As the world becomes increasingly connected through digital platforms, it is more important than ever for charities to have a strong online presence. A well-designed charity website can help your organisation reach a wider audience, encourage more people to donate money to charity, and ultimately grow your cause. In this article, we will explore the strategies and best practices for optimising your charity website to maximise its potential for attracting and engaging supporters, increasing charitable contributions, and promoting innovative charity fundraising ideas.
#1. Optimise Your Website for Search Engines (SEO)
To reach a wider audience, it is essential to ensure that your charity website ranks high in Google search results. Search engine optimisation (SEO) involves a variety of techniques to improve your website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results. Here is what you need to do:
Conduct keyword research to identify and target relevant keywords. For example, the keyword ‘charity donations’ has over 50,000 Google searches every month. If you are not ranking for the search term in your geography then investing in SEO is something you need to seriously consider.
Create engaging and relevant content that incorporates these keywords naturally. Most people still make the mistake of stuffing in keywords even though that is an outdated technique. Do not follow such practices if you want your intended audience to come to your site and connect with your cause so they make regular charitable contributions.
Optimise meta tags, headings and URL structures to include target keywords. For instance, if you run a ‘social livelihood charity’ then putting those words in the meta, headings and URL of your pages will help you get faster results.
Build a strong backlink profile. You can use different techniques such as guest posting on relevant websites, partnerships with other websites that are serving the same demographic or geography, giving interviews to newspapers and other online media outlets and so on.
Ensure your website has a fast loading speed. There is ample research to show that users tend to move away from slow sites. You may have even done the same yourself when browsing for something. This is why, for instance, we host our client sites on hosting companies that are known for their speed such as SiteGround.
Your website should be responsive. Since most people now use their mobiles to search online, it makes sense to have a responsive website. Opening a site that only renders well on larger desktop or laptop screens is no good if you want to attract a wider audience.
#2. Utilise Engaging and Persuasive Content
The content on your website should be engaging, informative and persuasive. It should encourage visitors to donate money to charity and support your cause. Consider the following content strategies:
Share compelling stories that showcase the impact of your organisation’s work. This could include case studies, testimonials, or success stories from beneficiaries and supporters. This will take some time and effort but the results are far better than simply writing generic content.
Create a blog to share regular updates, news, and insights about your charity and its activities. This not only keeps your audience engaged but also establishes your organisation as an authority in its field. If you or any of your co-founders are experts in your field, then leverage your authority to create content that others cannot deliver. This will ensure your website becomes a go-to site for users interested to learn more about the topic.
Use high-quality media. Good-quality images, videos, and infographics visually represent your cause and appeal to a wider audience. In a sense, you should use all to the extent possible. Images, videos and infographics make your content more shareable on social media. You can even create your own unique images using AI tools such as Dall-E.
#3. Simplify the Donation Process
A user-friendly and secure donation process is vital to convert website visitors into donors. To make it easy for supporters to donate money to your charity through your website, consider the following:
Integrate your website with a reliable and secure payment gateway. Offer multiple payment options. For example, the donation forms we use on our website templates allow you to receive donations through credit cards, debit cards, net banking, wallets, unified payment interfaces (UPI) and PayPal. The more options you offer, it easier it becomes for your supporters to donate.
Create customisable donation forms that allow donors to choose one-time or recurring donations, as well as select specific programmes or projects to support. Look at charity donation websites for charity fundraising ideas. At ClickBiz, this is something our customers get already built in. All they need to do is to change the text and images to replace the placeholder content we put in the forms with their specific programmes or projects.
Clearly display a ‘Donate’ or call-to-action (CTA) button. Make it easy for visitors to find and contribute to your causes. Prominent donation buttons make it easy for users to support your cause. See what works and what does not. Keep adapting to see what forms and locations on the site help you raise more funds.
#4. Leverage Social Media and Email Marketing
Social media and email marketing are powerful tools for expanding your audience and driving more charitable contributions. To utilise these platforms effectively, do the following:
Connect your charity website to your organisation’s social media profiles. Include sharing buttons on your content to encourage visitors to share your cause with their networks. The success stories and case studies you put in your content are powerful social sharing magnets. You will likely get more social shares if you summarise the case studies using infographics or use quality visuals as featured images on the blog post or web page.
