7 ways for non-profits to increase contributions using web application development

Published on: 29 Dec 2020

By Haritha Rajendran 

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Websites are a gateway to knowing an organisation. Designing a quality web portal can benefit a non-profit charitable agency in a multitude of ways. This article puts forth best practices that your non-profit organization can adopt in order to make your digital platform deliver the best value for your business.


  2. User friendly navigation plays a vital role in website usability and User Experience (UX). Viewers enjoy seeing sites that have seamless navigation, which in turn enables them to view the information they want and avoid information they are not interested in. Here is a list of the most popular intuitive navigation options to consider in non-profit web development.

    • Drop down navigation – this user-friendly option is the first choice when it comes to displaying multiple choices yet keeping the site compact.

    • Custom mega menu – another great space saver, you can use pictures or icons as mega menus. If your website has multiple links, mega menus should be your preferred option.

    • Fixed Position Menu – a hassle-free user interface, used when “call for action” is needed.

    • Slide drawer – a mobile-friendly option, this is ideal for hidden navigation intended to declutter the mobile screen that has numerous navigation links.

    • Card Grid – a great option while looking at mobile and website navigation, the grids contain images that can be made visually appealing and enables users to make quick choices.


  4. According to the Global Trends Giving Report, 54% of donors worldwide prefer to donate using a credit card or debit card. A few pointers should be kept in mind while deploying payment integrations.

    • Keep the form filling simple – “completing the actual donation process took the users 7% more time on average than it took users to complete an eCommerce checkout process” – as per a report by Nielsen Norman Group. Donor form filling should be hassle-free and not a tedious process.

    • Security – according to Global Trends in Giving Report, 92% of donors say it is important that NGOs, non-profits, and charities make a concerted effort to protect their contact and financial information from data breaches.  Donor data security is a high priority and cannot be compromised.

    • Make the “Donate now” button stands out as a ‘Call to action’ button – users should be able to quickly identify the donation button/icon. You could create donation denominations and make them readily clickable for quick decision making.

    • Use donation thermometer – enhance UX by creating a real-time progress tracker towards a fundraising goal.

    • Encourage repeat donors – your donation form can use a “one time” or “monthly” option to increase the number of donors.


  6. As per Global NGO Technology Report, 71% of non-profits worldwide agree that social media is effective for online fundraising. Social media integration plays the following important roles.

    • Donor experience – new donors would want to read reviews of existing donors. This enhances the NGOs’ credibility.

    • Space for volunteering – a portion of donors would want to donate their time for a cause rather than making a monetary donation. Such donors get the first-hand experience by going through a volunteering events’ story and photos.


  8. The State of Modern Philanthropy Report states that 77% of donors who first donate from a mobile device make their second donation from a mobile device. With such astounding data, it is imperative that your site is mobile responsive. This will not only help with the SEO but also enhance donor conversion rates. Use the following guidelines to create a truly mobile-friendly UX for the donors.

    • Display your CTA – clearly showcase your Call to Action (CTA) but do not overwhelm the reader with more than one CTA per page.

    • Responsive theme – content optimization and SEO is less complicated when you have a responsive theme.

    • Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) – pages that load within two seconds  have an average bounce rate of 9%, while pages that load in five seconds see their bounce rates skyrocket to 38%. Speed up the load time of your website on mobile using AMP.

    • Viewport meta tag – include this essential feature to your site HTML to be able to control how your website shows up on a mobile device.

    • Font size matters – use large fonts of at least 14px on your webpages. You can test to change the size wherever necessary.


  10. Management Information Systems Research Center states that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. Whether your goal is to raise money or to thank donors for their contribution, visual representation like videos, audio, images, etc always creates an impact. Here are a few tips you can follow to create a stunning visual narration.

    • Intention – be clear on what the narration should convey. It is usually best to have one message as the focus.

    • Problem: Solution : Impact – creating a story around one beneficiary is an interesting methodology to create a more personal experience for the donor. Use real beneficiaries to create authenticity.

    • Be clear on the CTA – if your story telling is strong, people will follow through your CTA.

    • Transparency – inform donors the cause their donation was spent on and its impact.

    • Use numbers – a website that displays data/statistics such as lives impacted always creates a lasting impact on donors.


  12. Creating personalised communication with donors increases donor loyalty. Here are the essential guidelines to deliver a truly customized donor interaction.

    • Send personalised emails once the donations have been made. A personalised thank you card/certificate is a game-changer when it comes to donor relations.

    • Philanthropy Journal states that 80% believe it is “important to know the real outcomes of their charitable donations or volunteer work with non-profit organisations.” Keep your donors informed about how their contribution has created an impact.


Want to inform donors about an event that is coming up? Or want to share exciting news with the contributors? Pop-ups are a great way to enhance donor engagement. However, you should be cautious not to overuse this feature.


Visitors using a desktop browser are 75% more likely to donate than those visiting via a mobile device — but mobile represents 60% of all campaign visitors, according to Classy’s 2020 State of Modern Philanthropy report. Non-profit organizations need to create a digital presence to achieve their organization/campaign goals and investing in the development of a web application is an important first step towards it.

Haritha Rajendran