Giving Tuesday—Get Ready: 5 Things Top Non-Profits Do Well

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GivingTuesday

Get ready for this year’s Giving Tuesday now

We are celebrating the 2nd annual #GivingTuesday, a campaign that spurs web-users to donate to nonprofits all over the world.

#GivingTuesday started last year to combat Black Friday and Cyber Monday, injecting more of the Holiday spirit of giving into what has become a very consumerist week. If you’re like us, and hear about “Black Friday” deals one more time, we’ll scream “YES!”

Last year, the Giving Tuesday experiment was a phenomenal success: online donations were up 50% over the same Tuesday in 2011; Paypal mobile donations soared 487%. This year, 7,500 partners are associated with #GivingTuesday, over 2,500 in 2012, and as the years go on and the movement grows, those numbers are predicted to exponentially rise.

If you’re a nonprofit, and this is the first you’ve heard of #GivingTuesday, get on your social media and get the word out!

If you’re currently building a nonprofit website and want to be ready for NEXT year, here are 5 things the top charity websites do well.

1.) Be clear about what you do – a clear, concise sentence lets visitors know what you’re about.

Michael J Fox Foundation

People should know where their money is going the second they click on your site, so they know what they are being asked to donate to. A one-sentence mission statement should be in a prime spot on your homepage. You want people to click your “donate now” button, give them a reason to show you their love.

2.) Identify Your Audience.

Boys and Girls Clubs of America Homepage

Just because you run a nonprofit doesn’t mean you can ignore basic business sense. Identifying your audience” is vital when building your site. Who is going to be your largest market?  Millennials?  Baby boomers?  Men, women, parents, non-parents?  It doesn’t make sense to give your Children’s Cancer Research website a theme that makes it look like Marilyn Manson’s online diary. Know your audience.

Be smart, do your research, and build something that is on brand. People will support causes they care about.

3.) Make Donating Easy.

Your donation button should appear at least three times on your home page. It should be big, it should be a bright eye-catching color, and your call to action should be clear.

Take a look at the Habitat for Humanity home page below. Their links to donate and all three are in places where your eye is immediately drawn. Their calls to action are clear and easy to find, helping visitors get to the information they want quickly.

Habitat for Humanity NonProfit Homepage

 

4.) Tell your story.

Make sure donors know the amazing stories of your organization by maintaining a blog or a newsfeed. Connecting donations to the people it serves is a huge factor in encouraging people to donate. Include testimonials and real stories of how your charity helped someone. Update often so people see how active your organization is. There are millions of nonprofits out there. Make it extremely clear that yours is putting people’s money to good use.

Charity: Water’s strength is connecting their deeds to their donations.

Website Design for Charities

5.) Use Social Media to engage donors.

Love these highly visible media icons on the Clinton Foundation’s home page.

Clinton-Foundation-Home-Page

Be easy to find/follow on social media and be active on your social media platforms. People love to give—just give them a reason. There are loads of effective hashtags you could be employing to get discovered by thousands of users. Network9 discovers nonprofits through #s all the time. For instance, we connected with thextramile.org, with the #hopetoit, and talked to their founder on Twitter. It’s a great way to connect with people who want to help. After all, #GivingTuesday would never have been possible without social media.

We at network9 can’t wait to participate in Giving Tuesday and hope you, our fantastic readership, do the same.

Did you know it’s scientifically proven that giving makes us happier people?

Of course it’s fun to go out and get some great deals, but generosity, gratitude, and giving are surefire ways to make yourself happy in the long-term, and make a positive impact on the world while you do it.

Giving Tuesday

Join us on Twitter and Facebook to spread the word on #GivingTuesday!

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