While it’s true that your non-profit website is the information center for your organization, and the way you let the world know about your programs and efforts, you may be missing out on one of the most powerful fundraising opportunities available.
Design and content – is that all there is to an effective website? The answer is a resounding NO. If you are under the misconception that your website is simply there to let people know your non-profit exists and how to contact you, like an ad, think again.
Your website may be one of the strongest ways to reach out to potential donors, not only in your city, but across the country! Unless you focus on your site as a true resource and tool for your organization, you may be missing out on thousands of dollars in funding.
When considering the design and content of your non-profit website consider your “outreach intent”. Simply stated, outreach intent is the overall messaging of your website in relation to return visits and fundraising potential.
In order to maximize your fundraising potential, take a few minutes to review your website with this Outreach Intent Checkup:
Know who is visiting your website and how often. This may think only your webmaster needs to bother with these statistics, but the fact is everyone in your organization needs to know what is happening with your visitors.
Test your team – ask around your office, and even nationally, how often those people within your organization visit your own website. You may be astounded.
Do you have an online fundraising Marketplace? Make it visible! Imagine having a sure way to raise funds online. Now hide it on your website so no one can find it. What good is it? It’s like looking for a needle in haystack. Remember, people DO want to help you with donations!
Review the design of your site and make sure your buttons and “calls-to-action” are prominently displayed on your site and displayed on every page. NOT only on the fundraising and “support us” page.
Remind your supporters about your website features – often! Like with any kind of advertising or promotions, you need to remind your supporters about your website and why it is important to visit often.
Remind them via your newsletter, promotional handout materials, and posters everywhere. Remember, if it goes out to your supporters, it should have your web address on it.
Make your site a true online destination people want to visit again and again.
Finally, take a good look at your website and ask yourself, “Would I return to this site every week?” If your website is not motivating your supporters to return again and again, you can increase the attraction factor by implementing a few simple ideas:
- Pull people back to your site by using tag lines in your newsletters and communications, such as “Check our website for more information!”
- Keep your website up to date! We can’t stress this enough. If your website hasn’t changed in the last 3 months, you’re due for an update.
- Put supporter testimonials and photos on your site to show the true heartbeat of your community. These people, when featured, will tell others to visit your site!
- Consider incentives such as contests and t-shirt give-away promotions. These low cost materials are fun, attractive, and will have people coming back to your site.
- At a loss? Not sure if your site is working for you? Get a professional site evaluation.
If you are staring at your website and are at a loss for ideas to increase traffic to your non-profit’s website, get some expert advice. Companies like Fundraising Solutions will review your non-profit website at no cost and offer suggestions and ideas to help you make your site a destination your supporters will visit again and again.
About the Author
Jim Gould is the Chairman of Fundraising Solutions, a fundraising company that offer a free fundraising program for non profit organization fundraising and ClickShopSupport.org, a charity shopping site.