There may be no better instrument for your fundraising tool box than the delivery of a good story. More specifically, a client story/profile: one that will both captivates the human drama that is the reason for your charitable nonprofit organization’s existence, and that will also showcase the giving opportunity. And then, afterwards, the results: the “product” of one’s investment into the organization. What’s more, such stories/profiles help your SEO.
Are you ready for #GivingTuesday 2018?
Giving Tuesday 2018 (#GivingTuesday) is on November 27, 2018. So why give it any thought now when June is just around the corner?
If your organization has participated in Giving Tuesday in the past, then indeed this call to action may be a bit early. But, if you haven’t participated in the past, now may be the best time to chart your path and get a jump on the competition.
First Step: Join
The good people at Giving Tuesday have made it easy for organizations to get registered and started. Simply go to https://www.givingtuesday.org/organizations and sign-up via their online form. (Note: you must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to qualify for the Giving Tuesday program.)
Second Step: Set Goals and Timeline
- How much do you hope to raise?
- How will those funds be used?
- What might be the giver-experience? (E.g.: “You’ll feel proud to have helped dozen’s of hungry people have groceries in winter.”)
- The Giving Tuesday Tool Kit provides a handy timeline for you to adapt for your needs.
Third Step: Begin your Outreach
Just download GivingTuesday’s Tool Kit for ideas, messaging and media tips. Suggestions include:
- Setting creative call-to-actions for your supporters and community.
- That you promote early so that everyone who wishes to participate has adequate time to do so: on your website, your social network channels, place of worship, and even flyers for local business to pin up.
- Collaborate/network with other groups in your community.
- Send out press releases (a sample is provided).
- Email blast your supporters (a sample email is provided).
- Request a “Mayoral Proclamation” for GT.
Giving Tuesday 2018 also offers the following resources:
- How to Donate Unused Rewards Miles, Points [new!]
- 50 Day Campaign Timeline
- Social Media Kit
- Planned Giving Toolkit
- Press Release Kit
- Mayoral Proclamation Toolkit
About Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving Day (which is a U.S. holiday) as a sort of balance (or, perhaps, balm) to the manic (if not materialistic) “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” which precedes Giving Tuesday.
Right after Thanksgiving, and well before Christmas, is considered the best time of year for fundraising. It’s a small window actually, but with the power of Giving Tuesday, your donation opportunity will certainly rise. It’s just a great way of celebrating the true spirit of the Holidays: philanthropy through community.
2017 Numbers to Note:
- 150+ countries
- More than $300 million raised online
- More than 2.5 million online gifts
- $120.40 mean online gift
Learn more about Giving Tuesday by visiting: www.givingtuesday.org
Nonprofit Versus For-profit Websites: what’s the difference?
When a website, be it nonprofit or for-profit, is well thought out and branded, it will have a far better chance to exude the entity’s product and, or, mission instantly, than a website that is not. Moreover, it not only should appeal to the viewer’s sensibilities, but be very user-friendly. In other words, the “user experience” (UE/UX) is vital for any website to compete in today’s WWW marketplace.
As for the website’s primary reason for being (most will think it’s always about revenue generation) this is where the two entities start to deviate.
For commercial endeavors, the main goal is nearly always to make money. That’s a given. But for the nonprofit, the answer is a bit more complicated.
For the nonprofit, success is not calculated in terms of mere profit (though raising money is certainly a major priority if it wishes to survive) but rather how well it fulfills its overall mission. Therefore, the product, be it a widget or a social service, somehow has to be sold to someone and revenue generated.
Where the Split Occurs
The for-profit website targets the buyer of the product—who is almost always (save for gift cards) the end-user of the product. So when you are creating your website for the commercial sector, you are communicating to one audience: the buyer/user.
The nonprofit website, however, generally addresses two audiences—often split equally. One message is for the product buyer (the donor of the product or service) and the other message is to the user of the product (the people in need of the product or service—the client). And, this sort of split-branding can be a challenge.
In both instances, the product needs to be well promoted as necessary to the buyer, as well as of good value—be it a widget for oneself, or critical service to another. For the for-profit, this singular focus makes creating the web presence rather streamlined.
But what about the nonprofit’s end user—the client. Their user experience will not be buyer’s satisfaction or even return on social investment (ROsI), but on when, where, and how to obtain the product/service and how quickly they can access it. (Which, by the way, is also import to the buyer/funder who considers overall user experience for clients as a reasonable ROsI.)
The ROsI does not stop at the product/service level for the funder, or even how well the website is offering equal space for donor and client. The funder tends to look at multiple factors:
- Desktop/laptop viewing first: Can they view the website well on their desktop/laptop as well as mobile device? (Since donors tend to use desktops/laptops more than mobile devices when considering their involvement in an organization, adequate content is key.)
- Is the website engaging, without a look of wastefulness? I.E., too flashy and overly trendy?
- How are the clients (recipients of their intended support) perceived? Will certain content direction (images and descriptions) turn-off the donor—or, perhaps, the client? (For the donor, often times the pitch is showing the worst-case scenario, where when you’re addressing the client, optimism and non-judgment is key.)
- What is the call to action other than the donation request? The sign-up form or invitation to an event allows the donor to feel like a bigger part of the organization’s community than just another income stream.
- How has the website prioritized their giving, be it donations or volunteering time.
As for the client, their priorities may be:
- Mobile device first: Is the website mobile-device friendly (“responsive”)? According to a Pew study, 50-75% of homeless and low-income people only have access to a mobile device, be it smart phone or tablet. Considering this, the website should be designed with desktop in mind for the donors, and in responsive format for clients—which requires a judicial approach to the paring down content, along with format tweaks, for best view on mobile devices.
- How intuitive is it to locate the product/service? Are dates and times clearly stated? Are schedules, directions and maps provided?
- What are the limitations and “need to know” messages?
Special Content for the Nonprofit
There are pages and applications that are geared more for the nonprofit than the for-profit:
- Client programs/services
- HIPPA or other statement of privacy
- Financial disclosure
- Volunteer program and forms
- Board of directors page
- Access to departmental staff
- Robust About Us / History page(s)
- Achievements and/or profiles
- Dynamic social networking center-point
- Donation options page (from one-time donations to planned/estate giving)
- A very user-friendly “back end” so that in-house staff and/or volunteers can make updates and new pages without the need to have a dedicated webmaster.
In a nutshell, the user experience differs between nonprofit and for-profit websites, and we get that. Dot Org Web Works stand out from other website developers because we only work for the charitable nonprofit sector.
We would LOVE (that’s no exaggeration!) to work with you on your next (or first ever!) website. And if you think that having professional assistance may be outside of your current budget, you just might be in for a pleasant surprise.
Dot Org Web Works, the intelligent way to get your cause and services noticed is to use website design professionals who are also nonprofit professionals.