In a recent strategy session I was leading with a charity we hit upon a debate the team had been having for the last few months of thinking about their new website; should the donate button always be on?
The fundraiser at the charity had shared some study or other (I’ve asked for details – please comment if you know them) which said a donate button on your home page and header wasn’t a good idea and actually put off visitors rather than allowing time to build engagement before making an ask.
Cutting to the chase; I disagreed.
A clear ‘always on’ donate button is like a steering wheel in a car, it’s an expected part of the furniture your visitor needs to see to know they’re in the right place (a charity website) and to get involved if they want to.
With every part of your website now a potential homepage, because any user could land anywhere on your site from a search, you need to ensure there’s something that clearly communicates what you are and a donate button is a good shortcut – a badge for charities.
If you’re a heavily service orientated charity you should of course consider the weighting of the ‘call to asks’ across your site. Focusing on servicing the people you’re there to help is critical, without question, but like all things in life – awareness comes before action.