A Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Donation Website – Fast!

If you are looking to make your own website then the good news is that this is no longer a long, arduous task, but can be fun, fast and relatively cheap to do. There is a lot of flexibility nowadays about how you can design and build your own website, but to complete the process most efficiently you do need to consider some things in advance.

This is vitally important when you are aiming to set up your own donation website as these types of websites work in a different way to the usual WordPress based sites.

For example, you need to think carefully about these issues before you finalise your donation website design:-

  • What are the payment methods you will offer to users of the site that will allow them to donate?
  • How will your site be able to keep track and record of all the donations made?
  • How will you gain access to the donations, or if you are not going to have access personally, who will and how will they be able to access the donations made?
  • Lastly, you need to think carefully about the text on your site and the content to ensure that your site clearly explains the donation options to end users.

By having a detailed infrastructure of the proposed site clear in your mind and having a clear understanding of how it will be used, by whom and what content you need on it, you will be in a much better position to inform the actual design of the site and who, eventually, the completed site will be marketed towards.

Step One – Payment Methods accepted for Donations

The first thing to consider for your donation website, is which type of payment methods will the site offer for people to donate. This impinges on site design markedly because the higher the number of payment methods your site offers then the more flexible it is, but it does mean that your site has to be optimised for multiple payment methods.

As such, organisation is key here allowing users to donate money quickly and easily regardless of which of the payment methods they elect to use.

The number and method of payments your donation website will accept also has significant implications for security.  People will only feel comfortable donating to a site that displays the industry-accepted badges for high levels of security and it is important that you invest significant time in your preparation in ensuring your donation site has all the required security protocols and badges installed and displayed.

Step Two – Tracking and Recording Donations Made

When your donation website takes off and people start to donate, then it is vital you have accurate records of every donation made to the site.

Some websites design packages include a tracking and organisation tool as part of their design tools, but not all do and you will need to ensure that you can clearly track and record all donations, especially for accounting and taxation purposes.

Rigorously test this side of your website before going live to ensure all forms of donation, using all forms of payment are accurately recorded and you will save yourself a lot of time later on having to work through thousands of transactions to find the ones that have not been tracked!

Step Three – Accessing Donations

When people donate to the site, you then need to figure out who is going to access these donations to fund the organisations that the donator is supporting. This is a position of great responsibility and requires careful planning.

Once you have decided who is going to have access to the funds, you need to decide upon the best method of doing this. Your primary concern here should be security, ensuring that the funds donated are protected against fraudulent use and that the money is used for the charity or project that the donators have supported.

Again, tracking who has accessed the funds and when, along with a rigorous security procedure and clearly defined method for accessing funds helps the site run more smoothly in the long term.

Step Four – Creating the Site Content

With the infrastructure of the site now in place, it is now time to consider your content. The type, style and tone of the content of your site is what will ultimately convince users to donate, so it is therefore vital to ensure that you not only have the right type of content, but that it is persuasive enough to get people to donate.

The type of content you need will depend very much on the type of donation site you are setting up and will, to a large extent, determine the layout and number of pages etc within the site.

Your content needs to convey your messages and convince your users to donate and as such needs to be persuasive and compelling, yet easy to read and finding that balance is key to producing a highly successful donations website.

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