By: Laura Iancu, 123ContactForm

The website of any nonprofit can be a core element in communication, providing a valuable tool to build and engage a community. Knowing how to present your cause and having a reliable website can boost your donations. Thus, overcoming some of the obstacles in creating a nonprofit website will bring your fundraising to the next level. Passing from cause to cause, each nonprofit has to adapt its messages to the purpose and needs to know the audience it’s addressing.

An organization’s website can make or break online relations: how is yours doing?

Slippery details regarding your website can change the performance of your donations. That’s way we believe that for the following reasons you might scare your donors:

  1. No branding elements – people have to know you in order to confide in you and to relate to your cause. Compelling visuals, a well-chosen message, logo, colors, all have to be specially designed for your organization. In addition, they have to be consistent and present on every step that your donor takes on your website. Nonprofit branding is often a key for success in matters of online donations.
  2. Confusing call to action messages – finding a balance in drawing attention through calls to action is hard. You might fall in the trap of simultaneously sending too many messages. Make sure your statements are not too blunt and have the right length.
  3. Setting the amount of the donation – while offline you can get to know your donors and target a specific sum to meet both your needs and their giving capacity, online it’s harder to decide. So you might play it safe and personally intermediate the donation process, or receive the donation directly on your website but without restricting the amount in any way.
  4. No contact page – this is your window of opportunity to connect with the world and to show that you are reachable and open to new ideas. Through a well-designed contact form you will encourage first time visitors to get connected with you. Consequently, it is desirable to also display your email address together with your physical address. In this way you will cover all collaboration opportunities.
  5. Complicated software – determining the right fundraising software for your nonprofit can be confusing. Ergo, testing it before is mandatory. It has to be intuitive for both your users and you. If donors cannot use it with ease it is most likely to cause you more damage than help. Proper configuration and adaptation can save you a lot of time and money.
  6. No retention of online supporters – it’s highly important to set special features on your website to enable donor stewardship. Find the most appropriate way to collect information about your donors to be able to engage with them right after the first online donation. Try to think beyond the classic thank you autoresponders. Always keep in mind that it is easier to find support among your present donors than to attract new ones so make sure you have some stewardship ideas in place.

Failing to see all these scary details can put you among the average of nonprofits which lose about 50-75% of donor between the first and the second donation. The good news is that, with the right set of tools, all these details are achievable.

GOOD LUCK!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

From time to time, a guest blogger will appear on npENGAGE. Guest bloggers are industry experts contributing useful, relevant content to the conversation on npENGAGE. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, contact the editor.

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