Online giving is tipped to become the most popular way of donating, but the sector often fails to optimise the donor experience. There are more ways than ever before to raise money online. That can be empowering for charities, especially those with limited budgets, but it can also be hard knowing where to begin.
Websites and fundraising
In terms of online fundraising, your website will be the obvious place to start. It’s important not to consider your online strategy in isolation, though. Don’t forget that a website will only be as effective as the content on it in terms of raising funds.
What makes for an effective fundraising website?
1. Clarity and ease of use – make sure it’s instantly clear to supporters where they can donate by having a “donate now” button, and consider a dedicated donation tab. Also minimise the number of steps and pages involved in the donation or sign-up process.
2. Information – if you’re asking for money, you’ll need to prove it’s being put to good use. Your website should contain information about your aims, work and reputation. It should also contain the kind of engaging content – photos, video, audio, and case studies – that will support your case.
3. Include offline options – don’t just provide facilities for those giving electronically: ensure your website includes information for people who wish to give by phone or post. And, particularly in the case of legacies, trusts, major donations etc, provide a named contact as donors may want to talk through the process. Finally, remember not to exclude those wishing to donate in other ways: for example, offer the means to register interest in volunteering.
4. Relationship building and promotion – your charity’s website also offers a means of promoting fundraising events and appeals, whether they take place on- or offline. Further, regularly updated content and news of this kind will keep visitors – and potential donors – coming back, as well as ensure your page features higher on internet searches.
5. Using statistics – it is vital to analyse how effective your website is. Tools such as Google Analytics (the free web analysis package) can give you an insight into how your site is used.
Use social media to your advantage
The statistics show that social media, if used regularly, is an effective way to fundraise. It also increases brand awareness and helps charities recruit more volunteers.
Stats show that 41% of nonprofits attribute their social media success to having developed a detailed social media strategy.
56% of those that support nonprofits on the Social Web confirm that compelling storytelling is what motivates them to take action on behalf of nonprofits.
More information on how to improve the website and online presence of your organisation can be found here. Or alternatively, see how your charity can make use of social media here.
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