Research: Off-site donation forms clip conversion by at least 8%

Dec 15, 2020
Nic Miller
Senior Director of Marketing

When a donor wants to give to your nonprofit it shouldn’t mean leaving your website.

And yet, most nonprofits push donors to off-site web pages to donate. This approach is bad for conversion and leads to fewer donations. Let’s look at how an instantly loading on-page donation form limits conversion loss and drives donation revenue.

Think of your online donors as weary travelers traversing the ad-packed, content-filled landscape of the World Wide Web.

When website visitors click the donation button on most nonprofit websites, they're redirected to off-page or off-site donation forms.

By the time your donors arrive at the threshold of your nonprofit's digital door, they’re tired. But they want to show their support, and for a moment, you have their attention. They'll read your impact story and watch your moving video, and be ready to give.

But showing support can’t cost your digitally-weary donors energy they don’t have, and when there are extra steps involved in making a donation, your donors are sure to think twice about committing to the journey. This is the impact redirects and off-site donation forms have on conversion.

What exactly is conversion? In the world of e-commerce, conversion is the process of enticing a digital passersby with products and persuading them to make purchases and become customers. In the context of nonprofit fundraising, conversion is no different except that the product you’re selling is your mission and the customers are your donors.

So when you hear that redirects and off-site web pages hurt conversion, it means that fewer website visitors are actually committing to making donations.

Our research on donation form conversion has revealed four main giving form click-to-view behaviors found on nonprofit websites. All but one of them have a pronounced and negative impact on conversion.

To test the click-to-view conversion impact of our own platform's donation form behavior, we conducted A/B tests with several nationally established nonprofits.

For the tests, each nonprofit's navigation bar donation button was set to direct 50% of website visitors to the organization's existing donation form (the control), and 50% to the Fundraise Up donation experience (the test).

Over the course of a year, we measured conversion statistics for more than 5.6 million website visitors.

The results of our A/B tests revealed two key insights:

  1. Even though the donation button connected to the test (Fundraise Up) form was clicked fewer times, the test form itself received a higher number of views from website visitors.
  2. The control form saw an 8% drop in views while the test form (Fundraise Up) saw just a 0.7% drop.

A 90/10 split test performed with a nationally-established nonprofit shows not only the control form's click-to-view drop, but the overall impact that opening a new tab has on conversion.

The reasons for a higher click-to-view drop with off-site donation forms are numerous and difficult to track and report on, but they can include issues like pages that take too long to load (or don't load), ad-blockers that prevent new browser tabs from opening, and more.

A higher click-to-view drop rate is more than just a negative stat — it reveals a major pain point: fewer donations from a smaller number of donors leading to less donation revenue.

Because our platform is integrated into the very code of a nonprofit's website, a Fundraise Up donation form can launch on any page.

Fundraise Up is built to boost conversion and turn more website visitors into donors. That's why rather than pushing donors offsite, our donation experience instantly launches on the page where a visitor clicks "donate". In fact, because our platform is integrated into the very code of a nonprofit's website, a Fundraise Up donation form can launch on any page.

With a minimal impact on conversion, Fundraise Up's instantly loading on-page donation experience has proven to be the best solution for converting the most website visitors to donors and seeing the greatest online giving performance.

Ready to get started with Fundraise Up?

Fundraise Up helps you convert more website visitors to donors, get better donations from a greater number of donors, and boost monthly support. And because there are zero monthly or annual fees, no contracts, and free onboarding and support, your organization can get started with Fundraise Up today! 🙌

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