Once you’ve got your nonprofit up and running, you may be unsure of where to turn to get noticed for fundraising purposes. If you have not accessed the power of the internet in your quest to draw awareness to your cause, then you are missing out on a big piece of the puzzle.
Building an online presence does not need to be difficult. It takes a little technical knowledge as well as patience and dedication. However, if you are not focusing your efforts in the right direction, you could be wasting time – and money.
There are three main ways on which you should be concentrating to get your nonprofit website noticed:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Social Media
Search Engine Optimization
Without utilizing SEO, your website – and your fundraising efforts – will be buried among the 280 million websites on the internet. Over 200 thousand of those alone represent US-based nonprofit websites. How will you gain fundraising benefactors, donors, and volunteers without making an attempt to jump to the top of those search results through proper SEO?
One: Determine your main focus
The first step in optimizing your site for search engines is to determine what your main focus is. Do you need fundraiser donations? Do you run fundraising events? Are you seeking volunteers? Do you offer educational materials or cause-related gifts such as coffee mugs or t-shirts? Do you have local activities or sales?
Two: Research Keywords
After you’ve determined your main purpose for your website, you’ll want to begin researching keywords and phrases. While you may have many points of focus on your website, you will want to narrow down your keywords to a core focal point for ranking purposes. The key is to seek out words that are high in searches, but low competition for results. Use those keywords generously on your website and continue to produce new content regularly so that your site appears in search results.
Three: Grade Your Website
After you’ve gotten some content up and used your target keywords, consider evaluating your website. There are many tools on the web, such as HubSpot’s Website Grader, that will help you analyze your site and determine where you may need to adjust key elements or wording.
Email communication is important in keeping your donors, benefactors, and volunteers up-to-date on the events and happenings with your nonprofit organization. The steps for starting and maintaining an effective email campaign includes:
- Include a clear sign-up option on your website so that interested parties can opt-in to receive email communication from you regarding fundraising events or donation opportunities.
- Start a regular email newsletter with useful content for your subscribers. You can effectively utilize email marketing sites, such as Constant Contact, for easy email templates.
- Create landing pages that are specifically for incoming links from your newsletter, such as a donation page for fundraising efforts.
- Link to these landing pages and the newsletter sign up on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Social networks are not just a popular fad. They are here to stay and a powerhouse for marketing efforts. Not only are social media posts read and shared, they help with SEO efforts. Additionally, when done right, they allow you to interact with your supporters and interested donors in real time. Social media should not be an afterthought, but an active part of your online marketing strategy to get your nonprofit noticed.
To get going in social networking sites, consider these tips:
- Claim your username. Consider a username that you can use on various social media sites so that you don’t confuse your fan base with different names. Research each site that would be beneficial to your organization and check that username on each network.
- Choose which social networking sites that you want to use. There are many and you can use multiple sites; however, don’t stretch yourself too thin. It’s better to be active on one site than non-responsive on many. Sites include:
– Google Plus
- Set up your social media accounts with your own branding. Upload an icon, background, or header to match your organization’s brand and make your new social media account recognizable as part of your nonprofit.
- Share among each of the social media sites that you use. So if you are on Facebook, share your Twitter handle. On YouTube, include your blog address. Integrate the sites with each other so that you reach the most users possible.
- Now it’s time to engage your followers and fans by holding contests, offering incentives, and finding other ways to interact.
Now that your nonprofit has been noticed, it’s time to take on some serious fundraising activities and get the funds that you need for your cause.