fbpx

Automation Can Help Your Nonprofit Grow

 

Running a non-profit, by its very nature, is not easy in the slightest.

As an nonprofit owner or small business owner, you’re attempting to run an organization without earning revenue for your own cause. To the uninformed ear, it sounds almost counterintuitive.

So, to mitigate the many challenges faced in this scenario, you operate on a very lean model for the sake of checks and balances

Often, one of the ways you might be looking to cut costs is through avoiding spending anything on technology—namely, automated tools.

Unfortunately, this choice is entirely misguided.

In 2020, there’s no way of surviving as an organization without leveraging such tech to your advantage. The world moves at too fast a pace, and you simply can’t keep up with the lightning speed of the non-profit landscape when technologically handicapping yourself.

Furthermore, these days, affordable technology is plentiful. It’s not like we live in the days of old, where only the elite could afford a basic operating system. The world runs on technology—as though it’s a baseline expectation.

Now, of course, there are tools out there that do cost more than others. Still, there’s a delicate balance, wherein doing the research will find you equal parts affordable and effective automation tech for your non-profit.

The above notion, in and of itself, is something of a science and takes a considered strategic approach. You need to have a firm grasp on where, when, and what automation should be applied.

Therefore, you must read on to find out how the following 10 ways that automation can help your non-profit grow.

 

Managing Your Prospect List with Dashboards

All non-profits are largely dependant on their sizeable list of donors and volunteers. In automating your communications with those two groups, you’ll find yourself with far more time you can dedicate to other crucial tasks.

One of the primary ways these prospect lists can be managed is through the use of dashboard automation.

Task-oriented dashboards for volunteers will empower these individuals to maximize their contributions at their most optimal convenience.

Furthermore, more specialized dashboards will bolster the efforts mobilizers, event organizers, and other personnel focused on engagement. These automated tools can help them work alongside contacts according to interest levels and commitment timelines.

These kinds of dashboards are also useful when it comes to automating the documenting communication for every manner of engagement. This acts as a way to keep everybody involved in the process.

 

Immediate Email Responses to Contact Requests

When it comes to your prospective donors, you must strike when the iron is hot.

For instance, if someone inquires via email with your non-profit, and it takes even slightly too long for a response, that person might take their donation elsewhere. Why? Because you gave them too much to go back and forth and contemplate other organizations.

In fact, waiting as much as 30 minutes leads to a 21x higher chance of losing out on prospective donors.

As such, automation software becomes integral to your efforts. Especially since neither you nor your volunteers aren’t Superman and can’t be everywhere at once.

Automation software allows you to respond immediately to inquiries every time without the need to lift a muscle.

By merely adding a “contact us” form to your website with software that provides the requisite HTML, you won’t need to take requests via email addresses. Once someone fills in the necessary information, they’ll receive a templated email that’ll sound personalized.

Instead of feeling their inquiry might evaporate into a digital abyss, your potential donor will be happy to be acknowledged out of the gate.

Beyond that, the automation software will automatically assign a given volunteer to follow up with the prospective donor.

 

Staying On top of Prospective Donors

Yes, we do live in the digital age where emails, forms, texts, and the written words overall seem to have taken prominence.

However, there are still plenty of people in this world who like the personal touch of talking over the phone. They’ll ignore your contact form and call up your team of volunteers, bypassing the other parts of the process.

This occurrence is optimal as far as forging personal connections with prospective donors. Sadly, in many cases, these leads end up turning into lost opportunities because processes aren’t in place for following up.

Nowadays, it’s entirely plausible to affordably implement automation software that sets up an internal form for when people call your mainline.

The volunteer on the phone only has to enter the potential donor’s contact information and specific notes, then assign a rep to follow up. There’s generally a drop-down menu that makes this process seamless.

The relevant volunteer will be alerted to this new prospect. Plus, a personalized automated introduction email will be sent from the corresponding member of your organization to the potential donor.

 

Strengthening Your Networking

Networking through conferences and various other events is a way to get some serious financial backing for your non-profit.

But without adequate tools in place, your accumulative business cards will amount to nothing. It’s all about taking the next step, which isn’t easy when you’re supposed to get in touch with dozens, if not hundreds, of businesses willing to donate.

