One Word: Streamline
More is less?
My high-school art teacher used to proclaim, “less is more.” The folks at PCRF seem to have the opposite philosophy. They’ve invested in posting content (a whole lot of content), rather than creating information architecture or design that’s user-driven. There are 17 (yep — 17!) items in the main navigation structure on the home page, of which about half are program-specific. Content that typically would go in an About Us area for most organizations is broken out in detail here. The Child Sponsorship Program area of the site might receive more traffic (and, probably, more donations) if it were renamed, “Children you can help today.” Similarly, a less acronym-y Web address might help, too.
PCRF could do a better job of tooting its own horn and demonstrating its credibility, which might attract more donors online. For example, a quick search of PCRF in the blogosphere finds that the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is awarding the organization its Compassion in Service Award. Also, according to PCRF’s page in Wikipedia (the second search result for the organization on Google and Yahoo!), PCRF counts former U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, Richard Gere and Hunter “Patch” Adams among its supporters and has received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator the past few years.
Key to generating more support (and donations) for any organization these days is a solid e-mail-accessible audience that receives good care and feeding (i.e., regular, compelling, valuable content). PCRF might have an e-mail or newsletter list, but I couldn’t easily find it or sign up.
The organization has some useful fundraising tools that are most accessible from the home page, like a PDF of its annual report and a statement about its financial value. As I move around, only the Donate Now link at the very bottom of the page remains one click away. How about a nice button at the top of every page, instead?
Online donations are securely processed through PayPal, or CashU (PayPal’s equivalent in the Middle East). Donors also can make a wire transfer or a sign up for a monthly debit. While the choices are nicely varied, they all are presented in a fairly unsophisticated way.