A coworker forwarded me some feedback she had come across during an annual giving network discussion regarding website design for online giving websites:
I'm jealous of this https://giving.sc.edu/givenow.aspx even better is their main page http://giving.sc.edu/ which features not a click to give button, but rather, a box to start writing in the amount of your gift!
On our own website, we have a prominent "Donate" button that brings users to a form, which starts with an introduction about what the donation will be used for. Additional fields on the form make it clear to the donor the level of control they have over what the donations would be earmarked for.
I'm concerned that if we implemented a system where the dollar amount was the first thing entered, before any context would be given, that no matter how convenient it seemed, it might discourage potential donors. It would also seem to eliminate the possibility of upselling to a larger donation amount, if the first step is to put the amount of the donation.
Is it better to start with a dollar amount, or provide more context for the donation before asking for a specific amount? Will one strategy yield a higher conversion rate, or potentially a higher donation amount?
If it is relevant, our donor demographic is generally affluent senior citizens, with very few of our donors being under the age of 50.