Charity is a noble thought, and many of us feel that participating in some way in the fight against global poverty is a worthwhile cause. Unfortunately, not all charities are created equal, and there are several ways in which an online charity can go wrong which could potentially do more harm than good.
To help you avoid such pitfalls, we’ve put together a short guide which will advise you of some of the essential things you need to think about before, during and after your time as an online charity.
The Importance Of Recurring Donations
As the name implies, a charity is a place that is devoted to the fight against global poverty, and it has an important role to play in keeping your donors engaged and motivated to contribute.
The most effective way of doing this is by keeping your donors engaged and motivated to contribute is by regularly thanking them for their support and welcoming new supporters to the fold.
Thanks to tools like Recurly, you can set up automated donations that will be charged to your credit card on the 1st of each month. Not only does this mean that you can ensure donations are always forthcoming, but it also allows you to get those amazing “Walking Candy Shop” chocolate shops that you see in so many of our Instagram stories.
Charity: Driven is a great example of a brand that understands the value of engaging their donors through content. Not only do they use the power of social media to spread the word about their work, but they also let their supporters get involved through a variety of ways, including a weekly draw for a chance to win a holiday to Thailand, an ‘employee of the month’ competition, and a ‘mini challenge’ which encourages users to take part in a good cause. All of these things will keep your donors engaged and provide you with an excellent reason to thank them for their support.
The Need For A Well-Designed Site
You might be an experienced web designer who has been putting in the hours to create a beautiful and functional website for your newly-found charity. However, the reality is that, unless you’re equipped with the right tools, you might actually do more harm than good.
When your donors visit your website, the very first thing they will notice is the lack of a design grid, the poor use of line weight, and the fact that the text is too small to be easily read. When designing an online store or a blog, you have some extra padding to work with which you don’t necessarily have when building a straight website. This can make a world of difference and ensure that your website looks fantastic regardless of whether you have one column or twelve.
The Value Of Search Engine Optimization
Even the most well-designed, functional website won’t do much good if nobody finds it when they’re looking for what they need. To ensure that your website shows up when someone is searching for your chosen cause, you should invest in search engine optimization (SEO).
There are plenty of SEO tools out there which are totally free, so you don’t have to worry about incurring any costs with this step. All you need to do is enter your website’s URL in the search bar and then hit the “submit’ button. From there, you will see a graph which will show you the progress of your website toward the #1 organic spot for your chosen keywords. Once you’ve reached that position, your organic search traffic will boom and the money you’re spending on ads will prove to be cost-effective.
If you’re looking for an easy and cost-free way to find out which keywords people are using to search for your chosen cause, you can use an online tool like Google Keyword Planner. With this tool, you simply enter your chosen keywords and then hit “compute’.
The Need For A Mobile-Friendly Site
More and more people are turning to mobile devices to help them get around the internet, so it’s an important to develop a mobile-friendly website. While most browsers allow for websites to be viewed on smartphones and tablets, not all devices are created equal, and some sites might not look as good on smaller screens as they do on a larger display.
To determine whether or not your site is mobile-friendly, simply visit its URL on one of these devices and see how it looks. If you get a good enough response, you can be assured that your site will look great on any device. You don’t want to build a website which looks fabulous on a tablet but unusable on a smartphone, especially if you’ve gone through the effort of creating a good-looking site.
If you don’t have the time or the skills to build a mobile-friendly site, there are plenty of affordable mobile-friendly template sites out there which you can use to launch your charity. WordPress is the most popular content management system out there and allows for any type of website to be built with relative ease. With over 27 million downloads worldwide, WordPress is a great choice for those looking to get started.
The Value Of Video
While photos can be very powerful when used correctly, text isn’t always the best way to persuade someone to donate to your cause. If you’re looking to appeal to the largest audience possible, you can use video content to your advantage. Not only does video make a great addition to any blog or website, but you don’t need a lot of space to maintain a high-quality one.
To get started, simply build a short profile video which introduces your cause, and upload it to your social media channels. If you want to make sure that your video content is doing its job, you can always measure the success of your video content using video metrics such as views, likes, and shares.
The Importance Of Having A Good Mailing List
If you’ve been paying attention to the world of online marketing, you might have noticed that email list building is a vital part of any campaign. The same concept applies to a charity campaign, and having a good mailing list is the key to ensuring that you’re able to send out periodic communications to your donors to stay in touch and let them know how their support is being utilized.
There are several good reasons as to why you should build a mailing list. First of all, email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your donors, and it’s free. Secondly, having a mailing list allows you to segment your donor base and target the right audience with periodic emails. Lastly, building a mailing list allows you to collect emails which can be used for marketing and fundraising purposes down the line.
One thing you must keep in mind is that, while having a large list is great, it won’t do you any good if you don’t have enough people on it. This is why it’s important to engage with your audience and send them compelling messages via email.
How To Make Your Charity More Effective Offline
While the internet is great for spreading the word about your cause, you must remember that not all contributors will have access to it, especially in developing countries. To ensure that your message reaches as many people as possible, you should consider using various forms of offline marketing. The most efficient way of doing this is through yard signs and billboards which are more effective than social media in reaching a wider audience.
Another option is to put up flyers in local businesses which serve the population you’re targeting. While there are no exact numbers available, it is estimated that roughly 77% of the world’s population is functionally illiterate, which makes getting the message out even more difficult. To ensure that your flyers are getting read, tailor them to be more visually appealing and put relevant information about your cause on them. Once you’ve put in the effort to create these flyers, you won’t have to spend a lot of money on costly posters.
Getting More Donors Through Online Channels
If you’re looking for easier ways to raise money for your cause, you can always take advantage of the fact that the internet is a virtual goldmine. With a little bit of effort, you could easily tap a much wider audience than you would otherwise be able to reach.
Instead of looking at fundraising as a burden which you have to deal with eventually, why not make the most of the opportunities which the internet presents and raise as much money as you can while you’re at it? The fact is that, with a little bit of effort, you can easily set up a crowdfunding page for your charity and begin attracting potential donors. As soon as you’ve set up a crowdfunding page, you’ll see an influx of donations come in as people want to help.