Jakob Nielsen’s organization investigates the usability of non-profit online donation systems, and concludes: ”
User research finds significant deficiencies in non-profit organizations’ website content, which often fails to provide the info people need to make donation decisions.”
In choosing between 2 charities, people referred to 5 categories of information. However, an organization’s mission, goals, objectives, and work was by far the most important. Indeed, it was 3.6 times as important as the runner-up issue, which was the organization’s presence in the user’s own community.
(Information about how organizations used donations did impact decision-making, but it was far down the list relative to its second-place ranking among things that people claimed that they’d be looking for.)
People want to know what a non-profit stands for, because they want to contribute to causes that share their ideals and values. Most people probably agree that, for example, it’s good to help impoverished residents of developing countries or patients suffering from nasty diseases. Many organizations claim to do these very things. The question in a potential donor’s mind is how the organization proposes to help. Often, sites we studied failed to answer this question clearly — and lost out on donations as a result.
(via Social Design Notes)