Accepting online donations is critical to every political campaign, but if you aren’t making that process easy for your supporters, then you’re missing out on contributions.

Simply being able to collect campaign donations on your website isn’t enough. You need to focus on the user experience. The more steps a supporter has to take to make a donation, the fewer donations you’ll receive.

The same is true for virtually every online experience, which is why businesses put so much time and money into perfecting their checkout processes. Each additional step in a checkout process increases the risk that a customer will leave the site before completing their transaction.

Follow these best practices for accepting online donations to ensure you’re making the process as easy as possible for your constituents.

Put a donate button on your homepage
Every voter who visits your site should be immediately offered the opportunity to donate. Don’t worry about turning off any potential voters – most voters understand that campaigns need money to keep their operations going, and your strongest supporters will already be looking for where to donate. Make it obvious. Use a large, brightly colored button that visitors can’t miss when they visit your website.

Sending emails? Link directly to contribution forms
Remember, your job is to eliminate unnecessary steps. If you’re asking for donations in your emails, make sure the links go straight to the contribution page, not to the homepage or other non-essential pages. By clicking on your appeal to donate, these people are ready to give you their money. Don’t stand in their way. Send them right to the page to collect their payment information.

Suggest donation amounts
It’s always a good idea to provide suggested donation amounts, which is proven to boost response. But you can also use this strategy to shorten your donation process. For example, by using multiple buttons/links with suggested donation amounts on your website or in emails, a donor can click that link to eliminate the step of entering the amount in the form. Just be sure to include the option of changing that amount in the form.

Provide the option to make contributions recurring
Let supporters know they can make their donation recurring, if they want to contribute automatically every week or month until the election. You can offer this option in the contribution form or after their donation has gone through. Some candidates use extra incentives to get donors to donate again, immediately after their first donation, by offering free merchandise or other bonuses for making their donation recurring.

Keep it simple
Don’t make the mistake of providing extra links on your contribution page, directing to your “issues” page or even letting them click back to your homepage. Each link on the page will increase your drop off rate.

Take a close look at your contribution process and ask yourself: how you can make it simpler and faster? The simpler it is for your donors, the more donations you’ll receive.

Suggested reading
Trying to Collect Political Donations Online? 5 Reasons It’s Not Working
Presidential Campaign Donations in the Digital Age

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