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A few weeks ago I shared tips for assessing whether or not a visitor would consider your nonprofit’s website open for business. This week, I wanted to share some examples of nonprofits who are getting it right.
The home pages in the slideshow below are great nonprofit examples because they focus on getting their message across quickly and clearly, while offering clear paths for donations and further engagement. Remember: having a great nonprofit website isn’t about the flashiest design or the most cutting-edge technology, it’s about whether or not you can immediately communicate your message to a visitor and inspire them to act. These examples all include:
Clean, uncluttered design
Clear navigation and calls to action
Prominent donation button
Compelling image of a person or animal impacted by the organization’s work
Easy ways to engage visitors with email and social media
Kudos to Side by Side Kids, Miriam’s Kitchen, Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society, CASA of Travis County, The Aslan Project, Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland, Pro Mujer, Diablo Regional Arts Association, Alameda County Community Food Bank, and Autism Community Network for being wonderful examples for other nonprofits to follow!
What are your favorite examples of nonprofit website excellence?
Fundraising events are a nonprofit mainstay, but they typically take a lot of time, money, and effort to produce. Since even the most basic events can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, it should be a no-brainer to squeeze every opportunity out of these big investments. Unfortunately, too many nonprofits see the event itself as the finish line, missing critical opportunities for more connection, insight, and inspiration (things that will lead you to more loyal donors and increased giving).
To get more out of your next event, keep these three points in mind.
1) Use all available online channels to promote and manage your event.
Take your invitations, communication, and marketing online as much as possible to save money and reap the benefits of social media. Empower your supporters to boost ticket sales by giving them tools to spread your message to their networks. Regardless of how many more tickets you sell, you’re still getting fabulous word of mouth exposure for your cause.
2) Understand the unique opportunity of a captivated audience.
In-person events are an amazing opportunity to make face-to-face contact with the donors that help make your mission happen. Listen for feedback and consider setting up a booth to gather testimonials from your most passionate supporters. Don’t forget to provide plenty of ways for event attendees to become even more involved with your work, such as signing up for volunteer projects, your email list and newsletter, and additional giving options.
3) Treat your event as part of a larger campaign.
Instead of thinking of your event as a time-bound, in-person fête, make sure it connects to your other fundraising and advocacy campaigns. Tie your event’s marketing to your larger development strategy. Use the event as a springboard to develop more robust partnerships with sponsors and to create deeper relationships with your loyal donors.
For more ideas on improving your fundraising event’s marketing, please join me, along with Joe Fazio, co-founder of givezooks!, for a free webinar tomorrow (Tuesday, August 27, 2013) at 1pm EDT. We’ll be sharing some tips on how to get the most out of your fundraising events by maximizing your event marketing and outreach, plus Joe will show how you can make your fundraising registration and ticketing run more smoothly with EventsNow, powered by givezooks!.
Register for free and learn how to get more out of your next fundraising event. I hope to see you there!
(Image source: The Madlab Post via Flickr)
Recently my colleague Steve (who is Network for Good’s CTO) stopped by my desk to share a pearl of wisdom attributed to Mark Twain:
“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
This is a funny quip, but it’s also very true. It typically takes more effort to pare down your message than it does to unload every thought onto the page.
When communicating your message, do your best to keep it short. It’s worth the effort, you’ll get better results, and your readers will thank you.
In Ctrl Alt Delete Mitch Joel issues a wake-up call for those that may find themselves lost in a rapidly evolving landscape of technology, media, and marketing. Joel, president of the digital marketing agency Twist Image, offers sharp insights on how these changes affect the way we learn, shop, communicate, and work. It’s an important reality check for nonprofit marketers because these factors directly affect how supporters and partners will interact with your cause. Organizations that understand and adapt to these new opportunities will thrive, while those who resist will find themselves struggling to connect with donors in the years to come.
The book starts off with one of the most critical lessons for any marketer, especially those working in the nonprofit sector: embracing the shift toward more direct relationships with your consumers (donors), is no longer optional. People now have more access to information about your nonprofit, your impact, and *you* than ever before. Organizations and supporters are at each other’s fingertips, so it’s impossible (and unwise) to avoid direct contact with those who are interested in your work. Online or off, focus on creating and building relationships to succeed in raising money, spreading your message, and serving your cause. By the way, these relationships should be the two-way street kind. If you’re only broadcasting messages focused on your organization’s needs, you may need a reboot.
Here are four tactics Mitch Joel recommends for building those direct relationships, and what they mean for your nonprofit.
1) Deliver value.
Stand out and earn loyalty by first providing value to your supporters. Of course, you’re doing great work for the people and communities you serve, but if you’re not building long-term relationships with potential supporters, you’re missing out on a bigger opportunity. How do you do this? Start by focusing more on providing valuable resources to the people you’re trying to reach, instead of only talking about your needs.
2) Be open.
You can’t build meaningful relationships without trust and transparency. This is paramount for nonprofits. Donors won’t fork over their hard-earned cash to support your cause if they aren’t sure where the money goes. Show that you are an organization they can trust by being open about how your organization is run and how you use donated funds. Welcome questions and be upfront and honest if you make a mistake. Hiding in the shadows only makes people nervous, which is not a great relationship-building vibe.
3) Be clear and consistent.
Do donors know what they can expect from your nonprofit? Can they count on you for all the right reasons? Review your organization’s outreach to make sure you’re saying what you think you’re saying. Consistency also includes communicating with your donors on a regular basis to help them feel involved in your work. This means not waiting to reach out to supporters when you’re looking for gifts in December.
4) Focus on fans.
Joel says, “The majority of people do not want to friend or like your brand. They use their social graphs for friends, family, and those they made fun of in high school.” Ouch! My guess is that many nonprofits may have it a little easier than most corporate brands, but it’s important to remember. Rather than working to get as many “Likes” as possible, focus instead on providing value through your social media content and focus on your truly passionate superfans. Put these champions to work spreading the message about what you do and why it matters.
Of course, these suggestions are just the tip of the reboot iceberg. Ctrl Alt Delete delivers plenty of juicy nuggets for all marketers to heed. What aspect of your outreach or fundraising strategy would you like to reboot?