With customer relationship management tools, you can take that business card information and tag those people as conference/event contacts. Automation software can then be applied to schedule a follow-up email, be it within the next few minutes or proceeding day.

What’s more, is some tools can streamline the “nice to meet you” email. In fact, various free apps give you the ability to scan business cards with your smartphone camera. It’ll add the prospective donor’s name, contact information, address, and company to your given system.

 

Converting Prospects into Donors

People are quite picky when it concerns their donation. Getting people to put money into your non-profit isn’t going to be a one-step process. There are multiple steps when cultivating a prospect and turning them into a legitimate donor.

With automated technology, it’s possible to see these leads through a donation funnel.

Here’s a brief breakdown of how automation and this unique funnel interweave, harmoniously:

Getting Your Foot in the Door – Automated software assigns a sales rep to contact a prospect once they’ve been identified as a new opportunity.

Getting in Touch –When your volunteer phone rep calls the prospective donor – and the call is answered – you’ll move onto the next stage. Alternatively, if the call goes to voicemail, and an automated email will be sent to follow up.

Getting the Gist – At this point, volunteers will engage and establish a fundamental grasp of the donors’ wants, desires, and what they’re looking for from a non-profit

Getting things Going – Now, it’s been established that your non-profit and the prospect in question make a perfect match. From here, it’s time to close and acquire the donation—which necessitates some tools of its own. These will be discussed in the next section.

Being Efficient in Closing – There’s no point in pushing too hard when someone seems like they’ll remain non-committal towards putting forth a donation. Of course, you can have a strategy for these scenarios. Still, it’d make sense to hone into areas of likelier success.

Really, you don’t want your volunteers wasting time on prospects who aren’t yet prospects. Conversely, you’d prefer they spent their time on people with a genuine interest in your organization, who seemed like they need a gentle nudge to move forward.

There are automation tools and software that allows you to rank your potential donors via engagement with your various marketing efforts. Instead of pushing clients who need a bit more time to commit, you’ll hone into those on the precipice of donating due to the lead scoring tech.

There’s another clear advantage of knowing how close these prospects are to making a donation. You’ll have a firmer understanding of their mindset, which makes it easier to provide messaging that speaks to their frame of mind.

 

Playing the Long Game

As hinted upon in the previous section, not everybody’s going to be willy-nilly ready to donate right away.

The long game played is less aggressive and is focused on nurturing these prospects. Meaning, as opposed to trying to garner a donation conversion in each meeting, you’re more focused on the overall relationship.

In non-profits, relationships are more important than anything. You’re doing something philanthropical and generous, which largely depends on the human connection. And people want to donate to organizations that care about those relationships.

This nurturing process is significantly strengthened via automation since less of these on-the-fence leads to go by the wayside. However, again, it’ll also ensure that your team can focus its efforts more efficiently and not push these individuals too hard.

Specifically, it’s possible to send automated emails to a lead with informative collateral. Ensure they’re given an option regarding how frequently they’re receiving emails. There’s usually a “contact us” button in these emails, wherein an automated notification will alert your team to get in touch with the prospect.

 

Receiving Multiple Donation from the Same Donor

Loyalty is massive with non-profits. Your overall goal should be to foster enough of a relationship with donors that they feel compelled to donate to your cause continually. You don’t want them to be one-and-done. As that usually means they’ve decided to take their loyalties elsewhere.

Don’t allow your current donors to come to you to make donations. Prompts should be automated to nurture future contributions. The frequency of this messaging would primarily depend on your various donation initiatives and cycles.

For some non-profits, twice or three times yearly is enough, whereas others might be a bit higher depending on the nature of the organization.

If you provide a “make a donation” button in the email, and your donor uses online payments, you can further streamline the process. They won’t have to worry about contacting a rep or the rest of the original funnel.

 

Acquiring Vital Feedback

If you intend to foster a community of donors, you need to reach out and potentially find where you might be going wrong. On the other hand, it’s also vital to know what you’re doing right so that you can center your efforts around those aspects.

Finding out this information is primarily dependent on sending out donor surveys. With automated software, send a survey link – through email – to regular and recent donors.

