Those of us over the age of 14 with busy lives are, perhaps, just catching up with the latest in user-based interactive Web sites. Sites like Wikipedia, MySpace and YouTube rely on heavy traffic and participation from Web visitors to generate fresh, meaningful content every day.
On a typical day, you’ll probably see hundreds — if not thousands — of marketing messages by the time you get to work. You’ll see ads on TV or in the newspaper. See them on billboards and hear them on the radio as you drive. See them on hats as you walk. Hundreds more await you in your mailbox and e-mail inbox. So how can an organization with a wide array of programs and services cut through the clutter and grab attention?
Someone 20 years old, or 30 or 40 — even 50 — might never become a direct-mail donor. He or she probably will give online from the beginning. And there’s evidence that online donors might act quite differently than their direct-mail responsive parents and grandparents.
Results from end-of-year giving campaigns are still coming in, but one fundraising trend was clear in 2006: nonprofits’ growing expertise in integrating campaigns across multiple communications channels.
The increasing costs of acquiring new donors through traditional methods, the continuing challenge of donor fatigue and the exponential growth in online donations has spurred many organizations to bring online outreach into the mix.
If you worked in corporate America before you decided to help make the world a better place, you probably experienced the Internet revolution of the ’90s first-hand. If so, you probably chuckle today over the sweat you and your colleagues poured into those first basic Web sites: “Should the navigation go on the top? Left? Right? Where can I find a 13-year-old who can program this thing?”
“Keep it simple!” is the general recommendation of the pros who took a look at this month’s featured site, which belongs to Rebuilding Together Alexandria, a Virginia-based organization that repairs homes at no cost to qualifying, low-income community members.
Our analysts — eTapestry Web professionals Wesley Street, Web site developer; Josh Esslinger, manager of Web site services; and Phillip Allen, manager of Web services/sales — applaud the site’s strong black-and-green color scheme and good use of the vertical navigation bar on the left-hand side.
According to the report “Email Newsletter Usability: 165 Design Guidelines for Newsletter Subscription, Content, Account Maintenance, and RSS News Feeds Based on Usability Studies” by the Nielsen Norman Group, a firm that helps companies develop customer-centered strategies and processes, individuals have stronger reactions to e-mail newsletters than they do to Web sites. For one thing, e-newsletters are more personal than Web sites because they arrive in recipients’ inboxes. They also have a social aspect in that they can be forwarded to friends and colleagues, according to the report. Because of this, e-newsletters present an opportunity to create a greater bond between recipients and
On reading our February WebWatch featuring the Save the Children Web site, a member of the development staff at Surgical Eye Expeditions International, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based organization that provides medical, surgical and educational services to disadvantaged blind people worldwide, requested that we critique SEE’s site.
I enlisted the help of Sarah Durham, principal and founder of NYC-based communications firm Big Duck, which works exclusively with nonprofits.