This guest author post was submitted by Kanopi.
As one of the most widely used social media platforms, Facebook has become a popular peer-to-peer fundraising tool. With its easy sharing options and direct exposure to new audiences, Facebook is a common place for individuals to host their own fundraising campaigns and conduct social giving efforts.
Many well known organizations encourage their supporters to raise money on their behalf through Facebook, as you can see here with the American Heart Association. Some even invest in social giving solutions to increase their success with fundraising on Facebook. This is because often, the people giving are doing so in support of a loved one and will be brand new donors. How can you engage these new supporters beyond the Facebook platform?
Let’s take some insight from Kanopi’s expertise on the donor journey—after becoming aware of your organization through Facebook, the next step will be research. And that is where your nonprofit website comes in.
Your website is most likely the first thing a prospective supporter will look up to learn more about your organization. In order to leverage those new donor relationships, it’s important that your nonprofit website is engaging, informative, and able to meet any of your site visitors’ needs.
Specifically, your website should:
In this short guide, we’ll dive into the above tips to help ensure that your own website is doing all it can to continue these relationships with new supporters. Let’s begin.
As soon as someone discovers your organization through a Facebook Challenge, makes a donation, and clicks through to your website to learn more, they should be presented with visually engaging design and easy navigation. Think of your website as the virtual storefront of your organization—if your store isn’t inviting and doesn’t immediately have the products a customer is seeking, they’ll likely just walk out.
This describes your website’s user experience, and without a positive one, people won’t stay on your site long enough to engage with your offerings, learn about your mission, or support your cause.
How can you ensure that as soon as someone lands on your site that they are immediately welcomed? Consider these quick tips:
Without that great first impression, potential supporters may never come back to your website again. Always keep the user experience in mind and put yourself in your donor’s shoes.
As mentioned earlier, your website is a critical part of the research step of the donor journey. That means that when a potential supporter visits your website, they should be able to immediately find the information they’re looking for. In fact, if they can’t find it within just 7 seconds, it’s likely that they’ll just give up.
This is where a sticky navigation menu will come in handy. Make sure that your menu has links to these popular landing pages:
While a Facebook Challenge is a great way to get introduced to an organization, it doesn’t present a lot of information on their past actions and how they have made an impact so far.
Doing this research is important, especially if someone is thinking of becoming a long-term supporter. That is why having the necessary information easily accessible from your nonprofit website is essential.
Along with making it easy for new site visitors to learn more, your website needs to provide clear ways to support your organization.
Once they have done their research, your supporters shouldn’t have to click around and visit multiple pages just to find where they can donate. You want to capitalize on moments of inspiration, as these are when your supporters are most likely to give a gift, sign up to be a volunteer, or register for an event.
In order to do so, incorporate key calls-to-action (CTA) throughout your site to these targeted actions. CTAs can be in the forms of bright buttons or cleverly placed links.
For example, within your homepage or about us page, embed a clear and prominent CTA to the donation page, encouraging more people to give. Or, in your past accomplishments page where you bring up previous fundraising events, incorporate CTAs to your event calendar or your volunteer registration page.
With more new site visitors coming in from your supporters’ Facebook Challenges, the last thing you want to do is turn prospects away because your site is inaccessible. Whether this is because of the device being used, the language it’s in, or a user’s disability, considering your own website’s accessibility and compliance is crucial.
In order to reach standards in nonprofit web compliance, your organization needs to be aware of the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) act. This law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and requires all “public accomodations” to be fully accessible—including nonprofit websites.
To ensure your own website is ADA compliant, it’s worth it to look into the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), a set of usability standards developed by the World Wide Web Consortium. With three levels of compliance (A, AA, and AAA), your website needs to hit the AA level to be legally compliant. For more information, we recommend heading over to their official website.
Here are some quick ways to increase your own website’s accessibility and compliance:
Even if your website doesn’t fall under a public accommodation, it’s 100% worth it to be as accessible as possible. This way you don’t risk losing out on potential supporters and you’re providing an equally engaging experience for all.
While your nonprofit website should be linked within the Facebook fundraiser, there will be times the users simply look up your name on Google to find out more. This is when search engine optimization (SEO) becomes important.
SEO is the process of optimizing websites and their page content to rank highly on search engines results pages. To choose the ranking, search engines will crawl web pages and look for keywords that relate to the search intent. Then, the search engine will index them according to how relevant and valuable the site content is. SEO is the act of making your website easier for search engines to crawl and index.
Since billions of online searches happen everyday and there are certainly other sites that use the same keywords that you do, prioritizing SEO is critical if you want to engage supporters on your nonprofit site and encourage them to give.
How do you know if your website is SEO optimized? Let’s consider what Google looks for when it crawls pages:
If you want to capitalize on your new Facebook donors, making your website easily discoverable when searching for it is essential. Without an SEO optimized website, you’re missing out on a crucial component of your digital strategy. In the end, Google and other search engines are looking for high-quality content. Using the tips above and this helpful SEO guide from Moz, you too can have an optimized website.
If you scroll down your Facebook newsfeed, you'll likely stumble upon one or two fundraisers hosted by your friends. Perhaps they started it in celebration of their birthday or because they’re participating in an online Facebook Challenge. No matter the reason, Facebook fundraisers are key ways for nonprofit organizations like yours to meet new supporters.
To start these relationships off on the right foot, having an engaging and informative website is key. Use the tips above to optimize your own website and engage new supporters beyond the Facebook platform.
About the Author:
Allison Manley, Director of Marketing & Communications at Kanopi
Allison is a recovering (and award-winning) designer who applies her creative and organizational skills to marketing strategy for Kanopi. Her diverse, multi-disciplinary background — which in addition to design includes glassblowing, publishing, podcasting, and figure skating — contributes to strong relationships to which she offers a broad perspective.
Her job is to tell the story of Kanopi by sharing information, writing, working with staff and partners, and keeping the brand cohesive across all channels. And since she maintains this site and wrote this, she can say she considers it a privilege to be able to work every day with fun, smart people who make her job easier; her colleagues keep clients so happy with solid work and processes that the clients, in turn, are obliging in helping Allison with case studies and positive feedback.
When not keeping the Kanopi brand on point, Allison is working on double jumps on an ice rink, chasing small children, or organizing something somewhere.