Back in early October I had the privilege of conducting web site audits at the annual BBCON, Blackbaud’s Annual Conference for Nonprofits. During those site audits, a trend emerged that caught me off guard – very few of the nonprofit sites we audited were highlighting the impact of their fundraising! Results of giving and they way it was being used was commonly buried in downloadable Annual Report PDF files that a prospective or current donor needed to go digging for to find. As a designer specializing in nonprofit web design, this was a huge red flag, and once pointed out, those clients having their sites audited saw it as a major missed opportunity as well.
So, why should your Fundraising Impact be granted some of the valuable real estate on your home page? Let’s discuss a few points in detail:
Donors love seeing what you are achieving with their money
This is different than simply how you spend donor’s money; instead, focus on the impact your organization is making with their gifts. Feature achievements and donor impact stories in your slideshow, or featured content. Highlight statistics showing books purchased, scholarships distributed, water purification system provided, etc. These statistics can be made an integral part of your design through clever font treatments and user interface elements such as sliders.
Donor stories can encourage further giving
Tell the story of the individuals or groups that are benefiting from your donor’s gifts, and allow them to easily see the sort of impact that further giving can help make. Seeing and reading about the real-world impact of your fundraising can inspire prospective donors to become active ones. As a result, do not regulate donor stories to a page several levels deep in your site, instead, highlight them on your homepage and perhaps tell a story with your featured content area rather than simply providing news about your organization and listing upcoming events.
Finally, donors love it when you say “thank you”
Sure, you are certainly already thanking your donors once a gift is made and with potential follow-up thanks via email or e-cards, but your organization also has the chance to say thank you through the content on your site, calling to attention the impact being made and reinforcing the fact that without your dedicated base of donors, you would not be able to make the difference in the world you are currently making.
In this season of thankfulness and giving, it is worth expressing your gratitude through your website and making it clear to your donors the impact they are making each and everyday this holiday season.
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