For those that don't build web sites for a living you may not know who Jakob Nielsen is but to those like myself that do, he is the ultimate guru on what makes a web site easy-to-use and effective. I'm a faithful reader of Jakob Nielsen's web site and have purchased his usability research and books on a regular basis to better the web sites we build for our clients. His company's knowledge of what works on the web is unmatched. I was very excited when his company, Nielsen Norman Group, released a research study on what makes for an effective nonprofit web site.
The research report contains 58 guidelines for improving the design of non-profit and charity websites. It includes how to present information to entice prospective donors to give money and recommendations on the actual donations process, after a user has decided to give.
Many of the features of the online donation systems we build coincide with recommendations in this report such as providing a review screen where donors can review their donation before submission.
I recommend to anyone looking to improve their online fundraising to purchase this report.