Every good nonprofit campaign begins with a vision for a better future. The next step is gathering together people you know in order to build a potential donor base. Finally, as you move forward, you tell story after story of how you have impacted the lives of real people with your outreach activities.
The Vision-People-Stories method is an incredibly effective tool to drive your non-profit donor strategy. I hope that you’ve already established the identity of your ideal donor and what motivates them to take action. Now it’s time to start putting together a website that motivates your donors to give, to volunteer, or to get involved in some other way.
A website is more than words and pictures on a page. IT IS WAY MORE THAN THAT!!! How a site is written and laid-out will either motivate the donor to give or it will motivate them to click away to some other page on the internet. The main purpose of a non-profit website it to attract new donors and to reengage existing donors in order to drive actions. So, let’s start out with the basics of a donor-generating website.
A Donation Generation Website Strategy
You need a way to stand out online. There are likely other nonprofits who do what you do. Some of them do it better than you do. Both your organization and theirs can be found online. So how do you stand out? How do you motivate the giver?
People can find out a lot of information these days on the internet. As a result, the traditional method of simply explaining your services doesn’t engage with donors as effectively as it used to. Simply put, you can’t just put a laundry list of your services or a description of your organization’s mission statement on the internet and expect people to get involved. Information alone on a website does not generate donations.
The first step to building an effective donor-generation strategy is to build trust.
You want your organization to be at the top-of-mind for donors when they are ready to give. This top-of-mind awareness is not done primarily by your logo showing up on internet advertisements. Earning status as an expert has to be, well, earned. It is earned by telling stories of changed lives and by building relationships (even if those relationship are on a virtual platform). Virtual people are not in virtual environments. Real people are in virtual environments and they are seeking real connections with other real people.
Once a visitor hits your site, it needs to be apparent that what you do makes a difference and that you are a trustworthy expert.
This perceived expertise comes from great content/storytelling, excellent reviews, and good photography. Additionally, it can come through a resource like a book published by the CEO, a compelling infographic connected to a heart-warming story of a changed life, or downloadable resource that tells the story of what you do and how you plan to make a better future.
You can start generating great leads from your website when you stop trying to be a pesky sales person and you start showing that you really know what you’re doing and that you genuinely care about your donor’s experience.
I heard one donor say that he had a million dollars to give away one year, but only 1 organization ever called him to say thank you for his previous donations. When he had that large donation to give, he immediately thought about the organization who had taken the time to connect with him, who had told dozens of stories of changed lives, and whose leaders had won his trust.
So how you make this happen?
Four Tips to Display Your Expertise on your Website
- Communicate the problem you are solving regularly. Your potential donors are coming to you to be part of a solution to a problem. Single moms might need help with babies. Bibles might need to be sent to a developing nation. Foster kids in the community might need homes. There is a pain point. There is a problem that they need you to solve for them and they are willing to give towards the solution. Understanding this problem and providing content on the web to address these issues will help you to be seen as a friend and as a trusted expert.
- Give away some resources. One organization I work with gives away books like they are water. Others produce a quarterly color magazine. Still others make monthly newsletters. Bottom line, books and print build trust. Once you figure out the problem your donors are coming to you to solve, give away a resource that will help them to better understand the need and your solution to the problem. By offering a study guide, for example, to better understand poverty in the area the nonprofit can be seen as authoritative and informed on the issue. By giving a vision for a better future and a solution to the problem, they further build trust.
- Promote the resource you’re giving away. Write some posts on your social media pages or take out an ad on Facebook that offers the resource for free. Rather than designing an ad with just a logo on it, the nonprofit could, for example, offer a free book on the need for supporting adopted parents, or single moms. Potential donors are far more likely to engage with that type of internet appeal.
- Collect information in exchange for the resource. So, you’re not really giving it away for free. Someone is paying for the resource by trading it for their contact information. Once you have their contact information, you can retarget them for upcoming projects. People are happy to offer email addresses for something of value to them. Once you have their email address, your email blast system can then take over and continue communicating for you while you focus on other aspects of your organization. We recommend GoHighLevel or Mail Chimp as 2 great platforms for e-blasts.
A good donor-generation website strategy is an effective way to establish yourself as an expert and to attract your ideal donor.
Do you need help with your strategy? Schedule a free consultation here: https://staffordnonprofit.com/contact/