Helping S&W clients to create an engaging donor experience is a crucial aspect of our work. Refreshing and revisiting your organization’s donation pages is one of your most effective ways to ensure a good online donor experience.

At S&W, we work with each of our clients to create unique, customized pages that are based on the needs of your organization—and, most important, the needs of your donors.

Making Your Donation Pages Responsive/Mobile-Friendly

Among all of the drivers of digital fundraising, email continues to be trusted and relied upon by both organizations and donors.

Email usage patterns have shifted, however: mobile-based (iPhone, Android) opens and clicks are now at their highest point ever. According to Litmus’ Email Analytics1, mobile opens rose to 56% of market share—and we at S&W have been seeing the same numbers as well.

This means that your donation page must be mobile-friendly or responsive, meaning that the donation form resizes, based on the device that the potential donor is using—whether a mobile device, a tablet or a specific desktop window size. Otherwise, more than half of the potential donors that open your email will be taken to a donation page that is meant exclusively for a desktop-based experience, and it will be challenging for them to read, interact, enter information and donate.

This also means that you need to think about the user experience on mobile devices and tablets: replace circle-based radio buttons with clickable buttons, create larger and friendlier submit buttons, and consider copy length and images on the donation page.

Testing Standard Responsive Donation Pages vs. Multi-Step/Sequential Donation Pages

Another current trend in donation pages is a multi-step or sequential donation page.

Pioneered largely by the Obama campaign in 2012, the idea is to separate each step of the donation (amount, name, payment, submit) so that “users do not feel overwhelmed by the length of the form.” They concluded that it’s easier “to get users to the top of the mountain by showing them a small incline rather than a steep slope.”2 The Obama campaign found that this test improved conversion rates by more than 5%.

This improvement in conversion rates naturally changes from organization to organization. At S&W, we have seen organizations begin to make multi-step/sequential forms their standard, preferred form for their main donation page. We also recommend testing standard responsive donation pages against multi-step donation pages to learn when each type may work the best, including:

  • Which form works best as the main donation form?
  • Which form works best when telling a story and using large background-based pictures?
  • Which form works best for email?

Fund Designations

In addition to the layout, we often spend significant time creating donor-friendly form fields that can positively impact a person’s decision to give.

Creating donor-friendly fund designations, such as “Area of Greatest Need” rather than “Annual Fund” helps to ensure the giving opportunity is relevant and immediately clear to your audience, rather than solely to your stakeholders.


Here at S&W, we’d be pleased to help you create the most engaging, seamless and user-friendly online donor experience possible.

The concepts outlined above are just a few of the many ideas and approaches we take into consideration when revisiting an organization’s donation pages. Get in touch with us, and let’s see how we can work together to refresh yours!

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