Why building trust is key to content strategy

Creating a level of trust between a charitable foundation and donors can be difficult, especially given the investigations conducted by various watchdog groups and journalistic enterprises into the overhead costs associated with third-party fundraising groups. 

Develop trust
However, according to research conducted by Elizabeth Searing of Georgia State University, communities that experience prolonged periods of economic distress tend to develop higher levels of trust. In fact, the study highlighted a 9 percent increase in the probability that individuals believe people can be trusted in general after a series of years of economic downturn. The research suggests community members that experience financial hardships may be able to take advantage of an increased sense of confidence to improve their circumstances by investing  in social welfare programs. 

Considering the U.S. and much of the rest of the world are just beginning to come out of a period of economic stagnation, charitable organizations have an opportunity to strengthen relationships with their donors. One way that organizations can accomplish this is by developing a content strategy that builds off the strengths of the charity at heart of the foundation. Websites are the portal through which potential donors access information regarding the work of charitable organizations. Moreover, online donation forms provide visitors with an easy way to contribute. To lead contributors to raise funds for a particular project or organization in general, the philanthropic enterprise must make the case for giving.

Use software to predict behavior
According to the Philanthropic Journal, not enough nonprofits effectively deliver their messages to donors and the public. The first issue is identifying who will be the most likely to contribute to a specific fundraising campaign. During this step, donor management software with integrated payment processing can be an asset for any organization looking to take advantage of constituent data reflecting past donations. This kind of information is particularly useful because individuals tend to develop spending habits, meaning whatever program or campaign that resonated with them in the past will likely continue to be pertinent to their interests.

In addition, it's important for charitable foundations to identify what kind of impact they want their content to have on donors. There are differences in the way people approach giving money to a foundation as opposed to signing up for a weekly e-newsletter. Consequently, organizations should be clear in their purpose from the outset, telling donors and website visitors the reasoning for the fundraising initiative and how it reflects the broader interests of the charity.

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