Marketing & Communications Centre > Marketing Essentials > Help Sheets > Marketing your online donation facility

Marketing your online donation facility

If your group or not-for-profit hasn't got an on-line donations facility yet, do it.

To find out more on how to do it, refer to the List Your Cause ( page on GiveNow and read the GiveNow FAQs ( on how your group's appeal can be included, free of charge, on the

Once you've done that, and linked to your appeal on from your website, its time to look at how to market your on-line giving facility - both on your group's website and through its other marketing and communications channels.

Part 1 - Marketing your on-line giving "on-line"

When your organisation or group has established an on-line giving facility, the first place you should look to market it is on your very own website.

"If you've got it - flaunt it" should be the attitude of your group in marketing its on-line donation facility.

The good news is that there a number of simple ways of doing this - to both draw website visitors to the site and then convince them to donate.

They include:

Mentioning it in a prominent spot on your home page.

An important part of marketing your on-line donation facility is to increase people's awareness of its existence.

One of the best ways of doing so is to make sure site visitors can easily see a mention of your on-line donation facility when they first get to your home page.

This can be done through a headline or box up the top of your home page, or a link in your site's Latest News section.

Text, buttons, links to news releases or "latest information" sections

In addition to positioning the information (or link) in a prominent place on your home page, there are other ways to market your on-line donation facility at your site by drawing people's eyes to the information.

Different types of text, or a bright, prominent and "clickable" button that links to the donation facility, are two ways of attracting people's interest and drawing them into your on-line donations "area".

Funnelling them to your on-line donations.

Your home page has to be structured to highlight the link or button that takes people to your on-line donation area.

Not only that, but the casual visitor should be able to reach that button from anywhere on your website. That means not only having the button prominent on your site's home page, but also throughout your site - and especially in places where they will feel motivated to give (for example, near descriptions of your projects, the work you do, the appeals you might be running or the people you work with).
Your site should funnel traffic to your on-line donation facility quickly, easily and with a minimum of mouse clicking. Aim to have the facility accessible from any area of the site through one - or, at most, two - mouse clicks. Any more and you risk losing people or diminishing their desire to donate.

Promote your on-line giving facility as a safe and secure one.

While more and more people are becoming increasingly familiar with on-line giving, there are still many that remain hesitant because of concerns over security.

Your secure on-line donations facility needs to be promoted as such - with an emphasis on the words "secure" and "safe". Not only that, but your site needs to have a link which explains to potential donors what security measures it has, and what they do to protect them from issues like credit card fraud.

It might be a good idea to have a look at other on-line donation sites and see how they explain their security features.

Promote what the donations will go towards.

People who donate want to know what their money is going towards - how it will benefit or have an impact - and that's no different when it comes to on-line donations.

Make it clear on your site which projects the donations will go towards, as well as descriptions of what those projects do and how they benefit the community, your members, stakeholders or others. Tell people what you're going to do with the money and why that's so important.

If possible, include a couple of pictures in your description - either to show who you are helping, or supporting, or the successes that the program has had.

Being able to effectively "sell" to potential donors the reason why you want them to donate can make a big difference to the amount of money you raise.

And, be up-front with your "ask".

Don't soft-pedal your "ask. You have on-line donations on your site for a reason, and it isn't for appearance's sake!

Make sure any buttons or links to on-line donations say "Donate Here", "Donate Now" or "Please Make a Donation".

Be honest, up-front and direct with your request.

Part 2 - Marketing your on-line giving "off-line"

 As you market your on-line giving facility at your own site, it is vital you remember to market it in other ways - and to other people - as well.

Add a donations site link.

If your group or not-for-profit had a new phone number, or moved to a new address, it would include these new contact details in all its communications and marketing mediums.

The same should apply for your new donations site. That means you might need to update your
  • standard signature block,
  • letterhead,
  • business cards,
  • e-mail signature,
  • overheads,
  • flyers,
  • brochures,
  • posters,
  • your newsletters and e-newsletters (with a hyperlink to the donations site), and,
  • anywhere else you've listed your address or your website.

Give your website a plug.

Groups and organisations advertise their contact details - phone numbers and email addresses in particular - so why shouldn't the same apply to your website or your on-line donations facility?

If you have time or space to give your phone number a plug, also plug your website address and links to on-line donations.

If you're doing a media interview and you can get a plug for your phone number, mention your website address as well. People may want more information about your organisation before they give. Many would prefer to scan a website than ring and actually ask - cater for them all.

Do a mail out.

Your group or organisation having a new way for people to donate is definitely worth a mail-out to your mailing list.

Not only will it inform them of new ways to donate, but it could well serve as a nice reminder for them to go to your site and make a donation.

Not only that, but as your site is updated, and the projects that donations are used for changes, updates can be sent out to mailing list members to inform them.

And Remember…

Only a few short years ago just a handful of the major organisations had their own online donations system. Now the majority of the major charities possess the capacity for people to give online.

Also, a growing number of medium and smaller organisations are developing the capacity as well. Even some of those who have their own online donations ability also list through

Combine this with the awareness gained by so many people giving during the recent tsunami crisis and you have real evidence of on-line donations becoming a much more visible and important way of giving.

Because of this, your group needs to keep up with these changes, to make sure it has its own clear and well functioning on-line donations facility - or else it risks missing out on money from a new and expanding group of on-line donors.
Not only that, but you need to make sure your existing supporters, members, volunteers, etc - know about the new donation method you have - that way, they can make the most of it and use it as well!!

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