As we look at our digital ecosystem and how it supports our fundraising goals, your website shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s the first place potential donors will go to learn about your organization and your work. A well-organized, visually appealing website with clear calls to action will help you raise more money and reach more people with your message. In this article, we’ll discuss how your website can support your fundraising efforts and provide tips for creating a site donors love!
The biggest pitfall I see organizations make is that they don’t have a clear ladder of engagement regarding their website. Yes, most organizations have a large and colorful donate button in the navigation. Still, since folks only skim when they read online, you also need a donate call to action in the middle of the homepage and the footer. Some organizations have succeeded with pop-ups, but I recommend you do a bit of testing before you rely on them. More and more people are installing pop-up blockers or immediately closing a pop-up. The most effective pop-up displays are for returning site visitors or someone who has spent a minute or two on the website.
Use your website to tell your story in a compelling way, and include images and videos to bring it to life. This, coupled with a site that is easy to navigate and enables potential donors to find the information, will make all the difference. Sprinkle your donation ask throughout your site, so visitors know how they can support your work.
When a potential donor arrives at your site, make sure you have updated to-date content. This means taking a look at all your content. No one wants to come to your site, cruise through your blog, news, or resources, and see that the last time it was updated was two years ago. It doesn’t matter if your Facebook, Youtube, or TikTok account produces tons of new content each week. If folks go from having a great experience with you on your social media platforms to arriving at a website that doesn’t keep up and match, you will lose out. I see many folks think they can just put up a stand-alone donate page or landing page. While this does help in the short term, eventually, folks will want to visit your website to learn more.
Always remember that your website is a powerful fundraising tool and plays a significant role in your digital ecosystem. Making sure your website shines can lead to higher conversion rates and will help grow your list to support not only this year’s fundraising goals but also in the future.