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How to make a donation website that inspires action


how to make a donation website

In the world of modern fundraising, one click has the power to make a big difference. As cash and checks quickly become a thing of the past, donation websites are carving a new path—making it easy for donors to show their support from anywhere in the world. 


With that said, making a website, especially one for collecting online donations, requires a clear understanding of how your site should both look and work. While it may be tempting to simply add a link to your Venmo or PayPal account, the best donation websites build a donor’s confidence in your nonprofit, charity or other cause. 


Keep reading for tips on how to make a donation website that doesn’t just tick the boxes, but drives more people to take action.


Ready to get started? Create a donation website with Wix today.



Why you need a donation website


A donation website makes it easy to give and receive financial contributions towards a specific cause or campaign. It helps you, the campaign owner, garner support globally while simplifying the giving process.


But a donation website isn’t just about collecting money. 


"Having a well-designed donations site is important—not only to secure the trust of potential donors and meet their growing expectations but also to transcend the one-time transaction and foster a meaningful connection between the cause and its supporters,” says Oren Inditzky, VP and GM of Online Stores and Donations at Wix.


“It's not just about simplifying the donation process, it is also about creating an environment where donors feel genuinely connected and well-informed.” - Oren Inditzky, VP and GM of Online Stores and Donations at Wix

 In essence, a donation website enables you to:

 

  • Centralize fundraising efforts and activities

  • Increase visibility

  • Offer a secure, efficient donation process

  • Stay in tight communication with donors

  • Enjoy a cost-effective solution

  • Expand into other opportunities



Centralize fundraising efforts and activities


A donation website consolidates all your fundraising activities in one place, making it easier for donors to learn more about and support your cause. On the backend, you benefit from having tools to track, manage and promote your campaign, as well as automation for handling tedious administrative tasks.



Increase visibility


A well-designed donation website can improve your cause's reach online, making it more discoverable through search engines, social media and other outlets. You’re not limited by geographical boundaries or time zones—anyone can contribute at any time through your site. The best nonprofit website builders will additionally include built-in tools for sending virtual donation letters or thank you messages, and for managing channels like SEO, social media and email. 



Offer a secure, efficient donation process


You can give people a way to contribute on their own terms by adding donation widgets and forms to your site that accept various payment methods. The top charity website builders will also support both one-time and recurring payments, making it even easier for contributors to regularly give towards your cause.



Stay in tight communication with donors


With website features like progress trackers and donor walls, you can engage with your supporters by showing them the direct impact of their contributions. Personalized thank-you messages, email updates or even emails linking to your blog can keep donors engaged in your online community after their original donation.



Enjoy a cost-effective solution


By reducing the need for physical fundraising events and materials, a donation website can be a more cost-effective way to raise funds.’ A solution like Wix Donate can be especially easy on your wallet because it provides one place for your website and donation-collection needs, helping you avoid paying for multiple subscriptions or ‘donorbox fees.’ 



Expand into other opportunities 


A website can serve as both a platform for collecting money and for showcasing various ways to support your cause. Think: inviting supporters to sign up for an event, buy merchandise or visit and share articles from your blog. 



How to make a donation website


Creating a successful donation website involves several key steps, from choosing the right platform to optimizing the user experience. Here's a guide to setting up a site that not only looks good, but maximizes your fundraising potential too.




01. Select the right website builder for your nonprofit 


As is the case when you’re creating any type of website, you’ll want to make sure that your donation site is built on a solid foundation. In other words, you’ll want to thoroughly research different website-building tools before you start collecting. 


Look into free options, paid options, website platforms for nonprofits and website builders with more expansive capabilities—and find the one that best suits your budget and needs. Take a look at popular choices Wix, noting their user-friendliness and core features. 


Most importantly of all, consider your needs both now and in the future. Your list of must-haves may vary based on how mature your organization is, the nature of your campaign and/or whether you’re planning to launch one or multiple campaigns.


Compare between website builders: Wix vs Squarespace 


As an example, Wix offers one of the best solutions for creating an eye-catching donation site. According to Oren:


“Wix Donations offers an all-encompassing platform that helps fundraisers establish their online presence, collect donations, attract donors and manage their entire operation without the complexity and overhead of running their operations from multiple platforms.This holistic approach makes it easier to exceed your financial goals and effectively promote your cause.”

You can supplement an existing Wix site or create an entirely new brand from scratch with Wix Donations, which offers: 


  • Customizable donation forms and invoices 

  • Wide range of payment providers and fraud resistance coverage

  • User-friendly and AI-powered web design capabilities 

  • Back-office campaign management and the ability to run multiple campaigns at once

  • Support for one-time and recurring donations

  • Real-time analytics for monitoring campaign performance

  • Multichannel marketing tools (including AI-powered SEO, social media and email marketing tools)

  • Integration with Wix’s industry-leading business solutions like Events, Blogs, eCommerce and more

  • Enterprise-grade website infrastructure for every site 


See Wix Donations up close—sign up for Wix today. 



02. Design your homepage with your mission in mind 


Designing a website for collecting donations is all about creating a space that inspires trust and makes the act of giving as easy as possible. The first step is to ensure that your website resonates with the mission and values of your cause, starting with your homepage. 


Use compelling imagery and storytelling to connect emotionally with visitors, making the purpose of a donation clear. However, don’t just focus on showing the need for donations—illustrate the change that a donor's contribution can make. 


For instance, HERoines Inc. clearly states its mission to “help women cultivate fundamental life skills and provide a safe space for them” at the top of its homepage. The site highlights testimonials from beneficiaries and past donors, plus various ways to support the cause. HERoines’ Donate page further details how funds are used for transparency. 



HERoines' donation website


03. Add other must-have pages 


Think beyond your homepage and map out any other web pages that could be helpful to your visitors. Pages could include: 


  • About Us page where you share more about your organization’s origins, values, vision and team to build trust with potential donors.

  • Contact Us page where you can give donors an easy way to reach out with questions or to follow your journey, be it via email, phone or social media.

  • Projects or Collaborations pages that give insight into past, current and future plans that donations are helping to support.

  • Events or Volunteering page where you can list any upcoming events (live or virtual) that support your cause, plus provide a way for donors to book their spots online.

  • Donate page, which serves as a dedicated, easy-to-find page where people can contribute financially to your cause.

  • Blog or News section where you can keep visitors updated on your organization’s activities, achievements and impact.

  • Success Stories or Testimonials pages that spotlight your organization’s work or previous donors to motivate others to contribute.

  • Shop pages where you can sell merchandise (such as T-shirts, tote bags, books, etc.) that help to spread the word about your cause while serving as another revenue stream.

  • FAQ where you can address common concerns and questions about donations, how funds are used and other organizational policies.

  • Privacy Policy and Terms of Use pages where you can allay concerns about data privacy by clearly stating how donor information is collected, used and protected.


If you’re not sure where to start, look at other donation websites and see what type of information they provide. You could also survey your donors, asking what type of visibility they’d like into your organization


Remember, you can always start simple, then expand upon your site as your organization grows.



04. Polish your branding 


Avoid treating branding as an afterthought. As you design your donation website, establish brand guidelines to help keep everything from your messaging to your visual branding consistent across your online properties.  


For example, HERoines maintains a distinct brand identity. You’ll notice the same pink and purple hues used across its website and social media channels. HERoines further reiterates its mission in its online bios, reflecting the same messaging that’s woven into its website. 



HERoines Instagram page


By developing a distinct brand, you can build brand recognition—plus make your organization appear more official in the eyes of your donors. 


Just getting started on your brand? Try our free logo maker



05. Optimize your site for donor engagement


When it comes to the donation process itself, simplicity is key. Opt for a clean, intuitive layout that guides visitors naturally towards the donation button, which should be prominently placed and easy to find. In addition, keep the following best practices in mind. 


  • Streamline the donation process: The fewer clicks between a donor's intention and their contribution, the better. Consider integrating features like suggested donation amounts to help guide users.

  • Offer multiple ways to give: Provide options for recurring contributions and in-kind donations to cater to different donor preferences. Accept multiple payment options, like debit, credit and digital wallet through a solution like Wix Payments.

  • Ensure security and trust: Make sure your website is secure by implementing SSL encryption or checking that your payment solution offers this in order to protect donor information during transactions. Be transparent about how donations are used by providing detailed information on projects and outcomes.

  • Incentivize giving: Find creative ways to say thank you. For example, Black Girls Dance gives suggested amounts as part of its 2024 “Step It Up” giving campaign. The organization presents suggested donation amounts as different levels, e.g., by donating between $100 to $499, you can receive acknowledgment on the site’s donor appreciation page.



