How to Ask for Donations Through your Website

Donations are essential to keep your nonprofit running, but organizations are always wondering about the best ways to obtain contributions from their constituents. With new technology constantly on the move, the internet is becoming a better way to solicit donations. Asking for a donation on your website is easy, but knowing the best practices for how to actually get people to follow through and donate can take a little more research.

Make It Easy

First, make sure the structure of your website is easy to navigate so visitors know where to go if they’d like to make a gift.¬† The actual donation page should be found at a simple URL, like http://www.yourwebsite.com/Donate. A link like that is easy to remember, easy to write out, and easy to share. Some nonprofits hide their donation pages deep within their websites, making them difficult to find, and not friendly for search engine optimization.

On your donation page, don’t hide the donate button under a wall of text. Keep it simple with a nice, big button at the top of the page, along with a bold call to action. If people want to know more about your organization or what it does, they will visit other pages on your website. Users come to the donate page simply to donate, so the primary goal of the page is to allow people to donate easily, not to inform donors of your mission.

Social Proof Works

When one person takes an action, it’s more likely that others will take the same action, and that’s social proof at work. As an organization, you can use this to your advantage. After people make their gift, they can be taken to a landing page where you can encourage them to share their donation on social media. Many people like to show off their charitable giving, and in turn, that gives you free publicity, so it’s a win-win situation.

Profile donors in your newsletter or on social media. This not only puts your biggest donors in the spotlight, it can show others how great it can be to give.

 

How Emotion Influences Purchasing Habits

Everyone likes to feel like they’re in control of their emotions and decisions. But there’s one truth in advertising that is sometimes overlooked – emotions can overpower logic quite easily, and ads that make us feel something will end up making us buy. Think about the ads that got you interested in a product – they make you laugh, feel nostalgic or warm, or may even trigger a feeling of urgency. Whatever they make you feel, it undoubtedly works. Read on to learn more about how emotion plays a role in advertising, and how you can use it to your advantage in your marketing strategy.

Connect with Customers’ Desires

You can’t relate to potential customers very well if you don’t know what they want. Think specifically about what your customers need from a product or service, and also consider their long-term goals. Tap into both your customer’s sense of inspiration and aspiration, and help them make a decision with their hearts.

Many people see brands as having personalities, just as people do, and are looking for a brand that connects directly with their own personality. So when you’re advertising, use language that they’re familiar with, use attractive images, and communicate who you are with a narrative. For example, if you’re a business who wants to attract customers who care about the environment, tell them how you as a brand care about the environment too. Tell customers how your story directly relates to them, and how you can help them attain their deepest desires and loftiest goals.

Use Emotions to Evoke a Reaction

According to research from the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow, humans experience four core emotional states: happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted. You can use all of these states to your advantage when crafting a marketing campaign. If you create an ad that makes people feel happy, like a funny skit or an energetic and lively song, they are likely to share it. A sad story encourages people to take immediate action. That’s why animal shelters use pictures of sad looking dogs or cats to encourage you to donate. People who are afraid or surprised by an advertisement will usually try to cling to something familiar, encouraging brand loyalty. And anger or disgust, like sadness, can stir people up to take action. This is why anger or disgust are so often used in political advertising.

Be Bold

A key takeaway here is that if you aren’t adding an emotional element to your advertising, your ads most likely won’t be as effective as they could be. But some marketers may be afraid of coming off as fake or cheesy. The easy solution to this is to simply be honest with your audience, and keep an eye on their responses on social media. Take a look at what types of posts get the most likes, shares, and engagement and go from there. A survey for your customers could help too.

Looking back, some of the most effective ad campaigns of all time were the clearly most emotional. For example, think of the De Beers company, who, in 1947 decided that they wanted to sell more diamonds, and came up with a timeless marketing campaign. The slogan “A Diamond is Forever” invoked emotions like love, trust, and commitment, and people still remember and use that phrase more than 70 years later.

Once you know your audience inside and out, it’s easy to learn what they want and need, and what emotions you can use to get them to take your desired action. It may sound a bit manipulative, but your product or service can help your customers achieve their goals and dreams, and build lifelong brand loyalty for you.