3 areas where charities can improve their digital performance

by in Web Design & Dev

As charities increasingly compete with each other to attract donors, it’s critical that they recognise how to keep up with their competition and what they can do to adapt to the market. We’ve highlighted 3 digital actions that charities can take to ensure they keep donations coming in.


With everyone on the go mobile optimised websites are a must have

Making mobile a priority

Although mobile is on the rise and has officially overtaken desktop, many charities have yet to make their websites fully optimised for mobile. This is even more crucial when it comes to receiving donations as social media plays a big part when it comes to directing a user to a charity site to donate. An interim option if a full mobile site isn’t in your strategy this year is to consider creating a mobile optimised landing page for specifically for donations for users to be directed to.

The following outlines which charity types are the most successful when it comes to adopting mobile, based on the number of charities per category judged to have a mobile friendly site via manual test.

  1.  icon-animal  Animal

  2.  icon-health  Health / Environment /Children

  3.  icon-aid  Aid


No one will stick around for a slow loading website

Boosting desktop performance

With mobile being so important to any digital strategy, charities must be careful not to neglect their desktop site, in order to ensure the site still performs well and potential donors or volunteering enquiries are not missed. Question whether all the content on your site is necessary and check your images are resized appropriately. Although design is important for your brand and to attract donors, be conscious of rich content, video, JavaScript or images that are not optimised for the page, as these will slow the performance of your site.

The following shows top performing charity desktop sites by category according to tests carried out via Google tools. Results were analysed to produce scores relative to the best performance which were then ranked.

  1.  icon-animal  Animal

  2.  icon-aid  Aid

  3.  icon-environment  Environment / Children

  4.  icon-health  Health


A high number of fields can scare users away from sending a donation

Donation friction

One of the most important journeys on a charity website is, of course, the donation process. For understandable reasons, many charities want valuable information about the donors before any money is received. Insisting on the donor taking these steps before donating, however, can actually increase a drop off on the site. This is known as causing ‘donation friction’.

Assess the number of steps and clicks you have that donors need to complete before donating and question how essential they are. Around 32% of charities require a combination of over 20 fields and clicks to be completed before a donation is received. Compared to best practice for any digital transaction, this is far too many. If you have a mobile optimised site, it is important ensure that the donation screen is as well. Around 80% of sites* that are mobile optimised don’t offer a mobile donation page.

Nearly a third of websites require over 20 fields plus clicks to be completed for a donation. The following results were based on a manual donation friction test (number of clicks + fields to make a real donation). Results were analysed to produce scores relative to the best performance, which were then ranked by category.
Interestingly, ‘Aid’ charities perform marginally better in this area, while ‘Animal’, which has performed the best for desktop performance and mobile, has come last.

  1.  icon-aid  Aid

  2.  icon-environment  Environment

  3.  icon-health  Health

  4.  icon-children  Children

  5.  icon-animal  Animal

To summarise, there is no quick and easy fix for charities to suddenly increase digital performance. However, when prioritising what works needs to be done to help increase donations, these are 3 simple areas which should be considered as part of your strategy. Some of which can be adopted as a small interim solution until your new budget or strategy kicks in.

Are you currently looking at improving your digital performance? Send us your email and we’ll run free site audits on your website.

Reference: eduserv.org.uk