3 Steps to Prep Your Online Donation Forms for a Big Giving Day
Every nonprofit wants to see plenty of gifts rolling in through your website at end-of-year — but what should you do to ensure your online donation forms are ready for high volume fundraising days? We asked our own Lily Ickow for her expert opinion on end-of-year essentials. Here are three key steps to prepare for success.
Q: What can my organization do now to be ready to process a high volume of year-end online donations?
A: End-of-year is a great time to be thinking about what your volume’s going to look like, and to make sure that you’re prepared — and also to make sure that any vendors you work with are prepared.
Check your online donation forms’ daily volume limits
One thing I have seen come up with organizations on busy fundraising days at end-of-year is that some payment processors have daily volume limits based on how much money you typically process on a day. This means that when you have a big fundraising event, like end-of-year, when you’re hopefully seeing high traffic and high donation volumes, running into a daily limit that you didn’t even know existed can become a problem. The M+R 2021 Benchmarks confirmed that “Giving Tuesday and December 31st remain powerful moments for donors to give,” so end-of-year is a critical time to make sure you don’t have any daily limits on your account that could create barriers for your generous donors.
Tune up your online forms’ fraud protection
Another important step in preparing your online donation forms for a busy time of year is fine-tuning the fraud protection settings on your forms. Features like address verification and CVV can help prevent fraud, which can be a problem at end-of-year, but they can also occasionally stop legitimate transactions if they’re not tuned correctly! Make sure when you start your busy season that you’re sure your settings are what you want them to be. This is something your vendors can often help with as well — for example, at EveryAction, we work with an industry-leading fraud protection vendor to dynamically adjust fraud settings to make sure we’re blocking any fraud, but not blocking any legitimate donors. You obviously don’t want a technical issue to interfere with the great fundraising season you’re hopefully having.
Add payment methods to your online donation forms
Another element I’d recommend in terms of prepping your payment processing and online donation forms for end-of-year is looking into any payment methods you might be able to add to your forms. Often, the payment vendors you’re working with have additional payment methods you can add, and it’s a simple addition to make that can really pay off. For example, we work with a payment provider who supports credit cards, ACH, and Apple Pay. M+R’s most recent benchmarks noted that in 2020, half of all nonprofit website visits came from users on mobile devices, so you might be able to add an additional payment method that meets their needs without having to sign a new contract with a new vendor.
The Benchmarks also told us that the percentage of users in 2020 who landed on a donation page and then completed a gift was 32 percent for existing donor audiences, but just 8 percent for people who had not made a gift to the organization in the past. Clearly, it’s very important not only to give donors options to give in ways that suit them, but also to make your forms as intuitive and straightforward as possible in order to appeal to new and returning online donors alike. At end-of-year, when your online donation forms are receiving more traffic, you want to be as flexible as possible and make sure supporters can easily give in whatever way feels most comfortable to them.