In their 2019 Charitable Giving Report, Blackbaud Institute found that an estimated 26% of online donations were made using a mobile device. The report also found that small nonprofits had 14.1% of total fundraising coming from online giving, medium-sized organizations were around 7.7%, and larger nonprofits had 4.0%. It’s clear that an online presence is key when considering how to reach a larger audience and earn more donations, but how does one start? Below, we discuss some website building tools and tips that will hopefully help boost your online donations and improve your online presence!
Improve Online Donations
Tell supporters how you plan to use their donations
No one wants to give money and not know where it’s going. Making your financial information easily accessible not only allows supporters to feel confident in how their donation is being used but it also gives them a better understanding of what your organization’s mission is. By knowing what their current donations are going towards, donors may even be more likely to donate again.
Use images and quotes along with text that represent your brand
It can be difficult to convey your organization’s mission in words alone. Pictures and quotes can both be helpful tools that spruce up your web page and better represent your organization and what it stands for. Instead of having paragraph after paragraph of description about your organization, show your audience what your mission stands for. Using quotes from past donors or volunteers and using pictures from past events or of organization members brings about the human side of your mission. Potential donors and supporters can really see who and what their money is really going to.
Use social media
Social media is the easiest way to engage with your community and more likely than not, it’s the most familiar form of communication in your community. With that being said, it’s important to determine where to focus your energy. Because there are so many social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, distinguishing which platforms your community frequents the most will allow you to narrow your focus. Then, you can post updates, pictures, invitations, and information about your fundraisers and campaigns, and your followers will be brought up to speed and may feel incentivized to donate.
Encourage donors to contact you
The more of a connection you can build with a donor, the more likely they are to continue to fund your efforts. Encourage your web visitors to email or call you and make time to have a personal conversation about why your mission is important to them. They will feel valued and have a better understanding of their impact on your day-to-day. You’ll build a stronger relationship and maybe even get some ideas for other ways to engage and communicate with your broader donor pool.
Thank your donors
Reaching back out to every donor may sound like a daunting task but it can have a huge impact on helping to retain donors for future campaigns. The combination of a donor management system and email platform can help automate this process but personal outreach and communicating an individual’s impact is really what resonates. Build systems where it’s easy to track who has been contacted, when and empower as many of your team members as possible to assist with the outreach.
Website Building Software
Squarespace is a visual website builder that allows you to build a website without coding or setting up a web host. Instead of worrying about technical nitpicks, Squarespace simplifies the process by providing a drag and drop interface while still giving users an expansive selection of tools. They have a wide variety of templates to choose from, they provide the option to edit your website from mobile, and the software automatically saves your progress so you don’t lose any vital work if you go offline.
Unlike Squarespace, Wix is an unstructured editor which means that the site’s builder goes beyond just dragging and dropping within a pre-designed grid. Wix lets you drag and drop elements anywhere you want on a page. Because of this, the site may not seem as beginner-friendly as Squarespace since it offers the user a substantial amount of freedom in terms of design. Wix still has plenty of themes and features, and even has an App Market where the user can purchase more features and tools as necessary including plug-ins for donation management tools like Donorbox.
WordPress is an open-source content system, which means that anyone can use or modify the WordPress software for free without needing to know anything about programming or coding. The software uses a form-based editor that separates the content of pages from the design. One thing that makes WordPress stand out from its competition is that the software lets you install a variety of third-party plugins. Whether you need a plugin for podcasts, membership systems, maps, combating spam, or daily travel costs, the odds are that you’ll most likely find a plugin for it on WordPress. As useful as this sounds, there’s one big drawback: in order to configure most of these plugins, you have to use WP-Admin. WP-Admin is the interface for WordPress and it’s an entirely different beast than using just WordPress. It’s much more technical, specific, and less friendly to beginners or those with little to no experience when it comes to web design and programming.