10 Website Tips to Maximize Nonprofit Fundraising and Engagement Opportunities | Miratel Solutions

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10 Website Tips to Maximize Nonprofit Fundraising and Engagement Opportunities

Welcome back to my  Social Media Summer Series designed to help organizations utilize electronic and online channels to optimize nonprofit fundraising and engagement opportunities. Today I am focusing on the organization’s website which is where (potential) supporters will get most of the information about the nonprofit. The website also has the power to sway them towards or away from becoming a financial contributor so it’s important that it is strong enough to produce the desired response and the following 10 tips will help improve results.

  1. Do your research. Know who you are appealing to and incorporate strategies to best attract and engage your target demographic(s). There are countless reports to assist with understanding what different donors care about, their online giving habits, key motivating factors and how they prefer to interact by demographic. Examples are the Millennial Donors Report and the Study of High Net Worth Women’s Philanthropywebsite-tips-nonprofit-fundraising
  2. First impressions are lasting. According to research conducted at Missouri University of Science and Technology, it takes users less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression when viewing a website. You have a very short time to win over visitors to your site and make them want to stay on your site to continue learning more. Have a focused homepage that is easily scannable, understandable and intuitive with important information displayed above the fold. Nothing turns a visitor away faster than a cluttered website that is difficult to navigate through.
  3. Consistent Branding. Brand recognition is critical for the success of your cause and a marketing rule of thumb is that it takes 7-12 impressions of a brand for a consumer/donor to want to take action and build loyalty. A consistent brand image including logo and slogans/taglines (if applicable) should be adopted on homepage and inner pages of website as well as all social media pages.
  4. Two Clicks or Less. The path to arriving at key content should follow the “two clicks or less” rule and if it doesn’t, rethink your structure. You want to make it as easy as possible to get visitors to the desired locations of your website. Also, there should be multiple routes to arrive at these key pages such as top navigation, footer links, a well-placed search bar along with clickable icons. Examples of key content pages might include Our Story, News & Media, Donate Now, Events and Volunteer.
  5. Keep It Fresh. It’s important to keep the content on your site fresh, relevant and timely. Always highlight current appeals, events and cause updates which will interest and encourage your supporters to visit your site more often and build on their loyalty. Timely updates on your site and social media channels when a campaign ends demonstrates that your organization is active and keeps its supporters informed. If you have a blog that is updated regularly, include a link to your website that shows your latest post.
  6. Highlight the Impact of Your Cause. According to the 2012 the 2 Cygnus Donor Survey, 83% (USA) and 83% (CAN) of surveyed participants indicated that they conduct research (mainly online) of the nonprofit organization before making a gift. It’s imperative that a nonprofit’s website is informative, compelling and engages the potential donor on an emotional level. Testimonials from those who have directly benefitted from your charity will add value by personalizing the cause for the visitor.
  7. Have a clear call to action. Given the short time that you have to win over a visitor to your website, your call to action should be bold, visible and easily accessed. Buttons or icons stating ‘Donate Now’, ‘Subscribe to our Newsletter’, “Volunteer Opportunities’ and other desired actions should be clearly visible above the fold and bring the visitor directly to the desired destination.
  8. Quality Images & Videos. As the saying goes: “A picture is worth a thousand words” and this holds true for images on your website. Often an image or a video will be more impactful to a visitor and send a clearer message. Humans are visual by nature and are less likely to read through a lot of written material so it’s important that the images displayed on the site tell a compelling story and are a good reflection of your organization. A video might be a better tool to convey a story or other more complex message and they don’t have to be intimidating to make as I outlined in 6 Ways to Maximize Online Video Marketing for Nonprofit Fundraising Appeals and Supporter Engagement.
  9. Be Transparent. According to the 2012 Cygnus Donor Survey, 36% (USA & CAN) of respondents cited giving more to charities that communicated their results and other accomplishments to their supporters. Communication is imperative as donors limited their gifts to organizations that lacked transparency. Include links to financial, sustainability and other reports which speak to the accountability of the organization. Use infographics to show the impact of your cause over time
  10. Be Social. Social media channels are invaluable to the effectiveness of an organization’s marketing strategies as they increase the exposure and reach of the nonprofit’s brand and drive traffic to the website. Make it easy to connect, interact and share by including social media icons for every channel your organizations has a presence. Include these icons in several places so they are always visible to the visitor regardless of where they are on your site. Integrate your social activity on your site wherever possible and encourage viral sharing.  The Third Annual Global Social Media Check-Up gives additional insight.

Feel free to browse through my Social Media Summer Series for nonprofits which includes a series on FacebookTwitterLinkedin and Pinterest along with other related topics.

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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centreeBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraisingonline fundraisinglottery servicesdonation cagingdonation 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.

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2 Responses to 10 Website Tips to Maximize Nonprofit Fundraising and Engagement Opportunities

  1. Thank you for these tips, i’m reading them

  2. Pingback: Instagram Benefits for Nonprofit Fundraising and Supporter Engagement (via Miratel Solutions) « Mission-Minded Media

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