For the charitable sector, 2020 could be accurately described as the year of the website. Suddenly our sites became our primary means of communicating with our audience and our primary method of fundraising, as blocks and social distancing reduced our ability to do so in person.
Getting websites to this point has been a long journey. In 2015, a fifth charities have not accepted donations through their websites, despite a continued decline in street fundraising and the success of online donation platforms.
Since then, online donations have multiplied. More than two in five people say they have donated online in the past three months alone, according to the Donor Impulse Report: Summer 2021, of which two-thirds are under 40.
However, a charitable website really makes sense when we think of repeat giving. The Donor Pulse report also identified a correlation between supporters who donated through a charity’s website and those who would be able to remember the charity’s name after giving.
So a good website not only has the power to generate donations, but it does so well into the future as well. It can improve brand recognition and show the seriousness of a charity’s work. Not to mention the importance of websites in service delivery.
In fact, there are so many benefits to building a good charity website that it’s surprising that even in 2015 they are being paid so little attention.
Fortunately, there is help on the horizon, even for charities that have yet to develop their site. The charity software provider Access has created a new resource center to guide charities through the steps of building a successful website. Within the hub there is “The Successful Charity Website Playbook” as well as individual guides, articles and webinars on key topics.
There are five key themes within the hub, each dealing with a different topic that impacts the success of your charity’s website. The first guide covers how to structure a site, including tips on how to identify your audience and what you want to achieve by attracting them to your website in the first place.
Understanding the needs of everyone who might use your site – from donors to recipients – has a huge impact on how you structure it. What are their motivations? What could they need from you?
The guide offers tips on finding the right language and tone of voice for your supporters, as well as how to identify the actions you want them to take. If supporters come to your website to donate, make it easy for them to donate, and they’re much more likely to come back.
Ultimately, the job of a charity’s website is to make it as easy as possible for your stakeholders to get what they need from you. Access’s job is to help you build it.