Branding Your Donation Forms
In one of the most recent studies, online giving was shown to have increased by 20% between 2010 and 2011 (NTEN and M+R benchmarks study 2012). Equipping your donors to give to your organization/ministry is essential to your success. In this new series of blog posts this year, we are going to walk through many ways you can optimize your donation forms for your people using Clover Donations, and show you examples of what to do (and in some cases, what not to do.)
The first topic we're going to address is branding. It's essential that giving pages look and feel like the organization, from the way the design visually presents itself to your audience, to the way the form copy (text) communicates to the donor. That's really all it means when we talk about branding as a concept. It's simply ensuring that your organization's distinct mission, along with your unique look and feel, are implemented across every piece of your online and physical presence. All of this helps your organization stand out from the rest, and helps people identify with not just your cause, but your organization and mission specifically. People are looking for organizations they believe in, and once they find one, they want to latch onto the mission and inherit it as a part of their value set - what they believe in - and get involved to contribute to its success.
Statistics overwhelmingly show that donors are more likely to trust a branded donations page over a generic giving page (like Paypal or other unbranded payment forms). The more a donor trusts the organization and has their emotional connection with it reinforced, the more confidence they have and the more likely the donor will be to actually give. If the visual and written cues are familiar and consistent, it can actually increase giving, since the initial connection established with the donor on your website or through another channel, is not abandoned once they decide to give and enter their payment information. For example, a recent charitable study found that the loyalty factor (i.e. repeat giving) for donors who encounter generic giving pages is 66.7% lower than for donors who give via charity-branded giving pages that reinforce the mission of the organization. Safe to say, branding is important!
If you're a larger organization, your marketing department probably has a set of brand guidelines that can help you get started branding your online donation forms. If you're a smaller organization, you might not have those resources. Either way, if you need some help optimizing your giving pages to better reflect your brand, we've identified a few essential pieces that are worth considering:
1) Visual Elements: Build a general giving page that looks as much like your website as possible. With Clover Donations, we give you powerful, yet easy to use tools so you can customize your donation form precisely to match your brand. In easy mode, as you might expect, we've kept it very simple. You can change the fonts used on your form, and browse beautiful color palettes to choose one that fits best with your branding. In advanced editing mode, you have a whole world of additional options to control even the smallest details of your form. Select fonts and colors individually for each piece of your form, choose whether or not to include a header, rounded corners, drop shadow, and so many other unique customizations that are still easy and straightforward to adjust - usually editable with just a checkbox or slider control. If that's not enough, and you're pretty tech savvy with a knowledge of CSS (a fancy acronym for design code on your website), or you can enlist the help of your tech/web guy/gal, then there are even more options for you with our CSS form editor option in the advanced editing mode. If you don't have access to CSS, don't worry about it. Whichever route you choose, just be sure to include your name and logo first and foremost. Then choose colors and styles that match your website and other branded materials your organization has already created.
2) Messaging: Clover Donations provides you with the opportunity to customize the messages and wording your donor reads. There is an overview message you can customize to remind donors why it is so important for them to give, placed at the top of the donation form before they even begin the giving process. This reinforces the urgency of the need, and allows you to re-state your mission. You can also use this area to give specific direction, or guide donors towards certain payment types or funds when they move forward with their gift. When you write this text, try to make sure that the message they read sounds like your organization, using words and terms that are familiar and reassuring. Additionally, Clover Donations gives you the ability to change the payment word to what is most fitting for your organization. You can call a donation a gift, tithe, or anything else that matches what donors expect to see. It may seem like a small thing, but it goes a long way in making donors feel comfortable and committed. There are also so many other ways you can customize the messages your donors see, including customizing the text in thank you receipts. Be sure to sign up so you can try out everything for yourself.
If you have any questions or want more help with creating a well-branded donation experience, please give us a call or send us an email. We'd love to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org or (805) 527-8900.
If you need some inspiration or would like to see how others are using Clover Donations to create a beautiful donation experience for their people, take a look at the examples below. These organizations have done a great job designing their forms to reflect the brand of their organizations:
Velocity Church: https://velocity.cloverdonations.com/give/
Anthem Church: https://anthemchurch.cloverdonations.com/give/
Master's Resourcing Commission: https://mrcmissions.cloverdonations.com/sensitive-001/
Bowling Green Covenant Church: https://bgcovenant.cloverdonations.com/give/