Regularly post engaging content on your social media channels. Promote your charity fundraising ideas and share updates about your organisation’s work. You can also add industry news and other relevant content that matters to your audience. The more you share the better it is. Try to post at least:
- 4-5 times a week on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn
- 2-3 times a day on Twitter.
If you do not have enough bandwidth to post so frequently, opt for the other three platforms. You can even choose to have a presence on 1-2 social media channels. This will help you post better more relevant content than generic content on all platforms.
#5. Host and Promote Charity Fundraising Events
Hosting and promoting charity fundraising events through your website can help attract a wider audience and generate more donations. Host 1-2 events in the year and promote them like anything. Here is how you can do it better:
Build an email list of supporters. Send regular newsletters to keep them engaged and informed. Include donation CTAs, event invitations, and updates on your charity’s impact. A good way to go about it is to have a weekly newsletter that updates them on what happened during the week and some thoughts on the same. You can share links to videos showing any activity or event that happened in the last few days.
Create a dedicated events page on your website. Provide information on upcoming events and allow visitors to register or purchase tickets. Use a tool like bit.ly to create a smaller link to the events page and share the same on flyers or posters that you put up. Add a contact number and an email where interested parties can reach you. Reply to all calls received and emails as promptly as possible. This will help reduce your workload and enhance the buzz around the event thereby attracting more participants.
Think of events people will come to see or participate in. Storytelling sessions for kids, or other activities they can participate in, and carnival games like balloon pops, spin the wheel and darts for adults always attract participants. You can also host music shows, plays, and dance performances where local talents can show their skills. Top it all up with good eating options and you are on a roll.
If you have been running a charity for some time, and are still worried about donations, then you should know nothing works betters than a gala or a fundraising event to raise larger donations from wealthier patrons. But putting such an event together is another story.
Share your events on your social media channels and in your email newsletters. Encourage supporters to attend and bring their networks. If you plan your events well, you will not face too much of a problem in attracting a crowd.
Partner with other organisations or influencers to co-host events. Leverage their audience to further expand your reach and potential donor pool. Examples of businesses that can promote such events include car or bike dealerships, finance companies, local B2C businesses, etc. They are always willing to support events where they can attract leads and even find buyers. The donation they pay your charity will be offset by the business they generate from the event.
#6. Encourage Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a powerful way to amplify your charity’s fundraising efforts, as it leverages the personal networks of your supporters. By incorporating peer-to-peer fundraising into your charity website, you can:
Create a platform for supporters to create their own fundraising pages, set goals, and share their progress with their networks.
Encourage supporters to participate in fundraising challenges, events, or campaigns that resonate with them personally.
Showcase the success stories of individual fundraisers on your website and social media, inspiring others to get involved and contribute.
#7. Provide Opportunities for Non-Monetary Support
Not all visitors to your charity website will be able to make monetary donations. Offering alternative ways for supporters to contribute will help you engage a wider audience and benefit from their involvement. You can:
Create a volunteer page on your website, detailing various volunteer opportunities and how interested individuals can get involved. This is an important element behind the success of any charity. Volunteers can not only help with the work but the publicity you get over the years is also phenomenal.
Encourage supporters to donate in-kind goods or services, such as professional skills or resources. Old books and clothes can be resold or re-purposed to generate a steady funding source for your charity.
Promote cause-related marketing partnerships or affiliate programs, where supporters can make purchases that benefit your charity.
#8. Measure and Analyse Your Performance
It is essential to measure and analyse your website performance to keep track of its fundraising capabilities and to keep improving it. Knowing how your audience lands on your website and how they interact with it helps you keep growing your reach and get more donations. Use web analytics tools, such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics, to track aspects such as:
- How they landed on your website, the geographies they are from and the devices they used
- Their numbers, demographics, and behaviour on your site
- The effectiveness of your content and CTAs in driving donations and engagement
- The performance of your fundraising campaigns and events
- The success of your social media and email marketing efforts
By analysing this data, you can identify areas for improvement, refine your strategies, and ultimately optimise your charity website for growth and success. If you are unsure how to set these up or how to promote your site, give us a buzz. We offer SEO for charities and non-profits so they rank at the top of search results.
To Sum Up
A well-optimised charity website is a powerful tool for reaching a wider audience, generating more donations, and growing your cause. Implementing even a few of the many strategies we outlined in this article will help you transform your website into an effective platform for attracting and engaging supporters, driving charitable contributions, and promoting innovative charity fundraising ideas.