Add functionality for crowd-funding and accepting donations to your website
You could be a small non-profit organization or local charity that depends on donations to fund your services,
You could be having a one-off charity fundraiser to aid a group that needs your support.
Whatever the reason, why not consider an online web-based donation page? We live in a crowd-funding era where making and accepting funding and donations online is commonplace. However compelling your cause, the chances of people making an online impulse donation are significantly higher than the same prospective donors contributing offline. There is a tendency to procrastinate, and the extra step of going somewhere to donate can result in inertia that costs you valuable funding.
10 Benefits of an Online Donations Page
Having an online donations page on your website can be very beneficial:
- It never sleeps; even when you do.
- It automates the fundraising and donation process adding efficiencies and minimizing errors
- Saves time by not having you tied up on the phone writing down membership or payment information.
- Is quick and efficient for the donor (and you).
- Can validate donor contact like email address, phone number, , even before the donation form is submitted
- Can validate and authorize payments and transactions in real
- Donation receipts can be emailed automatically to each donor.
- You will have immediate access to funds on cleared payments.
- Automatically integrate with your accounting system and keep real-time track of funds raised
- Add functionality to your website to show progress, create urgency, etc.
A few important considerations
Functionality needed for
The most common functionality needed by crowd-funding and non-profit organizations include:
- Online membership or donor registration page
- Database for effective member/donor management
- Optional calendar if there is an event registration
- Multiple options for accepting donation – by amount, location, cause, etc.
- Optional integration with a marketplace for product sales, giveaways and online service
- Some websites may require licensing
- Tracking repeat transactions and multiple donations from returning members or donors
- Real-time verification of funds available for credit card transactions
- Automated donations receipts sent by email
- Automated reminder and thank you emails
- Realtime counters on the website to track and report on the fundraising progress
- For tax-deductible causes, automatic email receipts with contemporaneous, written acknowledgments that are compatible with tax authority guidelines for claiming tax deductions
- Social media integration to allow donors to spread the word within their networks
Adding a payment gateway for
There are several options when it comes to payment gateways for integration with online donation pages on your website. Each option has a different membership and price.
Paypal button – Paypal offers a “Buy Now” or “Donate Now” button. Paypal is the most cost-effective option with the most basic of features. While there is no cost to use Paypal, they do take out a variable percentage of the donation upon checkout.
Woocommerce – Woocommerce charges a one-time fee to use the plug-in. This extension is built well WordPress websites with functioning plugins. Woocommerce can be basic, or have the extensive features requiring a merchant account. The broad features do require you to have an SSL certificate or purchase one. If you choose this option, there are more plugins offered to customize the extension better.
Wufoo Forms – offers a third-party server to ensure a transaction or donation through your shopping cart is completed securely. Wufoo requires a subscription at varying prices depending on your need.
Gravity Forms – To use Gravity forms you must already have an ecommerce system on your donation website.
Square – While Square used to only be available as a credit card processor, they have now developed APIs to allow integration on any e-commerce website.
Eventbrite – This event management system works great when planning events or selling tickets.
When your website visitors are on your charitable organization’s donations page, it is important to maintain a relationship, so they want to return. Using a CRM allows for management of member information, contact details, donation history; this information can then be used for related promotional activities. While a CRM is useful for charitable organizations, it is essential to research the costs, because they can be costly.
How to Accept Website Donations
Non-profit organizations normally have minimal budgets for websites and online marketing. This is where it comes in handy to have a professional website developer on hand that knows how to get the most for your money and increases the number of donations you receive.
There are two options to choose from:
Create your own custom website donations
- You can integrate it very easily into an existing website.
- You can add any additional information to a custom website donations form.
- You can build your own database of donors.
- You can control and change the online donations form and its processing as you want.
- You can switch payment processors at any time.
Use a third-party online service for accepting
- Easy to set up.
- May involve additional costs that take a percentage of each donation.
- Since you will not own the code, you will have less ability to customize the donations screen.
- You do not have to update and maintain the code as it is a third-party service.
Whether you are running a charitable organization or managing a one-off charity event, it is vital to ensure you have a highly-functioning donations page. This ensures you attract donors online and maximize contributions.
Flying Cow Design offers professional website development to ensure your website donations page is running at full capacity, even when you are not. We help you decide what options are best for your specific charity organization.
Call Flying Cow Design today!