Tired of snow? Get ready to walk, run, or ride this spring! | npENGAGE

Tired of snow? Get ready to walk, run, or ride this spring!

By on Jan 31, 2011

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It’s almost spring event season, and I’ll bet all of you event and program managers out there are gearing up for the influx of walkers, runners, and riders who will be coming to your websites to register for your event in the next few months!  In the spirit of spring cleaning, here are a few tips and some great examples to help get your event homepage in tip-top shape for event season:

  1. First, indentify your main audience groups. Ask yourself who you expect to visit your event site, and what they will want to achieve.  What is the process for participants to sign up?  Can a donor easily figure out how to search for and donate on behalf of a participant? Create actions and pathways for each group.  As often as possible, provide conditional content for registered users and fundraisers.Example:  The American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation program.

    You can see that ACS clearly considered their audience groups when
    designing this page.  For prospects who want to find out more about the
    program, there is a “Learn More” button in the banner of the page.  For
    users who are ready to register, a “find an event” section is clearly
    available.  For donors who wish to donate on behalf of a participant,
    the “Support an Athlete” box is easily accessible on the right side of
    the page.  For returning participants, links to my training or
    participant center are available in the upper right corner.

  2. Highlight your primary actions.  Every fundraising event website should
    promote two main actions: Register and Donate.  A third action – log in
    to your fundraising center – should also be readily available for
    existing participantsExample: The Marine Mammal Center’s Run for the Seals

    The Marine Mammal Center quickly designed their event micro-site in less
    than six weeks – and did a fantastic job!  Their crack team made sure
    that site visitors know what they’re supposed to do when they get to
    this page… register, donate, or log in!  The page also provides a quick
    description of the event and promotes healthy competition straight away
    with lists of top teams and participants.

  3. Use your BEST images.  The images on your event site tell site
    visitors what kind of people participate in your event – kids, athletes,
    pet owners, etc. – and help show how fun or inspiring your event is.
    Find images that really represent your event (make sure that they are
    good quality images), and display them prominently on your event
    homepage.Example: The Race, benefitting Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer
    Institute

    The Race (benefitting Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute) is
    a 1-mile run in Cleveland whose main purpose is to get kids involved in
    philanthropy at an early age – and show them how fun it can be!  The
    imagery on the Race homepage clearly indicates that the event is
    kid-centric and lots of fun.

  4. Explain your event.  Develop a tag line or a phrase that explains your
    event – in 10 words or less.  Use this phrase on the event homepage so
    that users can quickly understand what your event is all about; then
    follow it up with more information in the supporting content on the
    page.Example: The AIDS Lifecycle

    The
    AIDS LifeCycle website follows every best practice there is.  Their tag
    line “Ride to End AIDS” tells you what to do and why in only four
    words!  There is also a concise description of the event just below the
    main banner image, making it extremely easy for users to get a fast
    understanding of what the event is all about.

  5. Promote team participation.  If your event allows for team participation, you probably already know that team participants are more likely to recruit participants, raise money, and show up on event day than individual participants.  Be sure that the team option is prominently displayed and clearly explained in the registration process.The American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure

    The ADA knows that teams are imperative to the success of the Tour de Cure.  Adding a Teams section to their main navigation, they make team participation sound fun and easy right from the start. Be sure to conditionalize website content and e-mail communications to your team captains and make sure they have everything they need to coach their teams to success.

Best of luck in your spring cleaning!

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