In the heart of Delhi, two spirited individuals, Meera and Suresh, set out on a mission to make a difference. Each started their own charity: “Educate India” led by Meera and “Bright Future” steered by Suresh.
Meera, who had some experience in social work before she started her own charity, knew the importance of online marketing for a charity in the present world. She understood the power of the digital world and allocated $1500 a month for SEO and online advertising. She enlisted an SEO agency to optimise her website, develop engaging content and create impactful online ads. Her goal was to reach potential donors far and wide through her charity website, EducateIndia.
Suresh came from a more traditional business background and was heavily influenced by how his grandfather and father had started and grown their business back in the 20th century. True to his beliefs he was reluctant to pursue online marketing for his charity and relied on local donors, fundraisers and word-of-mouth publicity for his charity, Bright Future. He believed his telecallers would be able to get people to believe in his cause and draw in donations – forgetting that times have changed. His website just existed because he needed to show his donors that he ran a legit charity. Nothing else.
Fast forward three years and the fruits of their strategies were abundantly clear. Educate India saw a steady rise in its website traffic. From an average of 1,000 visitors each month in the first year, it saw a jump to approx. 2,500 per month in the second year, and an impressive 6,500 in the third year. At the end of 3 years, it was drawing in 10,000 visitors a month to its website. In contrast, Bright Future averaged a modest average of 200 visitors each month in the first year and 300 in the second and third years. Its site visitors were peaking at 450-500 visitors a month at the end of 3 years. It had something going for it though. Since it relied on telecalling to generate funds, the charity’s telecallers were able to make around 5,000 calls a month from the first month itself.
You would think that 5,000 calls a month would help Suresh get more funds for his charity than what Meera could get for hers. But that was not the case. Meera’s charity beat Suresh’s in receiving donations by a long margin. Let’s understand how this happened.
The conversion rates and donation amounts for online donations and telecalling are different. The average online conversion rate was around 4% for Meera’s Educate India and the donation amount averaged $50 for every successful conversion. Suresh’s had around 1-2 conversions a month from his website and his telecallers got a 0.75% conversion rate with an average donation of $30.
This means Meera’s Educate India was receiving an average of 40 donations a month in the first year, 100 in the second, and 260 in the third. Suresh’s Bright Future, on the other hand, was receiving just 26-27 donations a month. With an average donation of $50, Educate India received an average monthly donation of $2000 in the first year, $5000 in the second and $13000 in the third year. Bright Future was struggling with $780-810 a month.
Forget about the three years, Meera’s charity had raised more than double that of Suresh’s charity in donations in the first year itself.
Over the three years, Meera’s total investment in SEO and online ads was $54,000 ($1500/month x 36 months). However, her total donations over the same period were a hefty $240,000, giving her a net gain of $186,000. The cost of SEO and online ads was more than offset by the donations it brought in, turning the charity into a sustainable and impactful venture.
In contrast, Suresh’s Bright Future, without any SEO investment, struggled to break even with total donations of $28,080-29,160 over three years.
This tale of two charities underscores the impact that strategic SEO and online advertising can have on non-profits. The initial cost may seem significant, but the long-term returns can make a world of difference, turning a fledgling charity into a thriving, sustainable one.
In case you want to know more about how you can use SEO and online marketing to grow your charity, email us at [email protected], and we will help you understand how you can raise more funds for your charity.
Note: Names of people and charities have been changed for reasons of privacy.