How to set website goals for nonprofits

Every nonprofit should invest in a website and social media strategy so they can accept donations online. The Internet is incredibly beneficial for fundraising efforts, but organizations need to make sure they are measuring the progress of their online advocacy efforts.

Just having a website set up and social media profiles is not going to raise donations - it's the way the site is run that will make a difference.

In order to make sure nonprofits have a strong online presence, they need to set growth objectives from the very start. No organization will know if it is growing if it doesn't measure it's progress and check to see if it is reaching it goals for the future.

Here are four objectives that nonprofits should set when getting a website up and running to accept donations online:

1. Define target audience
When starting an online fundraising program, it's important to understand what type of audience it should be geared toward. This will help create the right content, tell a story that will resonate with people and encourage more donations. Sit down the the marketing team and define the target audience of the website for successful growth.

For example, if you have a large base of millennial donors, you might choose to use social media more heavily than you would if the majority of your supporters were baby boomers.

2. Research initiatives
Before any fundraising initiative takes place and throughout the course of the year once the website is set up, it is smart to study the industry and see where online marketing trends are headed. Keeping up to date with technology and know how to continue reaching out to donors in the rapidly changing technological era. This will help increase the number of people who fill out online donation forms over time.

Of course, online trends will likely change within a few years or even a few months. Don't feel like you have to latch on to every single one. Find what new trends work for your organization and your donors, and don't get wrapped up in the others.

3. Number of donations increase
There needs to be some understanding of how many donations the website should bring in yearly, says The NonProfit Times. Setting a specific goal for the number of online donations and how much money is to be raised will help nonprofits see whether or not their efforts are working a few months down the line. The website should offer compelling content and easy donation methods that will both attract new volunteers and grow the number of donors who help fund the needs of the organization.

You'll also need to look at other metrics such as:

  • Average gift size
  • Average donation growth 
  • Mobile vs. desktop/laptop donations
  • Pages visited prior to donation being made

Knowing all of this information will help your nonprofit see where problem areas are and where you're excelling.

4. Promotion proposals
Marketing and advocacy is a big part of the success of an organization, and goals need to be set at the beginning of the year to make sure promotional teams obtain their initiatives by engaging donors. The website is a large part of advocacy strategies and nonprofits need to know if if is doing its job of spreading cause awareness successfully.

Make sure that your promotional materials are consistent across the board. Sending donors mixed signals isn't going to do your organization any favors. Stick with a particular theme, story, or message and use it consistently in your online and offline communication methods.

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