You can find out why people have chosen your non-profit for their donation and what they liked and disliked about your recruitment efforts.

Beyond that, you can also send automated emails with survey links to lapsed donors. By targeting these individuals, these surveys can let you know if your organization has maintained its initial vision and mission over time. Because, in many cases, donors stop contributing because they feel a non-profit has lost its way.

 

Finding New Donors Through Referrals 

Did you know that 84% of people trust recommendations from people that they know?

And during a time where integrity is a big sticking point with charities and non-profits, those recommendations can mean the world. It’s not a hugely tricky concept to grasp. People generally trust the words of their friends and family over advertising and other marketing collateral—because they know they aren’t being actively persuaded.

Though, this word-of-mouth buzz isn’t going to manifest itself out of thin air. Your organization has to act as something of a catalyst in this process.

You can send automated emails asking for referrals. Now, one advantage that for-profit organizations have here is they can more freely offer incentives for referrals, such as coupons. However, even sending some kind of gift or another sentimental token of appreciation can go a long way in encouraging referrals.

When donors provide the contact information of their friend into a web form, automation tools will notify the relevant volunteer to reach out to that person. You must reach out via phone-call since you’d be emailing someone without their direct permission. Generally, this scenario leads to emails being categorized as spam.

These are just a few ways automation can help your nonprofit grow! Do you have more? Let us know! We would be happy to include them.

How to Setup Your Nonprofit for Success in 2020

As the year comes to a close, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the last twelve months and plan for a successful 2020. The new year will bring new opportunities and challenges. Knowing what matters most to the success of your nonprofit will keep you and your team on track and aligned with your goals. Here are eight things to consider as you evaluate what went well and what needs a little extra attention, so you can hit the ground running in 2020.

1. Tidy up your databases

Nonprofit fundraising is only as good as the data that fuels it. Year-end is the ideal time to go through your databases with a fine-tooth comb. Clean up donor records. Remove duplicates. Make sure each entry is complete and updated with accurate information.

Does your current technology support the dashboards and analytics you need to collect information about donors, tax records, volunteers, and other information that is critical to your organization? If not, a new technology platform might be at the top of your wish list in 2020. Document your needs and the gaps in your current solution as you do your data housekeeping. It will make it much easier to find the best solution to fit your needs when you’re ready to shop around.

2. Optimize giving for mobile users

Simplicity is at the core of donor retention and acquisition. If it’s not simple for your donor population to research your organization and make a donation, they won’t do it. Mobile donations have increased by over 200% in the last year. By ensuring your online giving options offer the same user experience on smartphones and laptops, you’ll make it quick and easy for people to support your organization on any device they choose.

3. Plan your social strategy

With over 3.5 billion users worldwide, social media has quickly become a valuable nonprofit marketing tactic. Not only is it a great vehicle for sharing information with a large network of potential donors, but it’s also critical for volunteer recruitment and communications.

Create a rough calendar for the type and frequency of content you want to share in 2020. Decide which platforms you’ll focus on and how you’ll handle engagement and questions from followers. Your network will quickly lose interest in your organization if you don’t post frequent, valuable content and make it a point to proactively engage with your audience.

4. Gear up for matching gift campaigns

Many companies (large and small) offer matching gifts to encourage a sense of philanthropy among their employees. Reach out to your network and ask if their companies offer matching funds. Ask if you can submit information about your organization for possible inclusion in the program. It’s the quickest way to double the impact of a gift and encourage more people to participate in philanthropy and community outreach. As more people learn about your nonprofit, you might even gain a few volunteers along the way.

5. Repurpose content

You know it’s important to publish content at a regular pace to keep your audience interested in and up to date on your cause. The biggest challenge is finding the time to create new material. Many marketers make the mistake of thinking they can only use each piece of content once. That’s not the case, and it’s not in the best interest of busy nonprofits.

Take an inventory of the content you have today. High-quality content can be broken up into social posts, mini-blogs, quotes, infographics, and more. Each piece holds its own purpose and appeals to a specific audience. Don’t be afraid to leverage your hard work in a multitude of ways.

6. Organize your website

If you haven’t looked at your website in a while (really looked at it), it’s time to comb through it with a critical eye. Put yourself in the position of a visitor. Do the pages load quickly enough? Are there any broken links? Potential donors and volunteers won’t suffer through a website that isn’t intuitive to navigate or one that is rife with errors.

