Over the last several years, the number of charitable and other non-profit websites has skyrocketed. These websites have generally been funded by donations solicited through the website. Unfortunately, simply adding the capabilities to take donations isn’t enough; people need to be convinced to donate to the cause.
Offline, many of organizations are offered free radio or TV time to advertise themselves. These opportunities can make all the difference to a non-profit business. Unfortunately, while there are free web hosting services, no one is offering non-profits a server deal that is equivalent to the free radio and TV time that some enjoy.
Donations are how charities have traditionally funded their activities. There are unavoidable costs associated with any charity work. Without the necessary donations to cover these costs, non profit websites simply cannot function.
There is an art to soliciting donations, whether in person or online. Simply adding a donation button to the website isn’t going to score much additional interest. Steps must be taken to make sure that visitors understand the organization is worth giving donations to.
Make a Great Website
If the website is notable only for how bland and uninspiring it is, it won’t be doing much to entice viewers to send in their money. The non-profit’s work should be enough in itself to warrant some donations. However, no matter how good the work is, if the website looks unprofessional then it will struggle to bring in the donations.
The web copy should be very clear about what it is that the organization does. There shouldn’t be any confusion in the mind of a visitor as to what it is. On top of this, the website needs to be well designed and easy to navigate. It is no good having new visitors confused about what it is or how to navigate it. If is confusing, they will leave without donating.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media is perhaps the most efficient way of reaching a large audience with the organization’s message. Not only should social media promote the website, it is a tool to communicate with supporters, and to solicit donations, of course. Social media makes it easy to get the brand in front of targeted audiences who are more likely to be receptive to it.
Kicking off a viral marketing campaign successfully can net a huge amount of interest, and potentially donations, with a reasonable amount of effort. Unfortunately, going viral isn’t easy. Be warned, putting together a marketing campaign that is clearly intended as a piece of viral marketing, needs effort. If it doesn’t stick, the chances of it going viral are slim.
Running a non-profit website is as challenging as a business site. Another option is to monetize the website directly, rather than asking for donations, but this is not an easy thing to do. Monetizing a website relies on it receiving significant targeted traffic, which many non-profits can ill-afford to chase.