Published on June 12, 2019 by

You’re forcing me to do WHAT to donate?

Okay, my husband and I are at that time of year. We’re in donation mode. We’ve made the list of charities we’re going to give to and how much we’re going to give.

My husband (who is also my business colleague) has the job of going online to work through the list. Because we are online donation people. It’s a pretty extensive list although I will admit, it’s not all because we’re that altruistic but because we are fundraisers ourselves and we donate to some of the orgs on our list just to get your mail. But still, a lot of you on that list we’d give to even if we weren’t fundraisers.

Now here’s a list of things he’s seen so far that he’s found either annoying or out of place:

  1. The GIVE button on the home page doesn’t work. Seriously??!!
  2. Making the donor set up an account to donate. Do we really have to tell you why this is bad? If you want donors to have accounts then this should be automatically generated with minimum info eg. Name and email address.
  3. Calling donations “orders”, “sales” and “purchases”. Not very heartwarming, is it?
  4. No DONATE button on the home page… and get this, had to use the Search function to find a page to donate. The Search function??!! This was not a tiny charity with no budget. This was a well-recognised brand name.
  5. Requiring DOB to donate. Yes, collecting DOB is important but this is not the place to make it mandatory.
  6. Requiring phone number to donate. Again, we get collecting a phone number is important but not good practice to force the donor to give it to you.
  7. Requiring Captcha to donate. No. No, no, no. And although hubby says it wasn’t one of the painful ones requiring you to pick the images with all the motorcycles, it was still annoying.

Things which are technically good practice or positive to do but in the real world feel a bit off…

  1. The default giving amount was set to $200. So we’re fundraisers and we get that putting in a high default number helps lift the donation amount. But my husband almost donated $200 when the intention was to donate $50. Something to think about…

(And while you might congratulate yourself on accidentally getting a higher donation, your admin team would have to deal with all those donors calling up to reverse it and helping them donate again. Just saying…)

  1. PayPal was the ONLY option to donate. It’s important to offer PayPal - lots of donors find it easier than inputting credit card details. (Especially when you’re doing as many donations as we were in one go.) But some donors don’t want to use PayPal - they want to donate direct to you and not have their donation go towards PayPal fees.

That’s it so far. Bear in mind, my husband only got halfway through the list. So we may be back with more online donation form issues to highlight.

It’s worth asking yourself - are you doing any of these things? If you are, it may be time to reconsider. This is how you’re losing donations.

Note: we will also soon publish a post with online giving experiences we loved!

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