Websites have become one of the most important elements of an organization’s external image. When someone wants to know about what you do or who you are, they go directly to your website.
But did you know that most visitors make a decision about your organization’s website within 10 to 15 seconds? Based on their first impression, they will quickly choose to either stay on your site and explore, or move on to another organization instead. The same is true of your Facebook Page.
This means that you must grab their attention and communicate who you are with just a few words and images. You want to make it easy to navigate throughout your site, so that your different constituents can quickly find the information they need. And you should make your calls to action jump out, because most engaged visitors will still spend no more than 2-3 minutes visiting a website and you want them to take some sort of action before they leave.
Your visitor will form their impression of your organization based on a combination of tone, images, colors, and a few key messages they assimilated during their short visit. You want to make sure that they come away with the right impression, and give them a reason to return so that you can begin to build a relationship.
We recommend several steps to strengthen your online presence:
1. Ensure that your website and social media platforms are up-to-date, consistently branded, and easy to navigate.
2. Develop a clear communication plan complete with core messages, message sequencing and campaigns, that includes your entire online media mix.
3. Integrate your technologies to make them easier to manage and seamless for the visitor interacting with your organization online. For example, you can stream dynamic content from your website to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, without having to even log in. You can embed videos from your YouTube channel so that visitors view them without having to leave your website or Facebook Page. You can also integrate website comments with your Facebook Page to increase interactivity, use content from your website to build your e-newsletter, and allow visitors to become Facebook fans directly from your website.
4. Create benchmarks and use monitoring and evaluation tools like Google Analytics, social media management tools and analytics from your email blasts, to learn from your constituents and strengthen your messaging and calls to action to maximize your impact.
Upleaf can help your organization build an online strategy tailored to your constituents, your institutional objectives, and your budget, and roll out all of the steps above.
The proportion of donations to charities made online in the United States is increasing rapidly, at a time when overall charitable giving continues to slow. It comes as no surprise that both individual donors and nonprofits are turning to online giving– it is quicker, easier and more cost-effective for everyone involved.
Upleaf works with a host of free, donated or open-source technologies to help support our clients’ online fundraising strategies, for example:
- Facebook Causes Nonprofit Partner Center (allows nonprofits to fundraise and organize through Facebook)
- Vertical Response (top-rated mass emailing tool that donates 10,000 free emails per month to nonprofits)
- Salesforce (premium constituent relationship management system with a nonprofit donation program)
- Google Grants (awards up to $10,000 worth of monthly advertising for nonprofits using Google AdWords)
- PayPal (quick and easy online donation processing with no monthly fees)
Using these powerful yet low-cost technologies increases efficiency, eliminates monthly fees and software expenses, and enables small nonprofit teams to reach large numbers of potential donors– all at a fraction of the cost of related offline fundraising campaigns.
Upleaf builds client tools such as online giving pages to make one-time and recurring donations quick and easy; email and social networking campaigns to increase individual contributions; donor tracking and grant management tools; and comprehensive online marketing and communication strategies to ensure that messages are compelling and consistent.
Building and maintaining strong relationships with your constituents is the most cost-effective way to meet many non-profit objectives. For example:
- Constituents with a strong sense of loyalty to your organization are likely to donate or take action when asked;
- People who have had a good experience with you will be quick to help promote your events or campaigns;
- Individuals or foundations who have donated in the past will probably donate again if you keep cultivating the relationship;
- Volunteers are likely to return if you keep them engaged.
Building strong relationships is an essential strategy for all nonprofits, and there are several online communication strategies and tools that can help. Giving your constituents ways to get involved in your mission online helps them feel connected to your work and builds loyalty. Constituent relationship management tools make it easy to track, sort, evaluate, and follow-up on all types of key relationships– saving your small team precious time while making sure that no one falls through the cracks.
To learn more about how your organization can build stronger relationships with your constituents, please visit the following pages: