According to the 2023 Charity Digital Skills Report (The survey that will form the 2024 report is open until 26th April here), the top priorities for charities were their website and online fundraising, with 79% of respondents needing to improve their digital presence, social media or website. The report showed 59% of causes wanting to improve their online fundraising mechanisms, a 10% increase from 2022. It also showed that over 55% felt they were poor at digital fundraising. 

Alongside these findings, the recent Charities Aid Foundation Report showed a record £13.9 billion donated to charities last year, an increase of £1.2 billion. The report revealed 75% of individuals supported charities despite pressure on household finances. 

With a sector need coupled with a rise in individual giving, including a straightforward donation journey is a fundamental element of a good charity website.

Charity Digital Skills Report 2024 Partner, Pixeled Eggs’ Sepas Seraj provides his expertise and reflections on best practices to boost donations through charity websites, from considerations in positioning your cause to practical advice on website donation journeys.

14 top tips to boost your online donations:


  • Establish and understand your audience and their “why”

With over 170,000 UK charities competing for attention, when choosing charities to support, individual givers are guided by their values and personal and lived experiences. It’s crucial to understand not only who is donating to your cause, but why, as this will help you create a tailored experience that resonates with your audience. 

  • Include a compelling story

Your website should communicate a captivating narrative from start to finish, and emphasise positive outcomes of your work to establish credibility and build trust. Tell a compelling story, add value, share insights and demonstrate impact to ensure donations are not solely a transactional exchange.

  • Include calls to action at moments of trust

Consistent navigation and call-to-action buttons are important, but strategically placed hyperlinks can improve donation journeys and conversions. For example, include links to the donation process at the right points within your story where you build trust or highlight your impact. 

  • Easy to find consistent calls to action

Users should be able to find the donate button quickly and easily and designing a prominent donation button is a key aspect of your website’s main navigation. Make sure it is accessible and visually appealing. Donate buttons are best placed at the top right-hand corner of the website as the main call to action as readers scan pages in a Z-pattern.

  • Link directly to the donation form 

Some charity websites include additional steps in the donation process with a view of emphasising the impact. However, additional steps in the process lower conversion rates, once an engaged user clicks the donation link, take them directly to the donation form.

  • Simplify the donation process

Streamline the process, minimise distractions, and keep the information you collect minimal. Keep donation forms straightforward and only request the information needed to donate.

  • Optimise for mobile

According to goDonate almost 40% of one-off donations are now made using digital wallets. Optimising for mobile includes your website and donation and payment mechanisms. 

  • Make it accessible

According to Scope, 1 in 4 of the population has a disability. Make sure your donation forms are accessible and don’t cause any barriers for people using assistive technologies.

  • Optimise your website for search engines and make it visible on social media 

It’s easy to forget but, optimising your website for SEO and social media visibility can increase relevant traffic and make a significant impact on donations.

  • Build a relationship with your donors

A good CRM system, integrated with your donation mechanism is a key tool in keeping your audience informed and enables you to build a long-term relationship with individuals. 

  • Run campaigns and include them in your digital tools

Again, this may seem obvious, but many charities don’t make the most of their digital platforms for fundraising campaigns. Time this well and it can significantly boost your donations. 

  • Ask for more than money

Consider how you engage and interact with your website users, for example, the thank you page following the donation provides the perfect opportunity to further engage your donors. Use this space to ask for social media shares or point them to your regular fundraising pages or insights. Doing so can raise your visibility online and lead to further engagement and support. 

  • Technology choices 

When it comes to online donation platforms, consider not only cost, functionality and integrations but also how this supports your users and brand. Can the look and feel be seamless when embedded into the journey? Is it mobile-friendly? Choose a solution that will be kept up-to-date with digital trends.

  • Test and learn

Use the data you collect from real visitors to your website to improve and optimise your content and donation process. Platforms like Hotjar allow you to collect data on user behaviours, giving you the knowledge and evidence you need to continually improve your donation process.

Utilising digital tools for your website and beyond helps your charity connect with audiences on a more personal level. In return, charities can design useful experiences and engagements with audiences, integrating your cause into communities, and creating influence and change. By using digital tools to analyse, test and improve online experiences and strategies, we reach people at opportune moments, providing support and building trust. 

Pixeled Eggs has been studying and designing charity websites and donation journeys for over 12 years, working with charities of all sizes. While there is no magic bullet, these top tips, if followed, can help boost your online donations. 

Share your voice in the 2024 Charity Digital Skills Report Survey until 26th April here. 

Author:  Sepas Seraj

Nothing cool ever happens without a nerd getting involved somewhere along the way. That’s why I love it when creatives and technologists work together. Rock AND Roll. I have almost 25 years of digital experience most of which has been in online digital and agency environments. I am a developer at heart and I am at my happiest when collaborating with creative, UX and design teams from the inception of an idea through to the delivery of the finished product. I started Pixeled Eggs as a company that believes that world needs to know about purpose-driven organisations. Who they are, what they do and why it matters. By designing smart, modern websites at the heart of purpose-driven organisations, we give every good cause its digital edge. I am incredibly privileged to work with an amazing team of professionals and brilliant clients and deliver a varied list of great digital products. Working collaboratively with our team and our clients, I focus on strategy, value and performance, and sustainability and accessibility of the products that we develop