Best practices for donation forms

Are you adding a custom donation form to your website? Be sure to keep these best practices in mind.

Include a default donation amount

We find that $20 is a good default for one-time donations and $10 is a better default for recurring donations.

Also, make it easy for people to specify their own amount.

Provide the option to make the donation a recurring donation on a monthly or yearly basis.

Gravity Forms, Stripe, and PayPal have options to set up recurring donations and this is a great way to save yourself a lot of time and effort in trying to get donors to renew their membership in the future.

Note the default donation amount and the option for recurring donations.

Nonprofits: Send a tax receipt to the donor

Email addresses and postal mailing addresses will both work for sending receipts.

Personalized notes are best, particularly for first-time donors or those who have consistently supported you. If you're using Gravity Forms, it allows you to automate the sending of receipts.

Request as little information about a donor as possible.

You want to make it as easy as possible for people to give you money and asking for too much information or having a very long form will cause many donors to give up and never complete their donation.

Make sure you are only collecting information that you actually intend to use, and wherever possible, explain how that information will be used and why you're collecting it.

Keep the fields minimal and collect only as much information as you need.

Only add emails to lists if they've opted-in

Collect the user's email address for confirmation and thank-you emails related to this transaction, but do not add them to your newsletter mailing list without their explicit permission.

In most of our forms, we do this by adding a checkbox to opt a donor into receiving further messages from the organization.

Always ask the donor if they want to receive emails from you – never add them to your email lists without permission.

Keep it to a single page

In general, single page donation forms are best unless the form is very long. With Stripe and PayPal add-ons for Gravity Forms, you can add the necessary credit card fields at the bottom of the form directly before the submit button.

Note that if you handle the credit card information directly on your site, you will need to have an SSL certificate that is configured correctly to serve your donation page over https.

Are there more best practices you would add to this list? Have any questions for us? Get in touch!