Black Girls Dance Donation page


  • Offer multiple ways to support your cause: Beyond asking for monetary support, invite your visitors to support your cause in other ways. For example, you may choose to start a blog or an email newsletter to keep people informed, and simply ask for their help spreading awareness. You could even experiment with eCommerce offerings or additional website ideas to earn money in other creative ways. 

  • Weave in social proof: Share the stories of the individuals or communities your organization helps. Authentic stories can create an emotional connection and motivate visitors to donate.

  • Think mobile: Today, an estimated 57% of nonprofit website traffic comes from mobile devices, so you’ll want to make sure that your site looks good and is easy to navigate on smaller screens. Wix’s Mobile Editor allows you to tweak your site layout and add mobile-only elements, such as a “Quick Action” bar. Note that good mobile design often means bringing it back to the basics; avoid unnecessary animations, dropdowns and embellishments that clutter up your site. 



How to make a donation website with Wix


When creating a nonprofit website with Wix, you can choose from one of Wix’s customizable templates, including professionally designed nonprofit website templates and religion website templates


Alternatively, you can build a website from scratch—either using a blank template or with the help of AI. The latter option allows you to create a bespoke website in minutes, simply by chatting with AI. The AI will ask about your goals before designing a site, complete with custom text, imagery and the apps you need to run your campaign effectively. 



Wix AI website builder


Follow these steps to get started: 


  • Create your website by hand, using one of Wix’s pre-built templates or using Wix’s AI website builder. Note that no matter which option you pick, you can always access and tweak your site through the Wix Editor.

  • Connect your preferred payment provider. In your site settings, connect Wix Payments, our native solution that allows you to accept payment via leading credit/debit brands, Apple Pay, Afterpay and more. Alternatively, choose from more than 80 other payment options supported by Wix.



Wix Payments integration


  • Check that the Wix Donations app is installed on your site if it isn’t already. Wix Donations is available for free in the Wix App Market. Learn more about how to set up and add Wix Donations.

  • Create your first campaign by navigating to the Donations tab on the left side of your Wix dashboard. This is where you can create your first campaign. Decide on donation frequency and amounts (e.g., suggested amounts or minimum and maximum limits). You can also give your donors the option to add personal notes to their donations.


create a new donation campaign in Wix


  • Get familiar with your other backend tools, including your subscriptions page, email automation and invoice settings. While optional, these pages will help you manage recurring payments and/or follow up with donors after a transaction, providing transparency and a way to stay in touch.

  • Add a Donations page or panel to your website. Click “Edit Site” or “Design Site” in your Wix Dashboard to access the Wix Editor. From there, go to your app widgets in your left-hand menu, then drag and drop the donations panel to any page of your site. You can create a dedicated Donations page and/or add a donation form anywhere on your site. This form will display all the attributes you defined in Step 3. Play around with the design and the form settings until you achieve the look you want.


adding donation form on Wix site


  • Hit publish. Once all looks good, publish your site to make it available to the world.



Donation website examples to glean inspiration from 

 

Need some creative inspiration? Learn from some of the best nonprofit websites built with Wix. 



How Women Lead


How Women Lead is on a mission to “[re-define] Women's Leadership in the 21st Century.” Its network includes 20,000 senior executives all working to reshape cultural norms and create more leadership opportunities for women. Through its site, proponents can send in donations to support programming scholarships, legislative efforts and other resources that the community is hoping to provide. Visitors can additionally scour the site for more information on the movement, plus details on events and steps that they can take to further their own leadership journey. 



How Women Lead donation website


Uke Heads


Uke Heads is a 10-song album released by Canadian Folk Music Award Winner James Hill. The album features contributions from 165 players and singers from 15 countries—the result of James’ two-year endeavor to play music with anyone who wanted. James also introduces a novel approach to crowdfunding: prior to creating the album, fans could buy digital art created by James to gain a ticket to play on the recording. Today, fans can continue contributing via the Uke Heads site to garner publicity around the album. 



Uke Heads Wix donation page


Donation website FAQ


What is the best donation site to use?

The "best" site depends on your specific needs, budget and goals. That said, Wix is known as one of the most versatile website builders for nonprofits, religious organizations and charities. From having the back-office tools you need to manage and monitor your campaign, to flexible web design options and marketing tools, Wix offers an all-in-one donations solution.  

How can I set up a donation website for my nonprofit?

What should I do if I need donations immediately?


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