[GUEST POST] How to Prioritize Accessibility in Your Donation Page Design

Donation pages are the cornerstone of online fundraising for nonprofits. Regardless of what campaign you’re planning, having an optimized donation page will ensure your organization maximizes the number of gifts you receive. Plus, it gives supporters an avenue to donate even when you’re not actively running a campaign.

However, an inaccessible page may lead to frustration from web users, resulting in supporters not completing the form and leaving before they donate. To capture the donations necessary to power your cause, prioritizing accessibility in your page design is a must.

Let’s take a look at three accessibility tips for your donation page to guarantee that all your supporters, regardless of their ability, quality of internet access, or device, can make a gift to your organization.

1. Streamline the Donation Process

Before considering how to optimize your donation page for broad usability, begin by creating a streamlined and easy-to-follow donation process. With a clear process, supporters will find it easy to make a gift, making them more likely to go through the process and convert.

Here are a few ways to streamline your nonprofit’s online donation process:

  • Add clear links to your donation page. Make sure your donation page is easy to find on your nonprofit’s website by adding clear links to it. To increase visibility, include it in your navigation bar and link to it through various buttons and calls to action (CTAs).

  • Provide clear instructions. Although most donation forms are intuitive, reduce the chances of misunderstanding and confusion by giving clear instructions with your form. This is especially important for sections your supporters may not be familiar with, such as monthly donations or donations made in honor of someone else.

  • Reduce form fields and input requirements. Donor information can be very valuable to your nonprofit, as it helps shape your marketing strategy. However, your donation form is not the right place to gather all this information. Instead, keep your form fields as minimal as possible to reduce the effort and time needed to make a gift to your organization.

  • Offer multiple payment options. Meet your donors’ payment preferences by providing various payment methods, such as credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, digital wallets (Google Pay, Apple Pay), and more. Be sure to send a donation receipt to the donor within 24-48 hours of receiving a gift so that they have it for their records — most donation receipts are instantaneous when donations are made online.

If you’re still struggling with creating a streamlined donation page for your nonprofit, take a look at other organizations’ donation pages. Check out these top examples from OneCause to help shape your page design.

2. Implement Accessible Design on your Donation Pages

When implementing accessibility on your donation pages, approach it from the standpoint of universal design. This concept refers to the design and composition of an environment so it can be accessed, understood, and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, ability, or disability.

Here are a few characteristics of accessibility to consider:

  • Color contrast. Color plays a large role in the legibility of your donation page. Foreground and background color elements should have sufficient contrast for an improved user experience. For example, this might mean having a white background and black text. Try using a color contrast checker to check the main background and text colors of your website.

  • Alternative ways of understanding media elements. This means including alternative text describing images or visual elements, transcriptions for audio elements, and closed captioning for video elements. Providing alternative ways of understanding media elements ensures everyone can comprehend what’s on your donation page.

  • Keyboard-only navigation. Mobility-impaired individuals may struggle to navigate your site with a mouse. Make your donation page more accessible to them by ensuring your website builder automatically makes it easy to navigate through your pages via keyboard. And, provide an indicator to show which element currently has keyboard focus. 

These three characteristics will serve as a jumping-off point for your new accessibility priorities. After you’ve successfully addressed these items, you can move on to more complex optimizations, such as checking for compatibility between your donation page and assistive technologies, like screen readers or text-to-speech software.

Your donation page needs to be appropriately accessible to individuals of various abilities and should comply with accessibility standards such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These standards explain how to create content that meets the needs of all online visitors.

3. Optimize for Different Devices

Your supporters likely have a preferred device, such as a phone, computer, or tablet, that they use when donating. Meet their preferences by creating a quality user experience for your donation page regardless of the device used.

Implementing a responsive design is the best and easiest way to optimize your donation page for each device and its corresponding screen size. This approach causes web pages to automatically adjust their layout and content to fit the screen size and resolution of the device your supporters are using. While this may require you to rebuild your site and your donation page from scratch, your efforts will be well worth it because you’re providing a more user-friendly experience for your potential donors.

A reliable rule of thumb: Always prioritize simplicity in your web design. Unnecessary formatting elements, auto-play videos, and very large image files are all common culprits that decrease a page’s usability on smaller screens and when accessed with spotty internet service.

With an accessible donation page, you’ll be able to secure more donations and drive more revenue for your nonprofit. Focus your accessibility efforts on offering a donation experience where everyone can give.

Sarah Sebastian, Director of Corporate Communications, OneCause

Sarah Sebastian is the Director of Corporate Communications at OneCause. She’s a marketer and brand geek at heart with eight years of experience in the nonprofit tech space. Outside of work, Sarah can be found reading, hiking, kayaking, volunteering for Florida Access Network, or getting lost in the woods while photographing birds.

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