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I am working on a website for a non profit and they anticipate the need to have a donate button in the near future.In that context,I was revisiting the site architecture and I was wondering about where would be a good place to put it. The two options are :

1) I could have a menu link which says support us where users can go and donate a specific amount (we are planning to use paypal)

2) Alternatively I could put the donate button somewhere in the footer

With regards to both the approaches,the concerns I have are :

1) Will people ignore the "support us" link on the menu bar because it doesnt stand out as its part of a menu

2) Using the donate button in the footer (it would be on every page since I am using a master page layout which has the header and footer defined) of every page seems to be too pushy and I dont want to convey that effect.

I would like to hear your inputs on what you feel should be the ideal position,please also weigh in with your inputs on other potential locations.

Edit: thanks for the response,with regards to it being as close as possible to the content,another thorny question comes up ,the left side of the page or the right side, I could go with the argument of the site being in English and people read from left to right,the donate button should ideally be there on the right side so that people can see it once they read it but alternatively an argument could be made for the donate button to be the left side so that the the first thing people see as they read the content

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3 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Donate button is the element to be featured throughout a non-profit's website. It should be easily visible everywhere. You shouldn't worry about being "too pushy" because donations fuel non-profits.

If you put it into a menu or the footer, you're going to destroy collections because it won't be visible to the majority of visitors.

The best location for donate button is above the fold on the main page and in the top navigation on every internal page. When you place it into the navigation bar, make sure to make a visual distinction between it and actual navigation items by adding white space and/or coloring Donate button differently.

See The Humane Society of the USA and WWF for examples.

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+1 and if the non-profit is totally dependent on donations (ie does not receive government subsidies) it may increase donations if you spell that out close to the donate link! –  Marjan Venema Jan 14 '12 at 9:31
    
put it up top like wikipedia (when they announce they need donations). better style it nice and accordingly, so that 1.) it removes the "pushy-ness" factor of the donation link 2.) it's distinct 3.) like wikipedia, give a reason why we should even care (wikipedia is an free online encyclopedia edited by a community of volunteers... you know the line) –  Joseph the Dreamer Jan 16 '12 at 3:59
    
Thanks everyone for the feedback,some good points there –  Mervin Johnsingh Jan 17 '12 at 22:51
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You want to get as much exposure as possible and therefore I recommend to place the button as close to the content as possible. People tend to focus on the content and develop a tunnel vision, ignoring the rest of the page.

People would probably want to know how their money will be spent so a Support us page is also a good idea. Put a link next to the Donate button with a short explaination.

I would also recommend you to do some A/B tests to really optimize the button and it's placement. Such a call to action button as this is ideal for A/B tests.

Good luck.

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Its called the call to action design issue, which every designer have to come across ,

The color and size depends on the theme of your site, The more contrasting it is, the more better. And these call to action button can be made more attractive by having some live data going on near by those. Best place to have these are in the top or middle ..not bottom.. Do keep one at the bottom with different approach.

And best practices for these can be found in this Inspirations

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