Equally important is to make sure you’ve updated your copyright language and privacy statements. Make sure security icons and protocols are prominently placed where potential donors can see them. With so much cyberhacking and identity theft in the world, donors simply won’t offer up their payment information on a site that doesn’t appear secure or legitimate.

7. Thank your supporters

In this season of thankfulness and reflection, go the extra mile to thank your donor organization for their support. Even if you set aside just one hour to leave a brief voice mail for your top supporters, the extra touch will mean much more than an email or mass-produced card. From a pragmatic standpoint, those contacts will also be much more likely to remember you when they plan their yearly giving. Personalized gestures of thanks go a long way in making people feel like they are valued members of your organization instead of just a checkbook.

8. Engage with volunteers

As you’re thanking the people who support your nonprofit financially, don’t forget those who roll up their sleeves and work alongside you to accomplish the goals of your organization. As you reach out to say thank you, ask for their feedback on what went well during the year from a volunteer perspective. Ask them how the organization can improve. Above all, find ways to incorporate that feedback in the new year to make sure your volunteer network knows that their input matters.

No one understands your mission as well as you do. As you pause to reflect on the successes and challenges of 2019, small steps like these eight will pave the way for a productive new year. If you’d like to learn more, check out some of our podcasts about donor retention and fundraising.

 

 

KC Cares Nonprofit Information | 7 Ways to Grow Your Nonprofit

Seven Ways to Grow Your Non-Profit  

If you’re running a non-profit organization, you’re already aware of the various challenges you face. At the end of the day, you’re behind the eight-ball—after all, you’re not pulling in any revenue. Instead, your focus is on a grander, philanthropical cause and pouring in every penny raised into that issue.

As such, it’s immensely difficult to grow a non-profit beyond its initial phase, whether it’s concerning staff, volunteers, or fundraising efforts. Doing so requires not only keen focus and drive but also dedication to executing the correct strategic measures most conducive to your non-profit’s expansion.

Specifically, following the seven measures discussed below will contribute tremendously towards the overall growth of your non-profit.

 

Stay on Course with Your Mission

For the sake of context, let’s briefly define what the mission is for a non-profit.

Your goals and the action plan centered around achieving them, as well as connecting the dots as to why these practices are crucial to your success, comprise your mission statement.  

Conversely, mission drift is when your non-profit organization diverts away from its core mission and principles.

While sometimes it’s necessary to move away from an original mission as a strategic measure, in many cases, it happens by accident. When mission drift occurs without rhyme or reason is when it acts as a significant obstacle to growth.

Donors believe strongly in funding non-profits that stick to their vision. They’ll be far likelier to stop donating if your non-profit starts making tactical decisions out of financial desperation, for instance, that aren’t in line with the mission statement. 

Sometimes straying away from your original mission is a must, but it’s vital not to stray too far. One way to ensure that you stay on track is through continual assessment and discussions about the matter with the board of directors. This way, everyone remains on the same page and can keep on course when accomplishing your organizational goals.

 

Attract Millennials to Your Non-Profit

Currently, millennials comprise 1/3rd of the working population and are the largest labor demographics in the US. These individuals should be one of your primary fundraising targets as a non-profit.

Furthermore, as evidenced by the climate change outcry and the overall social justice movement, for example, millennials are clearly strong in their convictions. In a nutshell, if your non-profit has a message and goal that strikes the right chord, this demographic is bound to donate. 

However, millennials are one of the savviest generations, and they’re going to be quite discerning with whom they support as a non-profit. You must brainstorm strategies dedicated to engaging and retaining millennial donors.

 

Recruit Passionate and Talented Volunteers

In a day and age where the cost of living is exponentially higher than it has ever been, attracting volunteers to your non-profit can feel like a losing battle.

The fact is, volunteers are the lifeblood of any non-profit business, as they lighten a workload in an industry where the work vastly outweighs the manpower. Without attracting these individuals, your non-profit can’t possibly grow.

One primary consideration on this front is whether you’re following a warm body recruitment strategy or applying a targeted approach.

