Special Report: 10 Ways to Make Your Web Site ?Fundraising Friendly
Over the last few years, online fundraising has emerged as an area with the greatest potential for growth. Still, it remains one of the most underutilized means of fundraising today.
Online activities for nonprofit organizations fall into one of three segments:
1. No online presence: An organization that falls into this segment doesn't have a Web site and, in some cases, has not secured a domain name either. It conducts all of its online activities through e-mail from a free e-mail service provider such as Gmail or Hotmail.
2. Limited online presence: This organization has a static Web site and typically fundraises via a non-?integrated payment-service provider. The content is managed manually either by an in-house Web manager or outsourced to local agencies. The Web site is not integrated with the nonprofit's local system of record.
3. Dynamic online presence: There's a wide range of organizations and various levels of online presences in this segment ranging from a CMS-driven Web site for dynamic content management to full-blown integration with a system of record that supports fundraising and marketing activities.
If you fall into the first group, the first step is to secure a domain name and create a basic Web site, even if it has limited information about your organization and cause. There are many free tools available that can help you get up and running within as little as five minutes. In today's economy, a nonprofit cannot afford to be without a Web site, even if just a basic one.
Once you've established an online presence, follow these quick and easy steps to help your organization become more successful with online fundraising:
1. Consistent online branding. Where is the first place your constituents are going to look for you? Yep — you guessed it — online! And when they get there, it's very important that your offline brand identity and personality are reflected on your Web site. These include consistency of colors, typefaces, messaging, news and campaigns. Help your constituents make a connection with you online with the same impact as if they met you in person at your local office or an event.