A global day of giving.
Giving Tuesday has transformed into a celebration to kick off the charitable season. After shoppers splurge on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they are reminded about the importance of giving during the holidays.
For nonprofits, this time of year is an opportunity to not only collect donations but also earn the trust of new supporters. The best way to prepare is to upgrade your website.
“Your nonprofit website is a vital tool in effectively communicating your mission. Updating it on a consistent basis will ensure that your nonprofit’s message is being heard,” says Hillary Skeffington, communications and partnership manager at Elevation.
So, get your nonprofit website ready for Giving Tuesday. Execute the following five strategies to maximize your success.
1. Hone Your Brand Message
Research reveals that “45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it.” Therefore, it’s important that your nonprofit craft a compelling brand message.
An effective brand story conveys your mission and showcases how your nonprofit contributes to the community. People want to know your goals and why they should pay attention.
Moreover, it should incorporate your intended audience as part of the story. Design your website to include pictures of your volunteers and quotes from your board members.
Write blog posts that discuss the impact of your nonprofit. To reel in more supporters, take the time to give an overview of your history.
“Your nonprofit’s brand voice is an extension of your organization’s values. It should grow out of who you are as an organization and out of the greater purpose of your communications,” states Chelsea Alves, a contributor at Classy.
Below is an example from the Girl Scouts. This header image exhibits its values to build girls of courage, confidence, and character. Visitors can imagine helping young women make new friends.
For Giving Tuesday, donors will be searching for organizations to support. Communicate your purpose by honing an irresistible brand message.
2. Update Your Donation Page
The holiday season is centered around giving. People want to contribute to causes that resonate with their personal values.
But issues arise when visitors can’t find the donation page on their favorite nonprofit’s website or the page won’t load properly. It’s frustrating to the potential donor, so the person just leaves without making a contribution.
Don’t lose donors due to fixable snafus like a slow website. Work with your technical staff to ensure your website can handle an increase in holiday traffic.
Security is also another concern. Take the necessary precautions to safeguard your donors’ credit card information from hackers.#GivingTuesday tip for #nonprofits: Don't lose donors due to fixable snafus like a slow website. Click To Tweet
“Over a third of donation forms either have no security certificate, or a compromised one. Having that friendly green padlock next to the donation page URL isn’t just a security necessity; it’s reassuring to anyone thinking about handing over sensitive information,” writes Elliot Rysenbry, an EveryAction team member.
Branding is essential for donation pages, too. A study found that “custom-branded donate pages nested inside a nonprofit’s website raise 6X more money.”
United Way uses photos of people impacted by people’s donations. The organization also gives supporters multiple contribution amounts to choose from.
Avoid common website mistakes this holiday season. Be prepared to earn more donations.
3. Capture Email Subscribers
In the nonprofit industry, the average open rate for email marketing campaigns is 21%. Supporters are interested in learning about your organization’s activities.
However, your team must entice people to sign up for your emails. To achieve this task, tell visitors what they will receive. Offer exclusive content about your projects or a chance to win tickets to your next fundraiser.
Where you position your email signup form matters. Don’t hide it in an obscure place on your website.
“It’s important that your email signup box be in the right place at the right time. You want to capture a website visitor’s attention when they’re most interested and inspired,” states Yesenia Sotelo, founder of Smart Cause Digital.
Sotelo also recommends placing an email signup form in various locations on your site, including: the sidebar, footer, homepage, and thank you page.
Once subscribed, stay in contact with your supporters. Send relevant information on a continuous basis.
“Be sure to communicate with your subscribers regularly—twice a month ideally, once a month at a minimum. This helps to keep your list active, engaged and more likely to grow and support your goals,” says Steph Drahozal, former marketing coordinator at Salsa Labs.
Make your email signup form front and center on your site. And encourage people to stay with your organization beyond Giving Tuesday.
4. Stick to One Call-to-Action
During the holidays, people are rushed for time. Between shopping and cooking, they may become overwhelmed with a long list of to-dos.
Therefore, keep your message short and sweet. And give your visitors one action to perform.
Copywriter Joel Klettke states the importance of a call-to-action:
“The language of your call to action has a direct impact on someone’s willingness to click and move forward. It’s not enough to have a functional stand-in; you need unambiguous text that’s tied back to a benefit.”
Talk to your team to decide what you want your visitors to do. Should they donate $5? Or send you non-perishable food items? Specificity will help supporters take the next step.
Urgency is key to inspiring people to act. You want people to feel like waiting isn’t an option. The American Red Cross uses this tactic with a red ‘Donate Now’ button.
In addition, one organization witnessed a “90% increase in click-through rate by using first-person phrasing.” So, try sentences like, “Give my donation today,” rather than “Give your donation today.”
Confusing your website visitors is a big no-no. Instead, be straightforward and tell them what you want.
5. Create a Mobile-Friendly Site
Experts found that 91% of the world population owns a mobile phone, and nearly 30% use smartphones and tablets to browse the web, check email, and make purchases.
Increases in mobile use means your nonprofit must be ready to market to this audience. And simply rearranging your full website design won’t work.
Create a mobile-friendly site that possesses larger font sizes, so people don’t have to zoom in and out. Keep the design simple—no complex menus. Furthermore, optimize your images for mobile viewing by:
- Choosing images that are still viewable at smaller sizes;
- Sizing your images to be proportional with all site content; and
- Compressing your images with a photo resizer.
DoSomething.org is a great example of mobile-friendly site. It contains the nonprofit’s logo, a painless menu, and short copy.
Your visitors like options. So, always leave the full site choice available for mobile users.
“No matter how beautiful your mobile website is, always include a “go to full website” or “view desktop version” option at the bottom of your site. Some people still prefer the full site experience and if they do, why constrain them from experiencing it?” states Kristina Cisnero, an online strategist at Hootsuite.
Are you catering to mobile visitors? If not, this is the perfect time to start.
Prepare for Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday is a holiday movement to engage people with charitable participation. It’s also a chance to showcase how your nonprofit is making a difference.
Update your website before the big day by sticking to your brand message. Revamp your donation page to make it easier for people to give. And create a mobile-friendly site to fit the lifestyle of on-the-go supporters.
Take action this holiday season. Upgrade your nonprofit website for Giving Tuesday with HostGator.
Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.