When seeking out ‘any warm body,’ the strategy is fit for finding a multitude of volunteers in a short time. A thorough campaign that involves flyers, brochures, and local networking events is suggested in these instances.

Alternatively, targeting specific individuals is an ideal method for non-profits seeking out individuals with unique skillsets.

Click here for a more in-depth breakdown of the recruitment process. 

 

Utilize Successful Fundraising Methods

There’s a wealth of marketing directions a non-profit can take when trying to acquire donations.

Here’s one example:

Direct mail, in 2019, might seem old-fashioned to some. On the other hand, what’s old is new—and your target market might enjoy the more tactile experience of receiving direct mail.

Consider sending personalized letters to your mailing list that crafts your narrative, while also providing a leave behind that keeps your non-profit top of mind.

Also, it’s wise to explore the various digital marketing methods available to your organization. For instance, well-executed SEO campaigns can do wonders for your fundraising efforts.

Leverage Your Social Media Accounts

This year, it’s estimated that 2.77 billion people are on some form of social media.

Furthermore, it’s 100% free to post on social media. However, just because it is free doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to generate results. In fact, there are paid posts that’ll be prioritized on any given platform. 

Still, social media can attract both donors and volunteers alike. The key is to learn the necessary steps that’ll help your brand stand out on social media. One example of doing this is by finding out the platforms in which your target demographics can be found. Instagram and Facebook are millennial-heavy, for instance.

Another way to thrive on social media as a non-profit is with your brand voice—which brings us to our next point.

Establish a Strong Brand Voice

People don’t want to donate to a non-profit that comes across as a faceless machine.

It’s integral for your non-profit to establish a clearly defined brand voice. This creates a distinct identity that grabs the attention of its audience. Though crafting your brand voice can be quite complicated—as it must remain consistent and not seem like multiple voices.

So, do your research and examine the nitty-gritty details of what goes into creating your brand voice.

Always Listen to Experts

n attempting to grow your non-profit, there’s no doubt that you’re going to run into road bumps along the way—no matter how steadfast you are with your efforts. 

When times seem tough – or even when everything is going well – you should keep your ear to the ground to keep on top of industry trends. This will keep you informed on the ins-and-outs of the non-profit landscape and help you stay in front of various market patterns, which will aid substantially in your growth.

Finding a resource of information, such as KC Cares, will offer insight into how to maintain steady growth for your non-profit. We help nonprofits like you, tell your story! 

7 Ways for Nonprofits to Engage and Retain Millennial Donors

7 Ways for Nonprofits to Engage and Retain Millennial Donors

Millennials are a tech-savvy generation. They use ad blockers, make mobile payments, and have seamlessly integrated social media into their everyday lives…

Technology is at the forefront for millennials, thus it’s important for nonprofits to stay updated on the latest trends. Implementing new technology and tactics for your nonprofit can feel overwhelming at times, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to buy fancy AI software to keep your millennial donors happy, you just have to meet them where they’re at. Once you know what they’re spending their time on, you can entice them to become active with your nonprofit (engagement). In addition, you’ll want to offer them an effortless experience that makes them want to come back (retainment). In other words, providing easy engagement for your millennial donors will result in higher retention for your nonprofit. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. 

 

Mobile Optimization for Nonprofits

Is your website mobile-friendly? Millennials often browse the web with their phone rather than on a computer, so it’s vital to have your website optimized for multiple platforms (i.e. tablet and phone). Mobile-friendly sites should have a responsive design to any given platform, allowing for easy access and navigation on their end. It also makes fundraising easier for you, as millennial donors can easily opt-in for automatic text message notifications about a current fundraiser via the mobile-friendly site. 

The goal is to allow them to make a donation with just one click from their phone. If your webpage is not mobile-friendly, the process to donate could become frustrating. 

 

Shareable Social Media Content 

Social media is a must when targeting millennial donors. Facebook remains the most used social media platform to date, as 83% of millennials continue to use it on a daily basis. A percentage that high demands attention from nonprofits, and copying/pasting ads just won’t cut it anymore. It’s important to post content on social media that millennials want to share with their network of friends and family. For example, inspiring posts, such as an animal shelter video on Facebook, can gain thousands of views in just a day due to people sharing the content to others. Get your millennial donors engaged with your nonprofit by posting content they can’t resist sharing.

