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By now, you've probably seen the images on the news. Category 4 Hurricane Harvey has brought torrential rains and massive river flooding to southeast Texas, leaving 30,000 and counting without shelter. The destruction and damage has been widespread and, in some cases, fatal.
Have you noticed an increase in online donations lately? As our lives become more and more intertwined with technology (employee microchipping, anyone?), the way we support charity is no exception.
You already know how important it is for your nonprofit to have a website. You've chosen striking images, posted statistics on your impact, and made sure your "donate" button is displayed prominently on every page. Unfortunately, it hasn't been enough.
Whether you’re raising money for a community project, a research facility or a local animal shelter, there are a number of tried and tested methods for raising funds... so much so, it can be hard to come up with any original ideas for connecting new people to your cause. Thankfully, the internet has opened up a wealth of new channels and possibilities for fundraisers. They key to standing out from the crowd: Keep your online fundraising endeavors both fun and profitable. Fun ideas like online auctions, hosting webinars and even setting up an e-commerce store work wonders for both organizations and individuals looking to raise money. Here's why.
When it's noon, your tummy's growing and you're looking to try something new...do you turn to Yelp, Google, Foursquare or more? If so, you're in good company: Some 90 percent of people make decisions based on online reviews, while 74 percent of people say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. While brands have always had to manage their reputation, the first impression many customers have with a product these days is their reviews on Amazon, Facebook and more. As consumer dollars increasingly hinge upon online reviews, the same is true for philanthropic dollars. People want to know about your cause, mission and impact before donating. As a result, testimonials and ratings from an objective third party can be more influential than the impressive stats you might post on your own site. Positive reviews can change visitors into lifelong donors. Negative reviews can turn them into missed opportunities. Have you looked at your online reviews lately? If so, do those reviews improve your credibility...or raise red flags? In today's post we'll look at 6 strategies for nonprofits to attract online reviews that leave a great first impression. We'll also provide a handy "Guide to Online Reviews" graphic to share with supporters that makes reviewing a breeze. Step 1. Do work that merits positive reviews. Don't worry: This is the easy part! The rest of this post is based on the assumption your organization is already doing work worthy of outstanding reviews. Here at Winspire, we have the pleasure of working with thousands of nonprofit clients, auctioneers, vendors and more to help raise more money for good causes. As a Winspire News reader, I'm confident your impact deserves to be shared on social media. Step 2: Create and claim profiles on multiple review sites Reviews are a numbers game. The more positive reviews you get, the less weight a negative review holds. It used to be that nonprofit rating sites like Charity Navigator led the way for these objective reviews. Organizations were evaluated based on criteria like financial health, transparency and overhead. While the process wasn't necessarily comprehensive, it gave donors some reassurance before deciding to give. Today the first search results that pop up for your organization are social media pages (like Facebook and Google) and directory sites (like Yelp, Glassdoor, Yellow Pages, and GreatNonprofits.org).
Can you believe there's just one week until Thanksgiving? With over half of nonprofits receiving the majority of their contributions between October and December, it's no wonder development departments across North America are turning their focus to year-end giving campaigns. The first milestone is Giving Tuesday, a global celebration of philanthropy on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year it will take place on November 29, 2016.
Fall fundraising season is well underway, and chances are your organization has a fundraising event on the horizon. A key piece to your success is strategic promotion. We all know events can be pricey, and when budgets get stretched thin, it's tempting to put marketing efforts to the backburner. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to spread the word that don't cost a penny.
In today’s tech-saturated world, having a website is essential for any nonprofit or organization to connect constituents to their cause. Nearly every other marketing initiative you use—be it social media, an e-blast, newsletters or annual reports—will push supporters to your nonprofit website, so you want to make sure the final destination is attractive, straightforward and easily navigable. And since people tend to browse quickly and multitask on the web, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention and encourage participation. While most nonprofits understand the value of online marketing, many aren’t sure where to start. Let’s look at 3 ways you can give readers the motivation and tools they need to support your cause. Tip #1: Attractive Design and Branding Keep it simple. When it comes to site design, each organization has its own preferences: sleek and modern, colorful and kid-friendly. While design can reflect the nature of the organization, the general key to success is that “less is more.” Below, the homepage for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a great example of minimalism. They take advantage of negative space, guiding the reader to information and donations. A site that’s too cluttered, especially the homepage, can drown out your main message.
An auction, whether live or silent, can be an excellent fundraiser for your nonprofit. Such an event not only raises money, but it can also generate some much needed buzz about your organization among donors, potential bidders, other supporters and staff. One of the keys to getting the most out of your auction is promoting the event early and often. An effective promotional campaign can have a profound affect on whether or not your event is well-attended. It's all about getting the word out, and up to now there has never been such a wide array of cheap tools and open channels to communicate with your audience. Here are the top five cost-effective tools for promoting your fundraising event:
Online donations are increasing, according to the latest Nonprofit Benchmarks Study performed by M+R and the Nonprofit Technology Network. In 2013, website traffic for Nonprofits increased 16% and online giving increased 14%, which is good news for organizations looking for new fundraising strategies. Nonprofits like yours can take advantage of these trends by improving your online presence to increase donations. A boost in online donations requires adjustments on your end. Although online giving is increasing, your website and social media presence could be stopping you from reaping the benefits. To get more supporters to donate online, you first have to drive more traffic to your website. Social media is an excellent tool for driving traffic, and according to the benchmark study, social media audiences continue to grow at a rapid pace. Use various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest - and don't be satisfied with just having an account. Be active on social media and post updates regularly, working to expand your audience and engage users. Encouraging supporters to visit your website is a start to boosting online giving, but it's your website that will determine whether they actually donate. Seal the deal by giving your audience a great online experience. Usability, Content, Donation Button and the Donate Pages are all factors that will influence whether supporters donate or simply exit out of the site. What is a Usability Test? A test where you task a group of people who have never used your website before to sit down and try to accomplish certain objectives, such as completing an online donation, while you observe them. It will help you identify possible roadblocks or areas of the website that may be unclear, which you can then improve and then retest. Usability: Poor navigation will leave supporters feeling frustrated, and they may give up on your website before even making it to the donation page. Users shouldn't have to struggle to find information or their way around your site. Set up usability tests to pinpoint problems within your site, and then tweak them to give your donors the best online experience possible.