It’s that time of the year again! Mariah Carey and Michael Buble are on the radio, the Christmas lights are up, and Costco is out of Pumpkin Pies.
That’s right, it’s year-end. This is the time of year when our nonprofit clients ramp up their fundraising efforts. So, we wanted to share some tips on how you can reach more donors with your online presence. We will be discussing how you can best use social media, SEO + other Google resources, messaging, and design to increase this year’s (and next year’s) donation contributions.
People give more when they feel like they are a part of something. This is why it is so important to use social media consistently as a nonprofit. For-profit and nonprofit organizations will see the same benefits with properly utilized social media channels.
One of those benefits is exposure for your brand. Marketers like to call this exposure, reach. Reach is essentially the number of individual people that see your content. Where reach is the number of individual or unique people that see your content, impressions are the number of times your content was viewed. So, a single person could interact with your content several times, but that would only count once towards your reach.
Knowing the difference is very important because it provides more accurate data when calculating conversions. Reach will tell you how many people see a link vs how many people click it. Impressions will tell you how many times it is seen per click.
Another benefit of utilizing social media is increased loyalty and connection. This is where your approach goes deeper than the stats. As stated previously, people want to feel like they are a part of something. It takes time and effort to build that relationship with your audience. However, as you continue to share what is going on in the life of your nonprofit, those connections will form. People will not only want to interact with your posts, but they will then be motivated to act through giving and volunteering.
You want to create social media posts that allow existing and prospective donors to feel a part of the mission by letting them see the impact of their donor dollars. Your approach and interaction on social media needs to invite them into the cause/mission as partners and friends. The more that happens, the more connected and engaged they will become with your organization.
SEO + Google
It is no secret that online giving is quickly growing to become the most common fundraising medium. In the world of instant gratification, it is important to be one of the first things users find when searching online. By utilizing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and other Google resources, your nonprofit can remain top-of-mind and stay in front of potential donors.
Content is extremely important to continue to rank high on Google. That means that your site cannot remain stagnant. It is not a “set it and forget it” technology. If it does not continue to change, Google is going to think that nothing new is happening on the site and the ranking algorithm will ding you.
One simple way to continue to update content is to create a blog. Similar to a social media feed, a blog allows you to update your website visitors on the things going on within your non-profit. Your blog can consist of anything! You can highlight a group of volunteers for something they are doing in their community, inform people on future events you are putting on, or maybe a story of how specific donations helped a group of people or filled a need. Hint: this is also great content to push on your social channels.
It is also important to focus on the external view of your site. What I mean is, what do people see before they enter your site on Google? Take a look at the example above. The Humane Society does a fantastic job of optimizing their search results.
You can see that if a user is in the market to donate, they only have to click once to get to the “Donation” page. You can also see that they have provided key navigations in the search results so users can conveniently find what they are looking for.
Other Google Resources for Nonprofits
Typically, when we think of Google, we just think of the search engine. However, Google offers several other resources, specifically to non-profits, that can greatly impact your nonprofit. They call it Google for Nonprofits. Eligible nonprofits receive G Suite for free, $10,000 gifted every month for Google Ads, special giving features on Youtube, and Premium access to Google Earth which allows you to track and share your global impact on Google Earth and Maps. These resources have the potential to make a massive impact on your nonprofit’s operation and exposure. Check them out or apply to see if you are eligible.
Clear Messaging/Simple UX (User Experience)
So now you have visitors to your site. They saw your social posts, found you easily on Google and are on your digital storefront. The only thing left is to get or guide them to where you want them to go. Typically, in the nonprofit world, that destination is a donation or volunteer form.
Nothing is worse than trying to pay for (or donate to) something online and getting lost along the way. I don’t know about you, but if that happens to me, I’ll just go to Costco and buy the Kirkland Signature version of the same item or give up. Customer experience is so important! Especially on the web. Visitors are expecting a seamless experience and do not want to spend time hunting down the donation or payment form.
Websites can run into this issue when converting to a mobile layout. Oftentimes, the design hierarchy can get messed up and that “Give” button might not be at the top anymore. Over 50% of people who visit nonprofits sites, do so on their mobile devices, so don’t forget about the way your site looks on a mobile.
To put simply, if potential donors are coming to your site and it is not designed to make giving easy, you most likely will see a fraction of the donations you could be receiving. If you’re wondering how you can better design your site, check out one of our previous blogs where we outlined a beginners’ guide to user experience.
Extra tip: Give your donors the ability to set up recurring giving. You will see an increase in giving, retention rates, and a wider giving demographic and several other benefits if you provide a recurring giving option. In addition to making it easier to give, recurring payments allow for donors to feel more involved as partners. That partnership contributes to the loyalty we previously discussed as a benefit of social media.
In the realm of digital space, there are endless options and opportunities to focus on. However, we hope to provide some guard rails that will give you the best path to successfully growing your donor base and hit your fundraising goals. If you have any questions or need help with your nonprofit’s digital strategy, reach out! We would love to connect.