Web and Social Tips for Nonprofits

I recently took a look at the web presence of a nonprofit organization and it gave me a few ideas on how organizations that accept donations might increase giving. I made a donation to this group, and at the end of the online donation process there was no prompt to tweet or post to Facebook that I’d just made a donation. Of course, a motivated user can draft her own post, but a pre-composed push says to donors, “You really should share your values with your followers,” then gives those followers a reminder that they can act too.

Even though I arrived to the main page of the website with the intention of donating, neither of the two donation links near the top of the page immediately stood out to me. Reversing the color of the Donate link in the primary navigation would make the link more prominent than the other navigation links in a way that is simple and consistent throughout the site. Wired Impact, a St. Louis design agency for nonprofits, gives this and other advice in their article on donation buttons: wiredimpact.com/blog/better-donate-button. They have several more articles full of best practice advice for nonprofit websites. 

I also noticed in the organization’s last month of tweets and Facebook posts there were no direct requests for donations outside of Giving Tuesday on November 27. Followers should be reminded about the importance of giving much more often. However, if for some reason that’s not how the organization wants to use their  social networks, they can at least encourage page visitors to share posts with their followers. Carnival Cruise Line’s Facebook page does this very well by giving followers an action to take, frequently and explicitly asking them to like and share.

Stories can also increase engagement. Ask followers to share a post and to add a personal story related to the work of the organization. Also share stories about how donations are used and about the people who work for the organization and why. Give the audience the reasons and materials to be advocates.