On average, a development director makes $73,313 a year as of July 26, 2022, according to a study done by Salary.com.
And most Executive Directors will agree that it is a worthy investment; they play a vital part in the nonprofit, working closely with the CFO, and bringing in revenue streams to a non-profit (grants, donations, special events).
In the online world, your website is a high-performing fundraiser. It works, not an 8-5 job, but 24/7 to attract new foundations, convert new donors, maintain relationships, and ask for nothing more than protection from hackers and malware. Yet, many nonprofits do not realize their potential and consider them nothing more than a digital brochure, a set and forget tool, classed as an expense instead of an asset.
Except they are not; treated correctly, your website will support your organization in creating a buzz about your nonprofit, driving growth and a long-term income stream.
So what does it take to turn your website from an advertisement to a thriving hive of donor generation activity?
Think Long-Term Digital Relationships
A high-performing fundraiser cannot develop a successful portfolio of donors overnight, nor can your website. It has to develop a relationship with the search engines that direct traffic to your website. Search engines are powered by content; the more you provide them with fresh and unique material, the more referrals you will receive. Material includes blogs, news updates, non-stock images, and search engine optimized content bursting with keywords and answers to your target audience’s questions.
Many nonprofits fail to maximize the potential of their website, considering it a one-off purchase instead of a relationship that needs to be kept caffeinated and up-to-date with what your nonprofit has to offer (and what their supporter wants to hear).
Your website is a vital communication tool for your business. Train it to speak the language of our target audience, and it will reward you handsomely. Online donors, clients, and volunteers are looking for solutions to their problems, and there are a million options from which to choose. They also want information they can trust and that your organization is trustworthy. Your website can provide this validation for them through:
- Blogs that cement your position as an authority on your services to the community.
- Easy shareability on social media platforms, creating a buzz of affirmations that direct their friends/family/work colleagues to your organization.
- Provide opportunities for posting testimonials next to community-oriented images of your branded nonprofit.
- Opportunities to become involved and allow your website visitors to easily become involved in your nonprofit, whether it’s to support or receive services – 24/7.
Download our FREE Guide to Gathering Story-Telling Testimonials
Create authority and social proof for your nonprofit website, social media, and online case studies by knowing the EXACT questions to ask for a perfect story-telling testimonial.
Overcome Objections Before it Even Becomes a Question
Successful fundraisers know their nonprofit organization inside out and have already figured out the answers to their potential objections to donating long before their first interaction. For your website to become your number one fundraiser, you must ensure that its contents also answer every objection your visitor will have (or at least the three most common ones).
Invest in a Plan for your Website
Failing to plan is a plan for failure, as the saying goes. Just as you wouldn’t let your fundraiser begin campaigning without a strategy, nor should you publish your website without a clear strategic plan and analysis of your digital marketing needs and online target audiences. Questions to ask of your digital strategy include:
- Where does our target audience hang out online, e.g., Facebook, Instagram, News sites, E-zine?
- How do they find us and our competitors, e.g., keywords, referral sites, social media, organic searches?
- What frameworks will yield the most return on investment, e.g., blogging, social media, vlogging, podcasting, YouTube channel?
- How will we digitally network and refer people to our website?
Dress Your Website to Impress
Your website is the storefront window of your nonprofit online, and it has to be dressed for success. You only have a matter of seconds to convince your prospective visitor’s eye (and brain) that they should check out what you offer and that they don’t have to look elsewhere for an answer.
Your website is a reflection of your nonprofit’s brand and the message you are sending to the world. Yes – our nonrpfoits is accessible, professional, trustworthy and better than anywhere else. You communicate this through:
- Providing an experience that is accessible and easy to use on mobile, laptop, and desktop.
- Answers their questions of location, mission, services, reliability, and availability with ease.
- Enticing content that speaks to them and highlights why they should choose your nonprofit.
- Promotion of your NPO’s brand story and the similarities between you. e.g., ethics, values
Schedule Regular Performance Reviews for Your Website
Numerous reporting features can be built into a website that can tell you how well your website attracts community leads, donor & volunteer conversions, how long people are spending on your site, what pages they like and which ones they don’t. The most common of these is Google Analytics which can tell you which pages are doing better than others and where there are gaps in service.
A Study in Success
Buzzworks create websites that work for their nonprofits. In November 2020, we undertook a redesign of Azle Community Caring Center and created a community-oriented brand with engaging content and an optimized donor page. It quickly showed an impressive return on investment. After launching, they instantly saw what they had been missing – an easy way for the community to support them through online donations. Their website continues to work hard for them, and they have a digital strategy to keep supporters and volunteers engaged. No additional PPC (pay per click) was required to achieve these results. CCC is growing, and they are starting to look at a campaign for a building capacity fund. CCC’s investment in their digital fundraiser executive has paid off, and they now consider their website and digital strategy a valuable asset, not an expense.
Let’s get one thing clear – we are not saying you should replace your fundraisers with a website, they operate in different worlds, after all, but we do think that if you want your website to work as well as the top fundraiser, you do need to treat it with the same time, care and attention as you do your human staff.
Your website is much more than an online brochure; talk to us today to discuss how the team at Buzzworks can provide your website with the makeover and training it needs to become your number one fundraiser.
Book your FREE 30-minute assessment.
Let us take the sting out of your website. Align your nonprofit goals with your digital marketing strategy to attract your ideal donors, volunteers, and clients.