Welcome to part 2 of our blog series, "Level-Up Your Fundraising."
In this series, we're going to help you maximize your fundraising revenue by providing 11 great tips for raising more money with less stress and hassle for your team… and without the need to hire new staff or dramatically increase your fundraising budget. These 11 tips span the most common strategies used by organizations to raise money to support their work and apply to nearly every organization, large or small.
If you missed part 1 on Events, you can view it here. Now, without further ado-
Part 2: Understand the True Fundraising Purpose of Your Website
Your website probably has lots of purposes. You may sign up volunteers through your website, advertise your client services or schedule appointments, offer information to the press and public, or post public resources on your website. You may even offer brochures or white papers through your site. Of course, your website has a fundraising purpose as well – you use it (or should be using it) to raise money as an integral part of your development strategy.
Your nonprofit’s website serves as the central hub of all your organization’s online fundraising efforts. Everything you do online, including e-mail marketing and social networking, should be focused on driving people back to your organization’s website. When you’re working on Facebook… drive people back to your website. When you’re sending out an e-mail newsletter… include links that drive people back to your website.
Why? Why do you think it is important to drive people back to your website? What do you want them to do there that they can’t do almost any place else?
Do you think it is so they can click on your big green “DONATE NOW” button to make a gift to your organization? That would be great, but no, that’s not the primary reason to drive them back to your website.
Do you think it is so they can read all the great information you have there, or see all the pictures you posted from your latest fundraising event? Nope… that’s important too, but it isn’t the main reason to send them back to your site.
The first and foremost reason you want people to visit your organization’s website… the reason you spend the majority of your efforts online trying to drive them back to your place on the web is so you can collect their e-mail address.
Think about it… with any luck, thousands of people will view your website and look at your social media pages each month, week, or day. For most of those people, you will never, ever know who they are… you won’t have any way to get back in touch with them either. Even if they like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter, they’ll only read your stuff if some serendipity happens – if they’re online when your message comes across their feed and happen to be in the mood to read what you are writing. In other words… for most of those people, you don’t have any control in communicating with them.
With e-mail, on the other hand, you’re in the driver’s seat. Most people check their e-mail more than once per week, and most people at least scan each and every e-mail they get (at the very least, they look at who each e-mail is from and what the subject line is, then decide if they want to read further). When you have someone’s e-mail address, and his or her permission to e-mail them, you control the pace of the communication. You know that you have at least a fighting chance of getting through the clutter and getting people to read what you send.
We’re in a permission economy. The best type of marketing that you can do is permission marketing, which means sending messages about your organization to people who gave you their permission to do so.
So – the goal of your online activities is to drive people back to your website and the purpose of your website is to get people to give you both of the follow:
(a) their e-mail address
(b) their permission to communicate with them.