3 fundraising website mistakes to avoid

July 11, 2014

3 fundraising website mistakes to avoid

The vast majority of nonprofits know they need some form of online fundraising platform to maximize their outreach and bring in as many contributions as possible. The process of engaging with contributors and convincing them to donate on the Web is different than doing so in person or though the use of direct mail. Charitable organizations need to make sure they're utilizing the advantages offered by the Internet, such as offering options for users of both mobile devices and traditional computers to donate, as well as avoiding common pitfalls that plague fundraising websites.

Here are three of the most frequent mistakes nonprofits should avoid in order to make online fundraising as effective as possible:

  1. Being text-heavy and full of words: There's a place on a nonprofit's website for its official mission statement and the entirety of its annual report, but for new and prospective donors, the landing page is not the right location. NPEngage pointed out the need to provide a quick and engaging overview because of the limited attention span most people have when browsing the Internet. If someone wants more in-depth information about a nonprofit, they're likely going to seek it out and use the organizations key data points to make their decision. However, the majority of visitors will want to quickly learn what a nonprofit does and choose whether or not to donate.
  2. Making it hard to learn more: According to NPEngage and in support of the previous point, it's important links to email newsletters and stories about past and current projects are in clear view. Having this information available but not directly presented to new visitors on a landing page is likely the best approach. Many potential contributors will want to learn more, but few will read through every single link provided.
  3. Not providing non-electronic contact methods: The Nonprofit Times pointed out that a common misconception in fundraising is online donors will only respond to further outreach if its through email or another form of electronic messaging. Charitable groups shouldn't limit themselves to using one outreach tool once potential donors have expressed interest. Phone calls can prove to be effective for getting further gifts when the time comes and direct mail and other methods can be used to raise awareness as well.

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