How to Use Popups for Nonprofit Website? 8 Practical Tips

Love them or hate them, popups convert and if done right they can be a game-changer for your nonprofit website.

a cover image with a blue background with a bold text that says eight practical tip and "How to use popups for nonprofit website?" with the logo of an NGO and two hands with a heart in the middle

Would you like to increase your nonprofit website's engagement rate, generate donations, and cultivate email lists that can lead to long-term relationships with potential activists or donors?

Almost certainly, you will answer yes.

However, you might wonder, how? It's all about a well-executed pop-up, my friend.

Popups can do all that and more, but knowing how to create and execute them in a non-intrusive and engaging manner is an art in and of itself.

In this article, I will share with you some more reasons why you should consider using popups for your nonprofit website, as well as provide you some simple and practical tips to get you started.

Why Should You Use Popups For Nonprofit Websites?

It's no coincidence that many of the most successful and well-known brands still use popups on their website.

That's because popups still work and you should consider using them too if you want to drive more donations to your nonprofit organization.

Below is mentioned some of the most important reasons why you need to use popups for your nonprofit website.

In other words, if you plan to launch a fundraiser campaign or want to use your website traffic to raise money, keep reading.

Popups Let You Be More Customized

Using geotargeting you can create popups based on your users’ location and provide more relevant, targeted promotions for current and/or potential supporters and donors.

a nonprofit organization's website screenshot with a welcome popup that shows the flag of Ukraine and asks the visitors to take action and help the women in need in the war

If you are an international or multicultural organization this feature allows you to target visitors based on their language and customize your multilingual campaigns.

Popups Help You Retain Your Audience

Using exit intent popups is a great method to prevent your website users from navigating away.

Most marketers use exit intent popups to save abandoned carts and increase their revenue by up to 30 percent.

Then, why not use them on your nonprofit website so that visitors are motivated to take action and take part in a good deed before they leave.

You can take a look at some of the best exit intent popup examples to get inspired to create your own design that provides higher value for your visitors and engages them more.

Popups Build You a Great Email List of Potential Volunteers

screenshot of the Catholic relief services nonprofit website with the picture of a woman and a baby in blue hat and green Jeresy with blue email list growing popup bar

Creating dynamic and customizable popups and opt-in forms that can be embedded on your nonprofit organization site is a great way to start your journey of building an e-mail list.

💡Find more interesting email newsletter examples to boost your open rate

Having a list of your potential contributors helps you a lot in your email marketing campaigns.

You can use email marketing segmentation to target more relevant groups of users and keep them informed about your missions by sending them newsletters.

Grow Your Email List with Popupsmart!

8 Tips on How to Use Popups for Nonprofit Websites

You may know how effective popups are for your website, but still wonder how you can increase donations with popups and promote fundraising campaigns.

Well, this list of best practices can help you make the most out of your popups and develop updated fundraising plans for your nonprofit website.

So, let's dive right in, shall we?

1. Use Trigger Words & Related Graphics

Make use of the power of words and grab your visitors' attention with emotional trigger words that provoke a psychological reaction.

Just put words and interesting visuals together and boom, the user is hooked.

One of the best popup design practices is to make the most out of the space you have by adding relevant images and styles in your popups.

a nonprofit website fighting for animal right screenshot of a popup with the picture of a sad poppy in a cage that asks the visitors to help them fight the poppy mills with an orange calk to action that says "Donate Today"

Try to use visuals related to your missions and adapt your popup design to your overall website’s style.

In fact, the more unique your popup is, the more likely it will stand out.

Try to customize your popups with emotional trigger words and images related to your mission but remember not to sound pushy or manipulative.

You can use screenshots of past contributors' testimonials or display the cause of the fundraiser.

