FEED A FAMILY.
10. Active Project Updates
From time-honoured mediums such as print newsletters to the latest social media strategies, most charities understand the importance of updating donors and other stakeholders. To increase both first-time gifts to projects and even second and third gifts, provide updates about your projects right where you ask for funds for those projects. If you really want to boost support, email each donor with updates about the individual projects they have supported. You can even let donors of unrestricted funds know where you used their money.
11. Search-Friendly Content
Showing up well in search results when people are investigating issues that are important to them can help you raise more money. If you want people to find your web pages when they do searches on Google or other services, those pages must include the words people will use in their queries. The more prominently and frequently you (legitimately) you mention searched words on a webpage, the higher (on average) your page will appear in corresponding search results. Given these search dynamics, sometimes the best way you can show up in search results is with issue specific content. For example, a food bank might write an article about ‘income inequality’ to leverage the fact the issue has been in the news. Landing pages, discussed in the next section, are also a way to create search-friendly content. The key, when planning and creating content to add to your site, is to prepare and write it with search in mind.
12. Landing Pages
Most non-profits know they need to optimize their site for search engines. However, many do not realize the importance of landing pages. Landing pages are web pages specially designed to attract search and advertising traffic to your website, convert that traffic and engage the visitors with a specific call to action. Site homepages and even the main pages for fundraising rarely make good landing pages because they have to do too many other things to be specialized enough. Sites with an active landing page strategy generate twelve times more leads than sites without (source: Hubspot).
13. Email Capture
A charity’s website and social media are two important vehicles for online fundraising. However, for many people, the best way to reach them online is still email. Building an email list, and emailing people with updates and donation requests is a proven fundraising strategy. You want to reach prospects as well as donors. So, you should encourage people to provide their email addresses. A great way to secure email addresses is with a box (form) for people to enter their info. You should include an email capture on your home page, your main fundraising/development page, custom landing pages and other key pages on your site. To increase your response rate, you should also use free offers such as bonus content for those people that provide you an email address.
14. Project Specific Social Sharing
Most charities recognize the importance of making it easy for people to share their online content. However, if you want to take your fundraising to the next level, you need to make it easy for people to share the individual projects for which you are seeking funds. Each of your projects should have a unique URL and social sharing icons for sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest.
15. Incremental Engagement Tools
Most charities know about the concept of the donor pyramid. Often, donors start with small contributions, and smart charities work to secure larger and larger donations over time. Like a donation pyramid, there is an engagement pyramid. Even before someone starts donating, you can take steps to get people more and more involved in your cause. Provide great photos or graphics that people can share on social media. Encourage people to ‘like’ your content. Have your supporters sign a petition. Take advantage of tools that allow people to modify their avatars with a graphic pertaining to your work. Create discussion groups that people can join. Sponsor competitions for the best video related to your cause. Once somebody has taken a number of online actions for you, you can ask them to become more involved by attending an event, donating money, contacting a politician or participating in peer-to-peer fundraising. Develop a moves management strategy and you can turn passive spectators into your most valuable contributors.
16. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Opportunities
If you are not creating opportunities for your supporters to raise money online on your behalf, you are are leaving money on the table without one of the fastest growing types of fundraising. Peer-to-peer fundraising is effectively a crowdsourcing appeal. It involves giving each donor and supporter his or her own webpage with a donate button, goal, amount raised, donor list as well as customizable text and photos. Other tools include email templates and social media sharing tools. A great peer-to-peer campaign allows people to create teams, provides leaderboards and sets fundraising challenges. Ideally, you give people a task challenge as well.
17. Start Today!
There is so much you can do online, that it is easy to fail to start or to stick to something like posting to Twitter. However, your online priority should be to grow your website as a fundraising asset. Like financial investing, the sooner you start, the richer your rewards will be. So, start small and do something new every week. Pick just one of the 16 tips above and get started right now. Alternatively, put someone like the Pitcher Group to work for you and supercharge your online fundraising.
The Pitcher Group can help you implement each of these 17 online fundraising strategies. William Pitcher, the founder, has more than 25 years experience helping charities raise more money. Contact us today to start earning more.