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Using your website to take charity donations

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Evolving your charity website in line with your vision

Reach more donors and remove barriers for them to support you by evolving and improving the way you take charity donations.

Most charities will have online donations set up on their websites, but how effective is yours? Do you succeed in reaching your supporters and encouraging them to donate?

In this blog post, we consider the role of your website in taking charity donations and the different ways you can use your digital platforms for online transactions that support essential funding streams, covering:

  • Taking one-off charity donations through your website
  • Using your website for repeat charity donations
  • Charity website transactions through WooCommerce
  • Supporting corporate social responsibility

How likely is it that you will succeed in getting donations through your website?

Research into mobile donations by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Frank Digital found that people will donate when they:

  1. Relate
  2. Understand
  3. Trust

Relate: The charity relates to a cause that’s close to their heart

Understand: They have clarity about how their money will be spent or the impact it will have

Trust: They feel confident the organisation will be responsible with the donated funds

One great example comes from Amnesty International, with imagery that its target audience will relate to and a clear explanation of the impact a regular donation of £5, £10 or £15 could have.

This gives supporters a clear picture (and deeper understanding) of how the funds will be used:

Finally, the stamp of approval that this is a secure and regulated donation contributes to improved trust in the charity and how they handle funds.

Website charity donations for Amnesty International

It’s worth noting that the research also found many donors come to your site informed and with their decision to donate made already.

With that in mind, making it as easy as possible to make a donation through intuitive user journeys is crucial.

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Making it easy to give

Taking one-off charity donations through your website

If you want to encourage donations through your charity website, smooth user journeys should be high on your priority list. User experience is a crucial component of any website, but particularly where transactions come into play.

An intuitive journey will guide your donors to their destination, making the process of donating feel natural.

The risk of getting this wrong is that you could cause friction or frustration, potentially leading to users getting lost or bouncing from the website entirely.

Business leader using documents to work on digital strategy for web clients

Charity donations can be set up through WooCommerce

The team at Atomic Smash are verified WooExperts, officially endorsed by WooCommerce.

We’ve been using this platform to help our charity and non-profit clients grow in line with their strategic goals.

Email to find out how we could help your organisation.

If you want to successfully take donations through your website, we highly recommend giving user journeys the time and consideration they deserve.

We worked closely with our client, The Grand Appeal, on user journeys for their WordPress site. As Bristol’s official children’s hospital charity, The Grand Appeal’s website is a critical part of the charity’s income stream, helping them support a hospital that cares for 100k+ patients each year.

Screenshot from WordPress donation page for case study on our award-winning collaboration with an inspirational charity The Grand Appeal

Through close collaboration, we designed, developed and launched a new WordPress site with improved user journeys to enable their website visitors to donate, fundraise and give support for The Grand Appeal easily.

To find out more, read the full case study telling the story of this award-winning collaboration.

Using your website for repeat charity donations

It’s a good idea to include an option for making recurring donations. Similar to subscriptions, this can be automated to make it easy and convenient for people to support your cause.

Crucially, this option should be exactly that – an option rather than an obligation. Recurring donations won’t be the right choice for everyone, and similarly, circumstances change, so ensure there’s an easy way for donors to cancel if they need to.

Macmillan makes it clear and easy for website visitors to make a single donation, set up repeat donations or pay in money from group fundraising.

Simple and informative UI for online charity donations to Macmillan

Charity website transactions through WooCommerce

It’s possible to use WooCommerce to set up single or recurring donations, but that’s not all. There are a range of other ways you can securely take funds through your charity website, including:

  1. Setting up an online auction on your website
  2. Transactions through your charity’s online store
  3. Online booking for fundraising events

The British Heart Foundation uses its website to give supporters the chance to donate to their shops, along with a free collection service that can be booked online.

Donated items can be picked up and transported with minimum input from supporters, making the whole process easy and convenient!

Options for donations include item donation with free collection booked online - British Heart Foundation

The team at Atomic Smash can help you plan out improvements for your charity website, from designing user journeys to setting up transactions and measuring conversion rates.

Through our Always Evolving model, we can help you adapt your site over time to reflect your strategic goals and the changing needs of the people or causes you’re dedicated to helping.

Supporting corporate social responsibility

Taking donations online is also an option for businesses that want to raise money for other charities, as part of their corporate social responsibility or to support trusts and foundations closely related to their industries or customers’ hearts.

For instance, we integrated donations into the online store for our luxury confectionery client, Elizabeth Shaw, who wanted to give customers the chance to make a charitable donation when they make a purchase.

Screenshot of Elizabeth Shaw homepage

Similarly, our client, Pikt, a B Corp organic fruit and veg box supplier, gives customers the option to donate at checkout. Pikt’s customers can round up their order and donate the change to help to relieve childhood poverty, hardship and suffering in the UK.

Screenshot of Pikt homepage


Whatever vision you have, your website can be a vehicle that helps you reach it. Talk to Atomic Smash about how we can support your organisation make a positive impact on the world.

How could your website evolve?

Share your vision for how your website could evolve. We can support you.

Tess looking at camera in front of a metal backdrop

Tess Coughlan-Allen Marketing Lead

Wednesday 24th August 2022