Here you can see another great popup example from The Humane Society of the United States a nonprofit organization promoting animal welfare and opposing animal cruelty.

a popup screenshot from the human society of the united state website with a picture of a sad poppy in a cage and a text that asks the visitors to help them stop the poppy mills and tell the USDA to protect puppies with a blue call to action that says send a message

Their use of relevant images to trigger viewers' emotions and their short and to-the-point CTAs to persuade them to take action is impressive.

2. Choose the Right Time to Showcase Your Popups

Yogi Berra, a professional baseball player, once said, “You don't have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it'll go.”

There is also a similar rule that applies to pop-ups.

Timing is another key element that you must consider when promoting your fundraising campaign and trying to increase donations with popups.

It is not good to have a popup appear as soon as the user opens a website, so try to position it well when the user opens your website

a screenshot of a nonprofit organization website and a popup showing a picture of a family having a picnic with a text in a red box that say"make every day of this summer count" with two call to actions that asks to donate once or donate monthly

The best way to showcase your popups at a proper time and place is to use an easy-to-use popup builder that gives you features like targeting your visitors' behavior.

The feature allows you to show your popup once a visitor views your website content after a certain period of time or after a certain percentage of scroll activity on your target pages.

This way you can customize your popup not to be intrusive and choose the best moment to capture your visitors.

See how Four paws, a global animal welfare organization, uses an exit-intent newsletter popup to stay in touch with visitors and grow its email list

screenshot of Four paws nonprofit website with a exit intent popup that asks the visitor to sign up for the newsletter before leaving the website

Additionally, keep in mind if you're using a full-screen popup overlay, make it easy for visitors to close it and continue using the website.

Take into account the freedom of your users' choice and see how it can lead to more donations and contributions.

3. Use an Eye-Catching Call to Action

A great call to action starts with persuading the reader and it ends with them taking action.

Yes, that’s how powerful a call to action can be!

Don’t just use generic CTAs you see everywhere, be creative and use a word or phrase that aligns with the next step you want the reader to take.

In this example, you can see a popup from the nonprofit Amercian Heart Associasion with two CTAs that are aligned with the next step in the process.

a screenshot of The American Heart Association nonprofit website showing a popup with a picture of a couple riding a bicycle smiling to the camera being happy with a text that asks the visitors to double their donation with two different call to actions that offer donate once or donate monthly

The popup offers two different calls to action with a to the point an d clear objective. You can choose either to “Donate Once” or “Donate Monthly”.

Using relevant imagery with eye-catching and targeted CTAs and showcasing it at the right time and right place is the key to making this popup stand out.

You may want to take a look at the best CTA examples to get inspired to write an effective call to action that increases donations for your nonprofit organization.

4. Make it Easy for Viewers to Engage

If you are using a popup to engage with your audience then your mission should be to make it easier for them to take action.

Using CTAs as a navigation tool will help you direct users to the donation page, which is where you want them to engage with your campaign.

In addition, if you are asking for donations in your popup it’s a good practice to offer tiers, by which you specify the amount (e.g., $10, $15, $50).

a screenshot of the Malala nonprofit foundation that asks the visitors to donate offering tier donations with two call to action that says donate once or donate monthly to make it easy for them to engage

To increase donations, nonprofits must make it as easy as possible for their users to engage with their mission, so giving them a short list of donation levels is an effective way to do so.

If you are using different fields like the popup example below, it's best to use prefill form feature and make it easy for your visitor to engage with your campaign.

a popup example from a nonprofit organizarion asking for the visitors email address, first name and last name to send intresting storues and update them on the missions with a blue call to action that says "Sign Up!"

As a result, they are more likely to donate what you give them instead of thinking on their own about how much they can contribute.

5. Inform Users of Your Organization’s Mission

In addition to being a great tool for making a quick connection with your user, pop-ups allow you to tell them exactly what they can do to contribute to your mission in your own words.

Provide data about your mission, and if you have already started the process, showcase it with pictures and statistics, and ask users for help to finish what you have begun.

The goal should be to provide a constituent engagement with your users and show them what they are donating for.

