How to Use Your Nonprofit Website to Fundraise
Nonprofit Websites and Fundraising
There are a number of reasons that people may be visiting your nonprofit's website. For example, they could be wondering where your business is located or are browsing around while doing some research. However, no matter what reason a visitor came to your website, you should not lose the opportunity to try to get another donation. Here are our tips that you can use to possibly obtain more donations through your nonprofit website.
1. Give the Contact Information for Your Nonprofit
Your website should clearly and consistently state what your nonprofit organization does, where it is located, and give several different ways to contact it (mailing address, toll-free phone number, and email address). As well, make sure that there is a "Contact us" link at the bottom of each page.
It may also make sense to have a staff profile page. On this page, you can give a short biography of each staff member, talk about what each staff member does in their capacity inside of the nonprofit organization, and provide an email address. This helps visitors to your website know the staff on a more personal level and can also lead to better communication with the general public.
2. Display Your Nonprofit's Personality
To get donors to give to your organization on more than one occasion, you need to build a relationship with them. To do this online, your best bet is to make sure that the "personality" of your organization is communicated. To figure out what type of personality that your organization has, it's best to look at some of the fundraising materials that you have already produced.
Next, you need to make sure that your nonprofit's website also communicates this personality. It is always best to keep a steady theme running through your nonprofit so that your donor's do not get confused as to who is asking for their time and money. Be sure that your website is targeted towards the audience that you wish to draw in.
3. Give Your Visitors Something Interesting to Read
Some nonprofit websites use a scrolling window that is constantly updated with the nonprofit's activities and volunteering opportunities. Other information that is provided includes articles about the future work that the nonprofit is planning and any articles that the members of the nonprofit have written.
Getting new content onto your website at regular internals will keep your readers and viewers coming back. If you are even more ambitious, you can offer your readers an opportunity to sign up to an email list where they can get weekly/monthly newsletters.
4. Keep Your Website Updated
In order to get the full worth of your website, and to ensure that all your hard work actually pays off, you need to constantly be on the ball making sure that you keep adding fresh content.
This will keep readers coming back. Just as you would not continue to buy a newspaper that prints the same three stories for ten months in a row, the visitors to your site will most likely stop visiting your site if they do not see new information. As well, the more visitors that you can keep drawing back to your site, the more likely it is that those visitors will turn into donors at some point.
5. Make Donating Easy
You should always make sure that any links to donating are easy to use and find. However, just because you don't want to hide donation information, you do not want to be "in-your-face" about it either. Donation links should not be spammed across the screen when a viewer comes to your site. Instead, you should have tasteful donation links that also suggest to the donors how much to give and also provides some information about where their donations will be going.
Making a donation page inside of your website can be as easy as including a donation tab on your main page. This link could be labeled as "Supporting our Cause" or "How You Can Help." Inside of this donation page, you should include methods of payment for donations as well as information about volunteering.
When you are thinking about how your donors can submit donations, you should consider various methods. If you are up and running on online payments (such as PayPal or other electronic funds transfer services), be sure to include this information. If not, you an offer a "fill-in" PDF file that donors can fill out and send in by mail or fax.
6. Tell Your Donors Where Their Money is Going
Any great nonprofit website will have a page that tells donors where their money is going and how it is being spent. You should have a prominent link on your main page that goes to this information page. Another important piece of information to have in this page is your nonprofit's annual report and your Form 990.
7. Publicly Thank your Donors
It is just as important to publicly thank all of your donors. Your website should have a "Thank You" or "Our Supporters" page that lists the names of all the donors to your organization. However, you should always provide the option to your donors of whether or not they want their names displayed on this page.
It can also lend to the credibility of your organization. If you can count a few prominent members in your community as donors to your nonprofit, displaying their names on this page may lead others to realize that your organization is doing good work.
In addition, you may want to create "levels" of contributions. For example, you could break down the contribution levels by the amount of money or time given by the donors. In the "highest" level, you may want to include personal information about the donors.
8. Track the Users of your Website
When you have a good tracking program installed on your site, you can gather information about what sites visitors to your site came from, and where they navigated after leaving your site. In addition, trackers can provide very useful information about the most-clicked-on links within your site, and which page in your site is the most common page that visitors see just before they leave your domain.
In addition, you may also be able to build on the SEO value of your webpage by noting which keywords draw in the most viewers to your website.
9. Advertise Your Website
Consider advertising your website. Make sure to put your web address on all of your stationary and business cards. If you have a pre-existing mailing list, you should think about offering incentives for the people on the list to switch to an email list. Encourage your readers to get their friends interested in your site and donate to your organization.
Hire a Lawyer to Help
As you are tirelessly fundraising, you also want to ensure you are complying with the law. Contact a business and commercial law attorney who specializes in charitable organizations to learn more.