A nonprofit's online presence is crucial for creating trust and reliability. Follow this checklist to make sure you have everything you need to ease your supporters mind.
Imagine you hear about a wonderful cause you relate to and you want to donate to it, however you never heard about the nonprofit before. What would you do?
Most donors like to look up a nonprofit online before donating to it, and that's the reason that your online presence is critical to the success of your fundraising efforts. When a person who doesn’t know your organization is considering supporting you, they first need to know that they can trust you. If this person has never heard of your organization before, they will most likely want to be assured that you are a real nonprofit organization, that the money donated is going to the cause you claim it is and that they can trust you with their personal and financial information.
Follow this checklist to ease your supporters mind by making sure you have good online presence that includes:
Your website is the face of your organization, and as such should be representative and official.
It should have a clear description of your nonprofit and your mission, it should include good quality images that show what it is you do, it should include a section that presents the founder and team, and another section that shows how to contact you, and general information about you. Finally, and most important – your website should have a donation button that leads to a donation page so donors can easily contribute to your nonprofit.
Notice, that your website should reflect your brand. Make sure you are using a clear logo, consistent brand colors and fonts. You should also add links from your site to your social media accounts so that people can read more about you and follow you.
While for many people building a website may sound very intimidating, the truth is that it doesn’t have to be. There are easy solutions today to building a website with platforms such as Wix and WordPress that aren’t very expensive and are pretty intuitive. If you still find it complicated, you can try reaching out to online volunteers with GivingWay and ask for their assistance.
When creating your website, keep in mind your domain. The domain is the web address of your site. When you choose a domain try searching for one that includes your name, that is short and easy to spell, and preferably that ends with one of the following suffixes: .org / .com / or your local country’s suffix (for example in Uganda it would be co.ug and in Ecuador co.ec). While this doesn’t seem very important and can cost extra money, it does give a feeling of how serious your organization is. You can search for available domains and register them in sites like godaddy.com or www.domain.com.
Your social media accounts is the place for you to assure your supporters that you are still active and working hard. This is the place to let your community know how their money is being spent. Update your users on a day to day base about your activity. Share news and photos about the things you care about. Keep in mind that each social platform has different audiences and serves a different purpose and it is important to take that into account.
What all the platforms have in common though is the importance of followers. Having many followers on your page, as well as engagement and activity gives your organization reliability. This means you should be actively inviting people to your page, starting conversations with them and uploading content. Since this is a lot of work, depending on your capacity you should choose which social platforms are best for you.
Tiktok: Is for fun, casual videos that speak to the younger generation. This is a great place to go viral and get awareness for your cause.
Instagram: Gen Z is here, and they are looking for inspiring aesthetic looking photos and short videos. To get good following on TikTok you should be posting regularly even 2-3 times a day. Post positive, beautiful and original content.
Twitter: Is less about the images and more about the text. Share ideas, comment on trending discussion topics and stay relevant to what other people are talking about.
Facebook: Facebook is the ultimate bulletin board. This is the place you can share images, videos and text with no limitations. It’s a great place to communicate with your community and you should definitely have it as part of your social media portfolio.
Youtube: This is the most popular platform among teens. So if you want to connect with this audience be sure to create a lot of video content.
Linkedin: Linkedin is for businesses and guess what? – your nonprofit, it’s a business! Make sure you have a business profile that portrays your mission and brand clearly. Ask everyone on your team to connect as employees of the organization. Posts on Linkedin should be less casual and more official, for example share significant successes, articles you were mentioned in, awards you received etc.
When choosing your social platforms prefer quality over quantity. It's better you are very active on 2 platforms than having 6 inactive profiles on different platforms. In any case, make sure that your logo and name are consistent on all platforms and on your website.
Reviews & Testimonials:
Reviews & testimonials are the ultimate way for people to know if they should trust you or not. The logic is - the more the better!
How to get them: Reach out to anyone that you have been in contact with: Volunteers that worked with you, employees, beneficiaries, other organizations you worked closely with. Anyone that can share that behind your organization stand real people who are doing great things.
Where to post them: It’s easiest if you can use a platform to collect all your reviews. You can do this on Facebook or ask your supporters to give you a review on GivingWay. Once you have reviews post them everywhere! You can add them to your site, or make a post of it on Instagram or Facebook and tag the reviewer.
Be sure to thank the people who dedicated time to give you good reviews. Remember, you might receive some negative reviews, don’t be afraid of it, no one is perfect and it actually adds reliability to your good reviews when you leave the bad ones. Do make sure however to respond publicly to the review. Thank the person, apologize that they feels this way, say you will study what they had to say carefully and that you will try to improve for next time.
References from Other Websites
You know what gives a great sense of reliability even more than you saying terrific things about yourself? Having other people say terrific things about you.
Collect any public reference of your nonprofit and showcase it on your site and on social media. For example, showcase articles written in the news about you, badges you received from other organizations, or present a cooperation you've had with other organizations.
Search Engine Presence
The more online mentions there are of your organization, the more you are likely to appear on Google and other search engines search results. So try to get your name out there. Do make sure that your site is indexed on Google.
You should also add your organization to “Google My Business”. This is a free tool by Google for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence. This tool helps your supporters to find your nonprofit, learn your story and verify your information.
While this article discusses the importance of having a good online presence for creating trust and reliability, online presence is crucial for getting new supporters and more awareness for your nonprofit.
Remember you are not alone! Join GivingWay’s community of nonprofit organizations to share your insights and questions with organizations similar to yours.