Rather than taking the time just to create a visually attractive pop-up, focus on your value proposition for why you want or need the user to take the action you want.

You can use many different "hooks" to entice users to take action.

Nonprofit organizations have the power to touch people's hearts with their mission, which is a good place to start.

Try to explain why even a few dollars can make a big difference or the reason users need to know what your organization is up to.

6. Grow Your Email List & Keep Your Users Updated

Your email list is your treasure trove of information for building a tailored relationship with your contributors.

Try to keep your design and copy as simple as possible once you are asking for the users’ email addresses.

a nonprofit website screenshot with a simple popup that asks if the visitor would like to stay inform about the organization's mission with two butoon one in red saying yes and one in grey saying no

Think about it in terms of seconds – if your value proposition isn't clear to the user within two seconds (or less! ), you're not defining it clearly enough.

a nonprofit website screenshot with a simple popup that says great and asks for the visitors email address to join the newsletter with a red call to action that says "Join Now!"

When all you need to contact a user is their email, why bother them with so many fields?

There is often a strong correlation between better user experience and greater engagement when the number of input fields on a popup form is reduced.

By following these tips, you can build yourself a long list of high-quality leads that you can follow up with via email marketing campaigns and update them on your mission.

7. Make Sure Your Popup is Mobile Friendly

There is no denying that mobile traffic is becoming more and more important, and if your website is not optimized for mobile devices, then you are missing out on a lot of subscribers and potential funding.

According to nonprofit source statistics report, half of the nonprofit website traffic came from mobile and tablet users, where mobile devices accounted for 40% of all visitors, tablets for 10%, and desktop users accounted for 50%.

It is now more important than ever for nonprofit organizations to implement mobile fundraising and make their donation pages and popups mobile-friendly.

Try to customize and optimize desktop and mobile popup versions with different configurations for the best user experience.

Using Popupsmart, you can easily switch between desktop and mobile views to make changes to elements as smoothly and quickly as possible.

8. Help Users Navigate Easily with Popups

Ultimately, you need to use the popup to make sure your users can find what they are looking for.

Use the cookie data to optimize the website visitors' experience and give them a more customized experience.

Help them navigate to your fundraising page or direct them to the report of your recent mission in your website.

Some popups may be considered annoying but use it right and they can be the best tool to drive traffic to your certain pages.

Just make sure there aren't too many steps for the user to complete to get to the destination page.

How to Create Popups for Nonprofit Website with Popupsmart

By following these tips, you can create an engaging experience for your nonprofit website visitors and increase your quality leads.

Having these principles in mind, your popup will be more likely to convert and ultimately help you achieve your donation goals.

In addition, following these practices and using an easy and user-friendly tool can help you a lot in your organization’s overall strategy.

With Popupsmart, users can build popups that increase conversions and a better user engagement without having to know how to code with php or python.

Now, if you are not convinced yet, here's an easy step-by-step guide to creating a popup with Popupsmart for you to see how simple it is.

First thing first, create a Popupsmart account if you don't already have one. Once you log in to your account, you're taken to a dashboard where you can see the different sections you can access.

Next, simply click on "Create a new popup" in the dashboard to create the first popup for your nonprofit website.

Popupsmart popup builder dashboar step one with "create a new popup" button

Following that, you need to select your business objective. There are six different business objectives designed to meet different organizational needs.

Let’s pick “Show Up Announcement” for this guide.

Popupsmart popup builder dashboar step two choosing the business objectives

Later if you want, you can try to create a popup to grow your email list, show up announcements, comply with cookie laws or collect form submissions for your website.

After choosing your objective, a window will appear asking you to “Create a Popup Campaign”.

Popupsmart popup builder dashboar step three "Create a popup campaign" window that asks for the website domain and the campaign's name

Here you should pick a name for your popup campaigns and add your website domain. Once you have added them, click "Save and Close" to start the designing process.

