Building a highly optimized, smart fundraising website

Part of building an innovative fundraising website is understanding what the rest of the nonprofit community is doing and adjusting each technique for the unique needs of the organization. Each website is going to have a donation button, an "About" section and a heartfelt story to attract new donors, but figuring out how to be special and engaging in a way that no others have is how today's nonprofits are going to find their target audience and grow their online community.

When it comes time to invest in Internet payment solutions so the organization can accept online donations, nonprofits should also adjust their marketing strategy for the World Wide Web to make sure their new donation tools are well worth the investment. Researching and taking to new ideas can be just the way to do so.

What the stats say
Nonprofit resource Qgiv offered a few different stats that disclose the nonprofit industry's latest trends with online fundraising, including both the good and bad things many websites do. According to the source:

  • 47% of donors over the age of 60 give online.
  • 75% of millennial donors dislike websites that are out-of-date.
  • Online resources are about 20% more useful than direct mail when it comes to influencing donors.

Improving the functionality of the website
Here are four ways for nonprofit organizations to improve their websites and optimize for a better donor experience:

1. Don't hide the best content
Network for Good suggested making the best videos, photos, stories known by putting them at the forefront for visitors to interact with. Establishing connections from day one will keep people interested and engaged in what the nonprofit is all about. Making visitors have to search for the best content is more likely to disengage them and keep them from finding the donate button before they leave the site.

2. Make the donate button obvious
Along the same lines, the donate button should be clear and eye catching on almost every page. From a potential donor's perspective, the website should have additional information in case he or she is interested, but it should also get to the point with a donation button front and center.

3. Have a personal touch
A blog is a great way to make that personal connection with people because it can share meaningful experiences and engaging stories that others can relate to. Link to the nonprofit's blog or embed it in the website and make it easy for visitors to find and read should they need to.

4. Start a social media routine
Social media isn't the end all be all of the Internet, but it can be a great resource to raise awareness and get people involved. Give visitors and donors the opportunity to connect on Social platforms so they can spread the word about a great cause and get more people involved.

5. Create a mobile-responsive website
Businesses and nonprofits used to create two websites: one for desktop users and one for mobile users. Every time changes needed to be made to the website, a staff member would have to make the amendments to both sites, taking up time and increasing the chances for error.

Now, all a nonprofit has to do is create one website that looks beautiful on computers, smartphones, and tablets. 

Donors are able to access the nonprofit's website and online donation form wherever they are, whenever they want!

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