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Web Design and Marketing

Sunday, October 21 2012
Post Stories to Connect With Visitors

A research study discovered that visitors were interested in learning how people had benefited from the non-profit organization. Not only do donors look for this information on the organization's website but they also look for it on the social media sites as well.

The #1 motivator that encourages giving is stories of changed lives.

Users also appreciated being able to quickly make a donation directly from the social media site.

What You Can Do
  • Continually collect stories of how your organization is impacting lives. Write the stories down and get photographs. You may need to stagger their use over time.
  • Choose some of the stories to make a video.
  • Post these stories on your social media pages with a compelling call to action for how you would like people to resond; donate, volunteer, etc.
Posted by: Craig Ludrick AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, October 14 2012
When donors are evaluating non-profit websites they have specific questions that they want answered in a clear and understandable way. If this information isn't easy to find people usually have little motivation to try and find it.

What do people want to know before donating?
  • 62% Mission, goals, objectives, and work (What you do)
  • 57% Use of donations ( How you spend the money)
  • 57% Legitimacy and reputation 
  • 19% Local presence
  • 19% Site security

The most important piece of information...
During the usability study the most important piece of information donors were looking for pertained to what the organization did and how they did it. Users reviewed the Home page and the About Us page in search of these details. The study also discovered that most non-profit sites failed to communicate this vital information. Users were also often annoyed because they couldn't understand a convoluted mission statement. The study found that if users were unable to understand the goals and objectives of the non-profit, they were unlikely to make a donation.

What You Can Do

  1. Give donors the information they're looking for. Make it easy for them!
  2. Make sure you put a clear, well written, easy to understand mission statement on your Home page.

Need help?
Ask the SiteHatcher Support Team to review your mission statement. We are good at it!

Posted by: Craig Ludrick AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, October 07 2012
Why non-profit websites lose out on donations.
Research discovered these primary turn offs:
  • 50% were usability problems relating to page and site design, including unintuitive information architecture, cluttered pages, and confusing workflow.
    • On 13% of the sites, users couldn’t even find where to make a donation.
  • 43% were content issues related to writing for the internet, including unclear or missing information and confusing terms.
  • 8% of the time users simply disagreed with the organization’s approach.
Donation Process Usability testing found that the single biggest problem in the donation process was on websites that use third party payment systems. Websites that utilized e-commerce checkout had far less complications because users knew how to deal with the intuitive checkout process.

Non Monetary Contributions
Non-profit websites scored the lowest satisfactory rating in the usability study regarding non-monetary contributions. Information about how to donate physical items was difficult to find and rarely specific.

What You Can Do
  1. Make sure your site is easy to navigate. Don't make people think! Make it intuitive and obvious what you are wanting people to do.
  2. Writing for the internet is different than writing for print. When writing content for your website write in what is called "scannable text". Scannable text includes using bulleted, bolded, and highlighted text with headings so that the reader can quickly glance at or scan the text to get the overall point.
  3. Keep your website clean and free from clutter.
  4. Use a merchant account for donations instead of a third party payment system. Not sure how to set that up? That's what we're here for! 
The SiteHatcher suport team is here to help you create a website that gets results for your non-profit organization.
Posted by: Craig Ludrick AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 01 2012

1. Make the purpose of your organization clear.
Visitors to your website should be able to quickly determine what your organization does.  How long do you have to state the case for your organization? Not very long. Research shows that users leave web pages after 10-20 seconds, but that if your organization can clearly and compellingly communicate your organization's purpose that you can keep their attention for much longer.

2. What are donors looking for on non-profit websites when deciding to donate?
When a donor research group was asked this question there were 2 categories of information that were most requested:

  1. The organization's mission, goals, objective, and work.
  2. How the organization uses donations.

What they want to know is: What are you trying to achieve and how will you spend my money? Sadly, only 47% of non-profit sites answered the first question on their home page.
Further, only a ridiculously low 5% answered the second question on the home page.

Although organizations typically provided these answers somewhere within the site, users often had problems finding this crucial information. 

3. What information do donors use when making a decision to donate?
In choosing between two charities, people referred to five categories of information. However, an organization’s mission, goals, objectives, and work was by far the most important. Indeed, it was 2.6 times as important as the runner-up issue, which was how the organization uses the money it collects. 

The Question That Your Non-Profit Website Must Answer

People want to know what a non-profit stands for, because they want to contribute to causes that share their ideals and values. Most people probably agree that, for example, it’s good to help impoverished residents of developing countries or patients suffering from nasty diseases. Many organizations claim to do these very things. The question in a potential donor’s mind is how the organization proposes to help. Often, sites that were studied failed to answer this question clearly—and lost out on donations as a result. 

What You Can Do

  • Use the homepage to address the top 2 questions potential donors have. 

Make it easy for donors to find the information they're looking for! Explain the purpose of your organization on the homepage in a clear, compelling, and concise way.

Users in a study of non-profit websites were interested in two things when they considered donating to a charity or non-profit: what did the organization do and how did they use donations? Unfortunately, many users struggled to find this information on the websites that were tested, and very few found this information on an organization’s homepage. 

Need help?
Contact our support team. We have 20 years experience working with non-profits and can help you craft a comepelling mission statement for your organization.

Posted by: Craig Ludrick AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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