Popupsmart popup builder dashboar step four in the "Layout" page with different popup templates and examples

You can see different ready-made popup templates on the “Layouts” page; click to choose a layout that fits your business’s style and needs.

Next step, click on the “Next to Customize” button. This is where you can customize your popup to align with your mission and overall brand identity and style.

Popupsmart popup builder dashboar step five in the "Customize" page showing different features you can change in your popup such as headline, description and butoon parts

You can edit your layout’s headline, description, and button parts considering the aims of your announcement popup.

Popupsmart popup builder dashboar step six showing how the user can change the headline, font family and font wight for the popup

With this design, we used a famous quote from Mahatma Gandi to evoke emotion in the visitors and prompt them to donate clean water to the people in need.

Additionally, you can add an image and edit it freely here.

We used an image related to the mission and showed how the donation could change other people's lives.

To allow the user to donate in their preferred way, we gave them two different CTAs with different intents; The donation can be made either once or monthly.

Popupsmart popup builder dashboar step seven showing the "Target" page with different features such as visitor behavior, visitors device

Once you have finished customizing your popup, you need to go to the next step and click on the "Target" button.

Popupsmart popup builder dashboar step eight showing the visitor behavior window with a list of features users can change to target the right audience

Here is where you can choose various targeting options like selecting your visitor behavior or their devices.

Popupsmart popup builder dashboar step nine showing the visitors device window with two options of desktop and mobile

The “Visitor Behavior" section allows you to show your popup after the visitor has been on your website for a certain amount of time or set up an exit-intent popup.

Furthermore, in the “Audience” section, you can also optimize your popup’s targeting according to “Operating System,” “New Visitors or Returning Visitors,” “Browser Language,” “Traffic Source,” and “Geo Located.”

To improve engagement, you can also create personalized onsite marketing messages with a smart tag dynamic.

Popupsmart popup builder dashboar step ten "publish" page showing the different integration and features in the last part of the popup creation

Once you’ve finished setting up your targeting, click on the “Next to Publish” button and set your publishing options.

You can preview how your popup will look on mobile devices and optimize it for the best user experience.

Popupsmart popup builder dashboar step eleven showing a preview of the popup in mobile devices

Now, if you click on your website domain you can see the popup code you can add to your website.

Popupsmart popup builder dashboar step twelve showing the popup code window with a unique code and a button that says "copy to clipboard"

Click on the “Copy to Clipboard” to copy your code, and paste it before the closing < /body > tag on your website dashboard.

Make sure to verify your website; otherwise, the publish button would be unclickable.

When you check the “Publish” section, you can also choose to integrate with Google Analytics.

Additionally, in the last step you can customize “Respondent email notifications” and the “On-click popup button creator” in this section.

Ultimately, publish your popup by clicking the “Save & Publish” button.

Here is the final look of the popup we’ve created together in this guide:

The screenshot of the final look of the popup made in this guid with Popupsmart popup builder in the domain website

Just like that, you can create an engaging and highly potential popup to promote your fundraising campaigns.

As a Final Note

Now that you know how to create an attention-grabbing donation CTA, it’s time to take action and put this knowledge into practice.

Go ahead and add a popup or two to your website and start tracking their performance using statistics reports.

You can also improve your results and encourage more people to support your cause by running an A/B split test once you collect some data.

You can use Popupsmart to create the first popup on your nonprofit website and combine all the tips above.

Don’t be shy, go ahead and create your first popup and let us know if you have any questions.

Get Started With Popupsmart and Create Your Nonprofit Website's First Popup Today!


Can Nonprofit Organizations Use Ads?

The short answer is yes. Non-profit organizations can use advertisements to draw more traffic to their website. They can also use popups to welcome their new users and capture their information for further marketing purposes.

Can You Use Popups to Recruit Volunteers?

Definitely yes. Popups are a great way to hook users’ attention. Using the right targeted popup, you can attract specific groups of people interested in volunteering for your nonprofit organization.

You may also want to look at these related topics:

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