Fear of Feeling Left Out.

Millennial feeling left out.

Embrace FOMO

FOMO” stands for fear of missing out, and it’s the strongest emotion felt among millennials. Remember the A.L.S. challenge? That’s what FOMO is all about: doing something in fear of missing out…and if done right, it works wonders. Supporters raised over $115 million for A.L.S. Now, we’re not saying to start another ice bucket challenge, but it is a psychological phenomenon that nonprofits can incorporate when trying to engage millennial donors. A quick and easy method is to show people on your website who have donated. If a millennial sees a long list of people who have donated to your nonprofit, they’ll be more likely to pitch in. 

 

Return Your Appreciation 

Nonprofits rely heavily on donors, so it’s important to return your appreciation. A specialized way of saying “thank you” is a great way to retain your millennial donors.  

For example, a sizzle reel can easily break through the clutter. Make a fun video of a recent event that donors went to and attach it to the email. Come up with an enticing subject line that lets them know they’re in the video so they’ll click on it. Allow options to share it with friends and family. Millennials want people to know what they’ve been up to, so providing them with an easy means of sharing it is also important. 

Another idea for appreciation is donor spotlights. Select some millennial donors who go above and beyond and highlight them on your website. Again, this generation appreciates being recognized. 

 

Communication is Key

As a nonprofit, it’s important to keep your donors happy. If millennials have a bad experience, they’ll make sure they are heard one way or another. They can quickly damage a company or nonprofit’s reputation by posting poor reviews on social media. Providing them several means for feedback can potentially avoid a social media disaster. 

One way of doing this is by conducting surveys. Surveys will give you an overall idea of how your donors are experiencing your nonprofit. It also allows millennial donors to feel heard, which is something this generation values. Simple yes/no questions can provide sufficient feedback, allowing you to make adjustments from there. 

 

Subscription Service

Rather than paying hefy checks once a year, millennials are paying small checks each month. Online subscriptions have become overwhelmingly popular in recent years, (i.e. Netflix and Spotify just to name a few). As a nonprofit organization, you can tap into this “subscription economy” too. In fact, people who set up an annual plan give 42% more compared to one-time donors. Add a tab on your site that allows donors to sign up for a monthly plan. Having your millennial donors subscribe to a plan is an easy way for long-time retention. 

7 ways to for nonprofits to engage millenials

“will give you time first, and then they’ll write their check.”

 

 

Alternative donations

Finally, offering an alternative donation option is a great way to involve millennial donors. On a previous episode of KC Cares 337, according to Katie Lord, from the nonprofit Byrne Pelofsky, millennials “will give you time first, and then they’ll write their check.” In other words, if you want to keep your millennial donors engaged with your non-profit, make sure your nonprofit has alternative donation options, such as volunteer work in a garden or using GoFundMe alternatives. 

 

Thirsty for more information about giving? Check out the annual U.S. charitable report here

 

 

Nonprofit Fundraising SEO Best Practices

Nonprofit Talk: SEO Best Practices to Help with Fundraising

The world is filled with digital noise. For nonprofits, it can be difficult to cut through the clatter to reach potential donors with the right message at the right time. Fundraising is crucial to meet operational and mission-focused needs, but the internet is crowded with competing messages and priorities that draw the attention of donors away.

Luckily, there are tools and strategies to help draw the focus back to your nonprofit organization. Search engine optimization (SEO) may be the most powerful tool in your fundraising arsenal. SEO is simply a strategy and set of tactics for helping your website to score as highly as possible in search engine results. And the best news? In many cases, improvements to SEO won’t cost anything more than your time. Here are a few strategies you can begin to use immediately to see a lift in search engine rankings and fundraising results.

 

Start with a strong website

Your website is the hub of your fundraising and marketing efforts. Without a responsive, organized website, web crawlers won’t understand your content or how to rank it. To truly move the needle on search engine rankings, you need an SEO-friendly site acting as a solid foundation for all of your digital fundraising activities.

