We’re nearing the end of sharing the stories behind my fundraising posts that got the most reactions on social media.
And today, here’s #2…
A nonprofit’s website is only as effective as the questions asked when work starts. “How can we tell people all about our work?” results in a less effective site than asking “How can we make it easy for people to do something?”
I want to help smaller nonprofits avoid a very pretty trap.
The trap is the belief that a sort of magic will happen when they get a new website up. There’s an unspoken belief that the new site will cause more people to find them, be attracted to their mission, and give gifts. Big gifts, even!
What I want nonprofits to know is that the websites that help an organization’s fundraising are just as rigorous and measured as good fundraising. There’s a plan for how the site will drive donations. There’s a plan for how the site will capture names. There’s a plan for the email campaigns that will turn the “names” into donors.
And ultimately it all comes down to the question that’s asked at the beginning of the project. If the question is any version of, “How can we show all that we do and inspire people to give?” the resulting website usually isn’t good at capturing names or donations.
The site becomes a place donors go to give gifts, but not an effective tool for acquiring names and turning visitors into donors.
On the other hand, if you begin with a question something like, “How can we make it easy for people who care about our [BENEFICIARIES]/[CAUSE] to give a gift today?” you’ll end up with a much more action-oriented site that, well, causes more action.
Because you want a fundraising tool, not an online brochure that accepts gifts.