6 Basic Website Strategies to Help Improve Nonprofit Fundraising ResultsFundraising, Fundraising Services, Lottery fundraising, News, Non-profit fundraising, Online Fundraising, Philanthropy, Social Media for Nonprofit Fundraising, Telephone Fundraising | Desi Cabrera | August 1, 2013 at 12:01 am
Recently I was researching a small sampling of local and national nonprofit fundraising organizations and through this review I noticed that some websites were far more robust and feature-rich while others seemed to be missing critical fundraising and engagement components. As we recently passed the half-way mark of 2013 and end-of-year fundraising is most likely a top priority, strengthening online presence should also be a part of this planning as its importance is high as well. Your website is the face of your organization and can very likely be the first impression (potential) supporters will have of your cause. It can be the determining factor if visitors are converted to donors and the following basic strategies can help make that happen:
- Blogging – Adding a blog to your website will strengthen your online presence and bring SEO value while adding regular fresh content that can attract and engage supporters. Successfully launching and managing a blog requires careful consideration to ensure reasonable strategies are being used and adequate resources are available. An inactive, unmanaged blog is more damaging than not having one at all so plan effectively. Recommended reading: 7 Steps to Adding a Blog to your Nonprofit Website, 7 Tips for Successful Nonprofit Blogging and 6 Pointers for Effective Blogging for the New Nonprofit Blogger.
- Email Capture – This is one of the key features that can single-handedly impact the make or break of your fundraising initiatives. Prominently (but tastefully) placing an email/newsletter sign up form on the homepage of your website and blog will ensure you are capitalizing on every possible opportunity to bring your engagement to the next level. Developing and strengthening your donor database will pay dividends down the road. Also be sure to have an opt-out feature in every email communication and be sure to honour all requests. Recommended reading: Study Reveals Online Marketing Benchmarks and Nonprofit Fundraising Trends and 7 Tips for Effective Nonprofit Email and Newsletter Marketing.
- Donations – Perhaps it goes without saying but it’s critical that nonprofits make it easier for supporters to make a donation. Oddly through my recent research, I found that many nonprofits – grass-roots specifically – are missing opportunities by not placing donation links (call to action) prominently on their homepages. Depending on the size of the organization there may be the need to outsource to a donation collection service that can process credit card payments and issue donation receipts. Recommended reading: Online Nonprofit Fundraising Continues to Grow According to Annual Survey and the latest Blackbaud Index and Blackbaud yearly report.
- Social Media – Basic digital marketing strategies includes integrating social media ‘share’ buttons into the design template of your website. This strategy will help optimize engagement opportunities with your visitors while expanding your reach to your supporter’s networks. Another added value includes attracting new supporters through your social media channels to your website and blog. Recommended reading: the many entries in our Social Media series.
- Events/Calendar Page – Event driven organizations and those who may have many important dates throughout the year should consider including an events and calendar page on their site. It should be user friendly and if the listing includes many entries, visitors should be able to sort by identifying categories. As with other initiatives, it must be kept up to date and current. Recommended reading: Study Shows Stronger Results in Peer-to-Peer Nonprofit Fundraising Events and 4 Tips for Planning Nonprofit Fundraising Events.
- Mobile Optimization – It is expected that mobile users will surpass desktop users by 2014. Nonprofits need to take heed and ensure they are including mobile integration and optimization into their website infrastructure as it will be essential to the supporter experience. Recommended reading: Key Mobile Utilization Data Can Help Optimize Nonprofit Fundraising & Engagement and 2012 Technological Giving Trends According to Nonprofit Fundraising Industry Reports
A good practice is to regularly test your website to guarantee your visitors receive the best impression of your organization. Make sure inner and outward links are working, information is current and the aesthetics are as they should be. Website management is an on-going process and will require tweaks that will ultimately strengthen its performance and results. Do you have other website strategies that have worked for you?
Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.