With over 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States (according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), many, if not most, organizations find it impossible to stand out.
Aside from the overwhelming number of charities reaching out to the same prospects, this struggle will appear exacerbated when your work tackles a more local or inconspicuous problem rather than a concern that is front of mind for many individuals worldwide or across the world.
Regardless of your mission statement, all organizations can take steps to capture people’s attention and hearts. And by making sure your organization is listed on as many news and reference websites as possible, is a great way to accomplish this.
You can see how WE Charity is accomplishing this, by not only having a website and blog of their own, but also being listed on charitable foundation directories as well.
With all of this in mind, here are a few ideas to help your charity gain attention online – appeal to its target audience, and attract donors.
Blog & Create Better Headlines
Attractive headlines will help you get more people to read your blog posts, emails, events, and newsletters. If you don’t catch your potential readers’ attention with a compelling headline, you may never get them to read your content, and they definitely won’t share it with others.
Blogs are an effective way to get your voice heard in this noisy industry, distinguish yourself as an expert in your field, assist your organization in developing a trustworthy reputation, and, of course, boost your SEO strategy!
Content shared on your blog should be relevant and tailored to your audience’s needs; this will help attract new donors and retain current ones. Your blog’s content should be different from social media content; this content should aim to inform and educate your audience.
Keywords related to your charity or industry should be used throughout the post to increase the visibility of your cause in Google, giving you a better chance of being discovered organically by new donors.
A strong CTA will help to increase donations; these can be hyperlinked throughout the blog text or at the end to encourage action. Linking to other credible sources will help you rank higher in Google. All these can bring more attention to your charity online.
Make Your Story Easily Relatable
You must use good storytelling to capture people’s hearts and minds. Regardless of your mission statement, a well-crafted story can help people relate to your work, core values, and the people you serve. This relatability is the first step in convincing potential supporters to invest in your brand and embrace your mission as their own.
Consider why you founded your organization in the first place as you write your story. Consider the following:
- What motivates us to do what we do?
- What direct impact does our mission have on the people, things, and communities it serves?
- What would happen if we didn’t complete our tasks?
It’s also important to make sure you are sharing your personal story with other people and news outlets as well. Take a look at the recent article from Craig Kielburger that was featured on YesMagazine. By sharing charitable causes and world problems on bigger media outlets and news sites, it allows for more people to take action and help those in need.
Design Should Be Prioritized
A beautiful, user-friendly design is essential for attracting and retaining donors. Because people are constantly bombarded with content, it only takes a few seconds for them to scan your website, emails, or other communication means to determine whether it is worth their time.
Make beautiful design a priority, create an easy-to-navigate website, and then carry that appealing, branded look and feel across your social media assets, emails, and direct mailings.
Display Your Personality
Aside from your hard work and purpose, showcasing your brand’s personality and sense of humor is a fantastic way to stand out and draw donors. When you let your playful side shine through, you can delight current and prospective supporters while also creating positive emotional associations with your brand that encourage long-term loyalty.
Consider creating a humorous email campaign, a lighthearted social media image or post, or a video highlighting the real people and personalities behind your brand.
Make Your Fundraising Events and Campaigns More Creative
A wild, unconventional fundraising campaign idea can work wonders in terms of generating buzz and attracting donors. Whatever your mission statement, you can spice things up for your next campaign or event by thinking outside the box.
Bring your team together to come up with creative fundraising ideas for your next campaign. As the conversation begins, don’t limit yourself to what you believe to be impossible or improbable in terms of your audience or the people you serve. Sometimes the ideas that come from nowhere win.
Keep Current Members Engaged
The more you interact with your members, the more likely they will recommend your organization to their peers.
Include unique and exciting stories or valuable educational content in your email messages to encourage your members to share them. Make your emails so helpful and exciting that people will find it difficult not to forward them to their friends and family.
Make it simple for your members to interact with you online by regularly publishing free content, telling visual stories on social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram. Also, allow comments on your blog posts, social media posts, and online forums.
Post Testimonials on Your Website
Why not use words from someone else’s mouth and use them to your advantage?
Testimonials are an extremely effective marketing strategy, and they should be included on your website, brochure copy, and social media profiles. Across the web, you’ll find studies that reveal adding testimonials to lead generation pages (such as a website page where you ask a potential member to join) can increase conversions significantly. That means that if you include a testimonial on your charity website, more people will sign up as a volunteer or make a donation.
Start by asking your most engaged members if they would be willing to provide a quote about your organization for use in marketing materials. If someone appears to be interested but is hesitant to respond, send him or her a pre-written testimonial and ask him or her to approve or edit it. It is much easier to edit a testimonial than to write one from scratch.
You can use strategies to attract your target audiences, whether your organization addresses hunger or cancer or works to solve a more localized issue. Bring your organization’s story to life, focus on design, and think outside the box with your communications and campaigns.