As you prepare to launch your next online fundraising campaign, consider the prominence of your online presence. Afterall, your primary interactions with donors will be online, which means you need to make a positive impression all around.

Luckily, you can make such an impression by using a content management system (CMS) that offers features to make your nonprofit stand out online, as well as necessary information about your fundraiser.

As web development has evolved, CMS platforms have grown to encompass more features. It’s especially important that you use a CMS with nonprofit-specific features you can easily take advantage of. We’ll discuss several of those in this article, including:

  • Customization
  • Donation Pages
  • Fundraising Thermometer
  • eCommerce
  • Social Media

When you make use of these nonprofit website features during your online fundraiser, you give yourself the potential to boost your donation revenue and build a larger support network for your cause. Let’s take a closer look at these features.

1. Customization

When running your online fundraising campaign, establishing trust with your donors should be at the forefront of your mind. Donors prefer to give to organizations with which they have some familiarity. This familiarity may be due to highly prominent branding they’ve seen in the past or the nonprofit’s marketing outreach.

Either way, continuing this consistency in your website’s branding leads to trust with your donors. If each page on your website reflects your organization’s overall look and feel, donors will feel more comfortable giving to your campaign.

You can achieve branding consistency with customization options available in your CMS. These will allow you to:

  • Clearly display your logo. Your organization’s logo is the most recognizable branding element to your donors. Your logo should be visible on each page of your site, especially your donation page.
  • Adjust your font and color scheme. Adjust your website’s theme or template to match the font and colors of your brand. This will ensure consistency across not just your website, but all of your marketing materials.
  • Style your donation buttons. Style your donation buttons to match your organization’s branding and use bright colors to draw attention to them.

In addition, a CMS with drag-and-drop features is especially helpful for small to mid-sized nonprofits that may not have coding knowledge or a tech team to assist with web development. Easily drag content onto your page and customize the layout in the way you prefer so you can best showcase your cause.

If you’re looking for more information on getting your web design started, check out Morweb’s guide to nonprofit web development.

2. Optimized Donation Pages

While your entire site should reflect your branding in order to establish trust, the most important element you should focus on during your online fundraising campaign is your donation page. This page serves as your last chance to convince a donor that they should give to your nonprofit. So, how can you make it count?

By creating your donation page through your CMS platform, you’ll not only ensure consistency in branding, but also get to take advantage of all the other features that come with your web design platform. For example, you can:

  • Create a mobile-optimized page. More and more donors are browsing the web on their mobile devices. Be sure that your CMS platform offers mobile-responsive automation so that your website will adjust to fit any screen size. Donors will have a better experience viewing your page and your nonprofit could increase its donations by 126% on average.
  • Take a minimalist approach. When designing your donation page, less is more. Too many images on your donation page will be distracting to your visitors, but a clean layout will be naturally appealing. Make efficient use of your space and feature the information you need, without overdoing it.
  • Limit your text fields. Only ask for the information that you need from donors, such as their contact and payment information. Having multiple pages and “next” buttons creates a longer process for your donors and gives them multiple opportunities to abandon the form altogether.
  • Easily edit your donation form. Your CMS platform should allow you to make quick adjustments to your donation form, such as suggested donation amounts, recurring gift options, and other fields.
  • Recurring gift options. A recurring gift option encourages your donors to make their donation automatically recurring on a regular basis (monthly, annually, etc., or even weekly). Allow your donors to select the frequency and see the total funds over their selected duration. This will in turn help you maintain a level of transparency and keep their trust.

Your donation page design counts the most in terms of converting visitors into donors, so be sure to incorporate these design elements into your online fundraising campaign. You’ll be much more likely to boost your donation revenue as a result.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out this list of best nonprofit website examples.

3. Fundraising Thermometer

Displaying a fundraising thermometer on your website’s homepage is a great way to build excitement for your campaign and direct visitors to your donation page. Showing your donation numbers upfront will not only improve transparency with your supporters, but it will also help create anticipation for your campaign.

Not all CMS platforms offer this feature so be sure to consult with your website provider first to see if this is an option. When creating your fundraising thermometer, be sure to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Set a realistic fundraising goal. As the numbers tick closer and closer to your goal, supporters will feel more engaged with your cause. Hitting your fundraising goal is an exciting milestone and great content to share on your social media and other channels. If you goal is too ambitious, your supporters may feel disappointed if the end result is too far off.
  • Specify a time frame for your goal. This will create a sense of urgency for your donors to donate right away instead of putting it off for a later day. As the end date nears and you grow closer to your goal, donors may feel more compelled to give to your campaign if only to see your thermometer reach the end.
  • Link to your donation page. Make it easy for new site visitors to contribute to your online fundraising campaign by linking to your donation page. You’ll want to make sure this link stands out with bright colors and a button format.

Highlighting a fundraising thermometer on your homepage will help drive site visitors to your online campaign and encourage them to contribute. Incorporating this live feature into your site design will further create excitement and build anticipation amongst your supporter base.

4. eCommerce

Online fundraising isn’t just about donations. In fact, there are several ways you can raise additional funds.

Donors prefer to have a variety of ways to give online, and some of these individuals will want to receive something in return for their donation. One of the most effective ways to meet them where they are is through an eCommerce store.

By using a CMS platform with eCommerce functionality, you can:

  • Add an online store to your website. Give donors the opportunity to purchase branded merchandise from your organization, which also becomes an excellent way to promote your nonprofit’s brand.
  • Increase your revenue. Your web visitors will appreciate being able to browse through your merchandise and add it on to their donations, especially if your items are freshly designed and well-made. Check out Bonfire’s guide to designing the perfect t-shirt for some helpful tips.
  • Expose your nonprofit to more donors. As donors wear your merchandise, this will spread awareness around your cause and inspire others to look up your mission and your campaign.

Make sure your online store is mobile friendly and features high-quality images of your merchandise so donors have a clear picture of what they’re interested in purchasing. Ensuring your store has these features will lead to more sales.

5. Social Media Integrations

Part of fundraising online means covering multiple avenues of digital communication. Though it comes in second to your nonprofit’s actual website, social media is a huge platform through which your supporters can engage with your organization.

That’s why using a CMS that offers social media integration is important and a general best practice to include in your web design strategy. By integrating your website and your social media accounts, you can:

  • Take advantage of live feeds. Keep your web visitors updated on your nonprofit’s progress with live feeds of your social media posts that they can view on your website. Choose one or two of your most active channels to feature on your homepage.
  • Drive traffic to your social media platforms. Send web visitors directly to your social media accounts so you can further interact with them and let them know what events and campaigns are coming up.
  • Gain more traction. When supporters can easily access your social media feeds, this gives them the opportunity to share your posts with their own networks, expanding your reach.

By linking your website and your social media accounts, you’ll give your supporters an opportunity to interact with you on a regular basis. Keep them updated through both your website and your social media pages, let them easily share your events and news, and build a larger supporter base for your fundraising campaign.

There are many CMS features you can include as you launch your online fundraising campaigns. From customization to eCommerce and social media, many options can help you boost your donation revenue. If you think your website is ready for a makeover, get started on researching CMS platforms that can help you do all of this.