How to Reduce Donor Dropoff for Online Donations

How to Reduce Donor Dropoff for Online Donations

Maybe you looked at a recent campaign and thought, “Why are donations so low?” People are opening and clicking through your emails, website traffic is up, and it seems like everything is working—except online donations are down.

If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone. Many nonprofits struggle to figure out what’s going wrong at this stage. There is good news! These 6 easy steps will help you to reduce donor drop off and raise more money for your cause!

1. K.I.S.S. Principle

The infamous K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid) applies just as well to donation forms. Simple navigation and forms go a long way to reducing donor dropoff and providing a clear and logical journey through the process for your donors. There’s actually a term for when this is done poorly—”analysis paralysis.” Basically, the more choices you give people, the more they struggle to make a decision, also known as Hick’s Law.

2. Don’t Distract

If your donation page is still trying to convince people they should donate, its time to re-evaluate. At most, your donation form helps people confirm what they’ve already decided to do. Here’s how:

  • Feature a large, beautiful hero image that illustrates your cause.
  • Include brief, compelling copy.
  • Remove links to other places on your site—you don’t want any competing calls to action.

3. Only ask for info you need

Would it be nice for each donor to give you their life history and reason for donating? Sure! Is that practical or helpful? Not so much.

Avoid asking questions that you don’t need answers to or adding unecessary fields to your form. One study found that most forms ask for eight basic pieces of information:

  • First Name
  •  Last Name
  •  Country
  •  Address
  •  City
  •  State/Province
  •  Postal Code
  •  Email Address


Consider those eight your safe bets as far as fields to include. If you can reduce it further? Even better. Amazon, who has changed the face of online shopping completely, was renowned at its beginning for how easy it made the process. While we would all love for people to visit our donation form as much as they do, simplifying the process is a good start.

4. Make it easy to find

You never want a donor to have to work to find your donation form on your site. Most users form their impression a site in just a few seconds—so make sure the Call To Action that leads to your donation form is one of the first things they notice.

5. Optimize

17% of donations in 2018 were on a mobile device. If your donation form isn’t optimized for any device, you’ll frustrate your donors and lose out on donations.

6. Remarket

This process isn’t over when someone leaves your page without giving. Many nonprofits are having success using remarketing advertising on sites like Facebook, Linked In, and more. By placing a pixel or code on your donation page, you can track users who didn’t donate and serve them ads to inspire them to return and contribute!

Donor dropoff is a frustrating phenomenon that can cost your cause hard dollars. Thankfully, following these steps will reduce the amount of donors who leave without donating.