The power of suggested donations

Does your website accept donations? Did you know that suggested donation amounts can significantly increase your visitor’s responsiveness?

There are so many factors people consider prior to donating on any website. They have to consider their current financial situation, how much they care about the given cause, and they have to understand how their donation would support that cause, among many others.

People tend to make decisions based on other people’s behavior, it’s all about conforming to the group. And this is just as true when they shop in a brick-and-mortar shop, or donate on a website. When people are willing to donate online, the most difficult question they have to face is “how much should I donate?” If they donate a small amount, they might feel less satisfied compared to when they go with a higher amount. This dilemma can drive them away from your website. And that is where suggested donation amounts can be really helpful!

Needless to say, you can’t force your visitors to donate a certain amount, however, it’s amazing how suggested donations can drive conversions. These suggested donation amounts serve various purposes. Firstly, the whole donation experience is facilitated as people don’t have to come up with a given amount, they can easily select from suggested donations. Secondly, people tend to donate more when they see several amounts in front of them as they might feel better if they donate a few extra dollars.

Test different suggested donation amounts

It is important to experiment with your suggested donation amounts now and then. You should test different suggested donation amounts so you can see which combination maximizes contributions. Suggested donation amounts may convince people to donate, however, these amounts also affect the number of donations. Higher donation amounts might reduce the number of donations, but increase the overall donation amount, while small amounts increase the number of donations, but overall value might fall.

Setting the right suggested donation amounts

Setting the right suggested donation amount can be a challenging task. Although suggested donation amounts influence your visitor’s responsiveness, you probably won’t get the amounts right for the first time. A best practice is to look back and see what was the average donation amount on your website if you have been accepting donations.

If the average donation amount was $50, don’t go way higher or lower as people usually won’t donate more than what they had in mind just because they see suggested amounts on their screen. On the other hand, if someone donated $50, they would probably be willing to donate $55 the next time. If you know your audience, it makes it easier to get the suggested donation amounts right. If you just started your donation platform, try suggested donation amounts that you feel comfortable with. You can always change them later according to what’s worked best.

Keep donation preferences in mind

Your donors can usually be segmented into two different groups. Some people have the means to donate more, while others can contribute less.

Let’s say that on your website you offer suggested donation amounts from $20 to $150. In that case, donors that are willing to donate smaller amounts, will find the right amount on your page. How about those who can and are happy to donate hundreds of dollars? These generous donors would go with $150 as that is the highest donation amount on your page. But in most cases, these people would be happy to contribute more and the best way to tailor them is to set up a dedicated landing page. Under your suggested donation amounts, you can embed a link with a CTA that says “Would you like to donate more?” This landing page should start offering amounts starting at $150 with the highest to be around $500. Trust us, if these people have the means to donate more, they will be happy about the tailored experience and will go that extra mile. Additionally, you might want to offer donors the possibility to set their own donation amount. If your website does not offer an option to enter a custom amount, they might leave your page without donating.

Emphasize a donation amount

You might come across this common marketing technique on donation pages. The page highlights a given donation amount on their website, and therefore, it stands out from the other suggested donation amounts. This technique is called anchoring, and it is highly effective. It has a great effect on decision making as that is the first information that will be processed by your visitor, and it will highly influence their decision when it comes to donating. Donors are likely to donate the highlighted amount or around that amount as they default the anchored value.

List your preferred amount in the second place

You probably have a preferred amount that you would like to receive as a donation for your cause. Make sure to list it as the second option among your suggested donation amounts. The reason for that is people generally don’t want to spend a lot but they don’t want to be cheap either. So, there is a high possibility that they go with the second suggested donation amount. This is true for in-store shopping as well. Let’s say you are at a coffee shop and you don’t want to go with the cheapest option as you believe that for a slightly higher price, you will get better value. This is just as true for donations. Most businesses list their preferred amount in the second position, and you should do so, too.

Ready to accept donations on your page?

If you would like to set up a donation platform, WP Full Pay gets payments done, so you can focus on your business. Click here to see how it works.

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