Unclear websites seen dampening donations

A lack of easily accessible information on nonprofits’ websites is hurting online giving, says a new report from Nielsen Norman Group.

After observing potential donors’ interactions with the websites of 23 nonprofits, researchers say users typically are most interested in finding information about a group’s goals and objectives, and about how their donations would be used.

Fewer than half the websites studied include their mission in their homepage and only four percent say on the homepage how donations will be used.

While such information generally is included in other parts of the sites, users had trouble finding the information, difficulty that affected their decisions about donating.

“We uncovered several donation killers that caused some of the charities to lose out,” Jakob Nielsen, principal of Nielsen Norman Group, says in a statement. “Were they to fix these turn-off factors, we estimate that they could easily double donations.”

Those turn-offs for potential donors include poor page design and unclear content, and donors in 17 percent of cases could not figure out how to donate, the report says.

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