First, make sure your domain name is simple and maps directly to your organization. Don’t try to stuff your domain name with keywords. It’s ineffective and will confuse both web crawlers and visitors. Secondly, find a hosting service that will optimize site speed to help pages load quickly and completely. Third, as you index your site, use a text-based framework instead of images or flash. Web crawlers will be able to quickly pick up content from your page and use it in ranking algorithms.

While there are countless ways to optimize your website for search rankings, there is one central mantra to keep at the forefront as you build: simplicity. Keep everything simple, from navigation to page URLs. You’ll not only improve SEO so that visitors can find your fundraising site, but you’ll also keep your audience engaged on your site long enough to complete a donation.

Create high-quality content

While it may be tempting to view your website as simply a mechanism for collecting donations, you must give it the consideration it deserves when it comes to content. Online audiences expect to receive some sort of value from visiting a website, no matter what type it may be.

Nonprofits must present information in a way that resonates with the reader and answers the question “why should I give to this cause?” If you make them scour your website for a reason to donate to you, they won’t. Instead, keep your mission statement and call to action front and center. Offer supporting information about the benefits of donating and connect the reader to your cause. Use simple, web crawler-friendly language, and don’t overstuff it with keywords.

One last word of caution on content– quality is always preferred over quantity. For every piece of content you publish, ask yourself “what value will my audience gain from reading this?” The goal is to create articles and resources that your audience will share. As they do, SEO improves and web traffic increases.

Use the right keywords

Keywords help communicate the message of your content to search engines. With that in mind, it may seem like “more is better” when it comes to keyword usage. Not the case. Remember that when you write content, you’re writing for the benefit of your reader– not the search engines. You’ll be punished by web crawlers if you try to cram too many keywords into a piece of content.

To choose the right keywords to support your fundraising efforts, start with a list of all relevant keywords that support your organizational mission and fundraising call to action. Next, narrow the list with help from Google’s keyword tool to better understand which keywords are the most popular and will lead to the best SEO outcomes. It will also give you a better understanding of who else is using the keyword and how you might be able to differentiate yourself from competitive searches.

Organize content thoughtfully

As you structure your content and organize it on your website, there are some simple ways to help web crawlers find the right content to return the right search results. First, use keywords in the headings of your content. It sends a cue to search engines that the header keywords are indicative of the context of your content and will be relevant to a user’s query. Make sure the keyword actually supports the theme of the document or you’ll be penalized by search engines.

Secondly, offer alternate text for any images you use on your website. This enables web crawlers to understand the intent and relevance of the image since they can’t interpret the meaning of an image without descriptive text. Feel free to use keywords in image text for an added boost.

Use links to your advantage

Anchor text, or words linked to another page inside your document, are a simple way to add value to your website. It allows you to cite resources and create a better experience for readers. Web crawlers read anchor text to check for relevance between your page and the cited page and reward you for adding this additional layer of value to search results. Be sure that your anchor text is accurate, describing the linked page correctly. You should also link to your own relevant content and insert keywords in your anchor text when possible.

Another often-overlooked strategy to boost search rankings is to ask others to backlink your content in external pages and websites. This is especially important for nonprofits without vast marketing and advertising budgets. Think of backlinks as organic advertising for your content. Web crawlers search for backlinks and raise your credibility score and page ranking as a result. Don’t be afraid to ask like-minded organizations for backlinks to your content, and offer to return the favor.

Keep the reader in mind

As you build your SEO strategy, remember to write and organize your content with the goal of creating value for your reader. Web crawlers and search engine rankings are tied closely to the user experience. Search for ways to connect your content to your mission with a simple call to action for your readers. You’ll increase web traffic, donations and build a loyal audience to share your message with others.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bobby Keys is a Content Producer, Digital Marketer, and Creative Strategist in the Kansas City area with over 24 years experience in the broadcast industry and over 15 years of marketing experience. His diverse skillset in the creative world combined with his keen understanding of the marketing and the science behind “the why”, allows him to create content that connects with and inspires your audience and grows business. Over the last 5 years, his videos, creative content, websites, and digital strategy, have helped generate over 3.5 million dollars in funding for local nonprofits. 
 
 

Top Factors Expected To Influence Nonprofit Organizations In 2019

Top Factors Expected To Influence Nonprofit Organizations In 2019

[Read More]