Any charity group that has built an online presence would ultimately aim to gain additional donors to finance the cause and increase its volunteers through online membership. While there are several proven digital marketing strategies that are employed by some successful organisations, a lot of charity websites still fail to apply these best practices and must-do’s.
Hence, we have compiled and emphasised here eight key points that are common among the best charity websites in the internet.
It all begins with a story that attracts and motivates people to think, decide, and act. While it may sound easy to do, presenting a compelling story in a digital format, within a short window of attention from visitors is truly a feat to undertake.
Also known to the commercial industry as brand, a compelling story begins with a clear and concise mission statement that tells people why the organisation exists and why it matters for them to support and join the cause. While most if not all charity organisations are working on causes that matter, not all has made it clear, concise , and compelling for visitors to be drawn to and act on it. This is most important for charity websites as online visitors multitask in the internet, and with that comes short attention span and wide distraction from different activities they may be doing while online.
To present its compelling story, a charity organisation must take efforts in crafting its website messages. Expressing the organisation’s mission in two short profound sentences would enable its website’s visitors to grasp and decide immediately what the organisation is fighting for and whether such cause affects them to participate. See examples below:
“Investing in people and ideas that can change the world.” – www.casefoundation.org
“A bold new way of tackling poverty that’s about dignity, not dependence, and choice, not charity.” – www.acumen.org
“One voice to end modern day slavery. An estimated 45.8M people are in slavery worldwide.” – www.freedomunited.org
Sharing pictures that would present an organisation’s mission, activities, and accomplishments says a lot more than any explanation. Remember, a picture paints a thousand words. Using captivating imagery or videos would definitely elevate the presentation of an organisation’s story.
People are always interested with what the others have to say about a certain product, service, or activity. Hence, sharing testimonies from some of the organisation’s members would be a great way to wrap around the story that it wants to convey. Further, it provides diversity in communicating a message through motion film instead of relying solely on texts and images.
Impeccable User Experience
What is the use of a well-crafted message if a website’s navigation is troublesome?
User experience plays a crucial role in the successful interaction between an organisation’s website and its visitors. More than a great design, a great UX (User experience) design takes into account user behaviour and navigation tendencies in order to provide a logical and smooth flow in transitioning from one part of the page to another, or from one function to another. It also contributes to achieving preferred user behaviour such as sending an inquiry, subscribing to e-newsletter, or sending in donations. Liken it to a supermarket where shelf-design and in-store layout are carefully planned and executed based on people’s shopping tendencies and patterns in order to promote positive shopping experience and behaviour.
Great Blog and Newsletter
With the multitude of websites all competing to gain people’s attention and time, it is paramount for a charity website or any website for that matter to keep its communication line with its online visitors open. This is regardless whether these visitors are on the website or not.
Through a blog and e-newsletter subscription, a charity website gains the chance to connect every now and then with its users. Interesting news and blogs would definitely attract users to be in the loop on any updates regarding the charity group. Therefore, having a blog and e-newsletter subscription on its website, as well as a great writer should never be overlooked.
Donation, whether in the form of money, time, or in kind items, is the main action a charity website wants to earn. Therefore, it only makes sense to provide online visitors with a donation procedure that is easy, clear, and fast. Majority of the successful charity websites provide several options on how an interested individual can donate. Some can put in hours as donation, while most offers amount options that can be paid through bank transfers or credit card. But one thing in common, the donation page should reflect how a certain amount of donated money or time can make a change. See examples below:
UPDATED FINANCIALS PAGE
Transparency is key in gaining donor’s trust. As such, it only makes sense to provide information relating to the charity organisation’s finances. The chance to access financial information enables donors to better understand how donations were used, how it affects beneficiaries lives, and what campaigns the organisation is focusing on. On the side of the organisation, through the financials page, it gains the chance to earn more traction from its existing members and compel them to act by showing them how much work that needs be done and calls for continuous support.
Through this checklist, we hope that you doing a self-assessment on your organisation’s website would be easier. Find out the things that can be improved and how you can go about that.