently integrated Apple Pay, meaning users can give money in just two steps.
Another cancer charity with a great mobile user journey is Macmillan. On its website, the donation process is a little bit lengthy – the three-step process feels like harder work than others I’ve mentioned.
However, its mobile site is a different story. After clicking ‘donate’ on the homepage, you are taken you to a page with three ways to give money – either by credit card, PayPal or text.
The text feature is particularly cool. By tapping the screen, users are immediately taken to a draft text message where the number is already pre-filled. Again, while text donations are one of the easiest ways to donate, this ensures that all friction is removed, as the user does not even have to enter in the phone number.
Red Nose Day
Red Nose Day is an annual event where people up and down the country hold events and activities to raise money for charity. But how exactly does the charity collect all the cash?
Its website allows fundraisers to pay in their money online. The process is pretty quick and easy, taking users through a straightforward payment process – similar to that of any slick ecommerce site.
Meanwhile, the charity also allows people to donate all year round, prompting them to do so throughout its site. Here, I particularly like how suggested donations correspond to what they can achieve. This encourages consumers to take action, also acting as proof that the money is put to good use.
On to donating, and Red Nose Day offers one of the best experiences. A one-page, responsive form – it enables users to quickly complete the process without any real hassle. It also clearly and concisely explains its Gift Aid option – one element which perhaps might confuse people.
While most websites promote Gift Aid as a tiny tick-box, this approach is great way to promote transparency and ensure understanding.
Finally, the Alzheimer’s Society taps into emotive elements to help drive consumers through the donating process, by asking whether or not people would like to donate in memory of someone.
This adds an element of personalisation to the often one-sided experience of giving to charity, with Alzheimer’s Society making the process more meaningful.
It also separates the user journey into single or monthly donations, which is effective for avoiding any confusion or anxiety about recurring payments. The various payment provider logos also help to instil trust and reassurance in consumers.
So, what can we learn from the aforementioned examples? Here are a few takeaways.
1. Provide options. Giving consumers multiple ways to raise money helps to spur on action and involvement. A ready-made form like Charity:Water’s ‘birthday pledge’ makes it as easy as possible.
2. Reduce steps. It’s important to make the donating process as simple as possible, ensuring it takes just a few clicks. Similarly, pre-filling forms is a great way to streamline the process.
3. Think mobile. A mobile optimised site should be standard, but extra features like ‘tap to text’, Apple Pay, and a native form can massively enhance the user experience.
4. Add personalisation. Giving consumers the option to donate in memory of someone helps to prompt donations, but more than this, it also helps to create a meaningful connection between the charity and consumers.