5 Keys to Make the Most of Your Nonprofit's Online Experience
Look at your entire online presence as a whole
Integration is the key in online communications. You must have a consistent message across all online mediums so as to not confuse your donors and drive people away. The way the message is delivered will vary depending on the channel — e-mail, e-newsletter, website, social media, video, etc. — but everything must work in concert to keep your supporters engaged.
“I tell other nonprofits to take a step back and ask yourself, ‘What would you do today if you were starting over with nothing?’ How would you make everything look and work and operate together?” Brown says. “Then make all those pieces work together.”
Brown says one of the keys to the Hope Institute’s online turnaround and continued growth is its meticulous online planning. The organization plans its online strategy a year in advance, with room built in to make adjustments. That way, it knows what stories it will focus on each month, how that message will be communicated across channels, etc. This allows Hope Institute to map out its strategy and integrate it in every medium.
Focus on your story, not your statistics
“The content online for many nonprofits typically turns into an online brochure — it’s not designed to be a marketing and engagement piece; it’s designed to be an informational piece,” Brown says. “We focus on statistics and every in and out of the services we provide, and we forget to tell the story of the people that we serve.”
That’s a grave mistake. As great as your statistics may be and as wonderful as your history is, donors really don’t care much about all of that. They care most about the people you serve and how they can help them. They want to hear stories about how your organization and their dollars helped achieve the mission. Giving is emotional, after all, so make sure your content tugs at your supporters’ emotions and engages them to take action.
Know who your audience is
Many people first get introduced to your organization online, so tailor the messaging accordingly.