|Image via Destiny Assoc.|
Most nonprofits are primarily concerned with getting the details right. Because of transparency and laws affecting their reporting and actions, it's important that any donation be clearly understood and applied as the donor wants it to be. But this can lead to an - unfortunate - bland, unengaging and even off-putting appearance:
"The Lord Loveth a Cheerful Giver" but this would make a cheerful giver sigh. And possibly put off the task. Then who knows when they would get back to it. If ever.
Here's another one:
A Nice Background Is Not a Substitute for Usability
It's rather pretty in a subdued, purply kind of way. But it has the same problems: cramped spaces and tiny boxes, lots and lots of detail. People with diminished eyesight will not thank them for this. It gets credit for making their mission clear, but that's not enough to save it from being meatloaf at a prime rib banquet.
Now For Something Completely Different
Electronic Versus Hard Copy
This seems to be to be the heart of the problem with donation forms. When you're using an electronic donation form, you can afford to be generous with white space and graphics and color. All of those things add up to extra cost when you have to print and mail.
Naturally, I'm not going to suggest that you go totally digital, unless you've done a survey of your constituents and the results merit it. That day is probably coming, though. With most on Facebook and at least connected to the internet, paper donor forms are in the twilight of their usefulness. In the meantime, you can still look at your paper form and see if there are areas that could be addressed. For instance, instead of listing out all your programs, you could have a line titled "Instructions". It's been my experience that if a donor wants their money to go to a specific program, they have no problems with writing that out in a note or in the check memo line.
And why not encourage your donors to move to online donation by highlighting your online presence in your hard copy materials? You - are - highlighting your presence on FB or Twitter or other social media sites, right?
Beauty is Skin And Pixel Deep
In the tech world we used to say "it's all about the user." Same here, only substitute 'donor' for 'user.' People want to identify with your mission. They want to support it. Make each avenue for doing so as attractive and pleasant as possible.
Tool of The Week: BookmarkQ
I often like to share quotes or pieces of information I come across while being a Digital Flaneuse. This bookmarklet gives me an easy way to do that. All I have to do is highlight the quote I want to share and click the bookmarklet button. I then get a short url that leads directly to the quote or I can choose to share via FB, Gmail or Twitter. Check out BookmarkQ here.