As a nonprofit, the main goal of your online presence is to attract donors and maintain your relationship with them. As such, you want to make sure your content, particularly on your main website, is attractive to the general public. We’ve assembled a list of tips to help make your online content even more conducive to donations.
- Keep your organization description short, relevant, and to the point.
When potential donors first take a look at your website, they are most likely trying to find out what your organization’s mission is, and how you go about achieving that mission.
According to the Abila Donor Loyalty Survey, most donors prefer content that is short and to the point – they don’t want to have to decipher what you do. In fact, 35% say they are less likely to donate if content is too vague, and 24% are less likely to donate if the content is dull or boring. You should therefore not try to complicate your organizational content by using fancy words and phrases, or trying to incorporate every detail you can think of. Keep it simple and clear.
- Don’t be afraid of videos
Videos are often overlooked as a method of introducing your organization – yet they are one of the most effective ways of communicating your mission to potential donors. Abila found that short YouTube videos are ranked first in terms of inspiring donors to action, being the easiest form of content to consume and understand, and the most powerful for telling an organization’s story. They were also the third most effective at communicating information.
Here again, keep it short and sweet. Videos longer than 10 minutes have proven to be a major turn-off for potential donors, as it gets harder to stay focused as the minutes pass by. We recommend not going over the 3-minute mark, but if you can fit everything you want to say in under a minute, that’s even better!
- Inform your donors
Though classic online donations are the most traditional and convenient way for donors to contribute to your nonprofit’s cause, they aren’t the only option. Unfortunately, most donors are unaware of the alternative ways they can give to your organization, such as volunteering, corporate matching, or contributing assets such as stocks and bonds. If you want their help, it’s your job to inform them!
Social Media Content
Social media has transformed B2C relationships in the 21st century, making it easier than ever for nonprofits to keep their donors up to date on their missions’ progress. However, not all organizations make the best use of their social media presence. Here are a few tips to make sure you do:
- Choose your platforms wisely
The first thing to keep in mind is who you are trying to target (here’s a tip within a tip: those between the age of 40 and 59 are most likely to give online). Platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat are more geared towards younger generations, while Twitter and Facebook will help you target a larger demographic. As of now, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are the top three most important platforms for nonprofits, with Instagram quickly catching up. Also, keep in mind the limitations of each network. Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat are image or video based platforms, leaving little room for any text, while Tweets are still limited to 140 characters.
- Be interactive
It’s easy to get caught up in your own posts and profile and forget that social networks are just that: networks. They are meant for you to interact with your followers, in this case with your donor base. Be sure to comment on, like, and share their posts – not only will it help you get even more visibility, it’ll also make you seem more personable and accessible.
As for any complaints you may receive on social media, don’t just delete or ignore the posts, embrace them and use them to improve. Respond to the donor apologizing for whatever may have gone wrong, and ask them how you can help fix their problem, or guide them through the solution. Similarly, don’t be afraid to show gratitude and thank your donors through your social media accounts! Remember, customer service is key.
- Expand your content
You should also be sure not to limit your posts to updates about your nonprofit and its progress. It is crucial to keep your donors up to date, so do be sure to include it, but give them something else to catch their attention and keep them entertained as well. Discuss other relevant topics, such as nonprofit topics in general, and share articles or videos you might find interesting. This will also make it easier for you to post regularly and forge a concrete social media brand for your organization. Also, don’t forget to include links: Tweets with links have an 86% higher retweet rate. We also recommend including videos and images in your Twitter and Facebook posts, as those will catch your followers’ attention as they scroll through their feeds.
Search Engine Optimization
We’ve all heard the phrase “just Google it” at least a handful of times, because our generation now turns to Google and other search engines for any unanswered questions. It’s important, therefore, that your website come out on top when people make searches relevant to your nonprofit’s mission. That’s where SEO comes in.
Including keywords in your content is essential to SEO, as keywords are what make it possible for people to find you through a search engine search. To optimize your use of keywords, we recommend you research popular keywords, or keywords that are most often searched for on search engines, that apply to your organization, and include them in your content. We recommend using Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner to determine which relevant keywords will best perform. However, make sure that your text still sounds natural – you don’t want it to sounds forced and seem like you were trying to fit as many keywords into one paragraph as possible. In other words, don’t let your keywords compromise the rest of your content.
You must also be mindful of where you place your keywords. You should be sure to place some of your keywords in your H1 tags (page titles), as well as H2 tags (subheadings), as these will be the most effective.
- Link Building
Another way of optimizing your search engine rankings is through link building. Search engines see links to your website from other sites as a reference, vouching for your content and its quality. Therefore, try to get as many different people and websites as possible to share your link. Keep in mind, however, that different websites are weighed differently. A link in a personal blog, for example, will not be as influential as a link in the New York Times or another internationally renown website. One trick we recommend is posting your link on websites such as Medium, Yahoo Answers, or Wikipedia, as these are highly-valued websites on which you can input your own content.