You put in a lot of effort for your cause, doing good work, organizing volunteers, and raising funds. It is now time to get the message out and share your work with a website.
A well-designed website is one of the most effective ways for your charity to gain attention, promote its work, build trust, and have a more significant impact. You can also use your charity website to raise funds, coordinate events, mobilize volunteers, and share successes.
With all of that in mind, today we will cover some of the many elements that should be considered and implemented when attempting to launch a successful charity site for your organization.
Media Outreach is Key
Create a comprehensive, integrated media outreach strategy. Concentrating on your online media efforts will yield the best results because they will publish direct links to your site.
But keep in mind that simply launching a website will not be considered newsworthy by the media.
- What issue does it address?
- Who are you attempting to assist with the website?
- Can you incorporate any other news into the announcement?
When you answer these questions unbiasedly, and address the solution appropriately, you can decide to launch your charity website.
Submit to Appropriate Charity Directories and Lists
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital aspect in driving traffic to your site, so whether you’ve just started, you won’t have anybody linking to you, or you might have no information on your site to pique visitors’ attention.
Submitting your sites to directories like Open Directory is a great way to quickly build links and connect with sources that your target audience will be interested in.
It’s also a good idea to contact any websites or blogs that already have an active list of charities and non-profit foundations listed on their site. A great example of this can be seen here.
And if you are having a hard time finding different site lists and directories like these, simply search Google and start reaching out to each site individually.
Promote Your Charity Website On Social Media
In a similar notion to the preceding strategy, discuss site developments on your social media channels.
- Do you have any new content that you’d like to share on Facebook and Twitter?
- Is there a fantastic site tour or demo you could upload to YouTube?
- Have you installed share buttons on your site so that users can share content they find fascinating with their networks?
By including Facebook Like and Twitter Follow buttons on your website, you will expand your organization’s online community and create more opportunities to promote your website content through these “opt-in” services.
With social media giving immediate access to billions of users around the world, it’s a huge access for any charitable organization — no matter where their focus and charitable efforts might be located.
Start a Blog From Your Main Charity Site
Blogs are an excellent way to boost your organic search engine rankings and traffic while still keeping visitors interested in your blog over time. Writing about future trends, media attention, announcements about new features, material, or case studies about how people use and find value in your platform will help you generate long-term interest in the project.
With so many different charities out there and great causes needing more attention, a blog is a great way for every organization to lay out their own mission statement, guidelines and more.
Blogging has helped many individuals and brands go from just being a sole-person with a site, to becoming huge multi-million dollar companies and also bringing their cause and mission to the masses.
To learn more about how a blog can make a big difference, take a look at our recent article on ordinary people who went on to change the world in a positive way.
Write Guest Posts for Well-Known Websites
Writing posts for other blogs is an excellent way to get people to visit your website. Guest blogging is now one of the most successful marketing techniques for raising brand awareness, creating high-quality backlinks, and driving referral traffic to a website.
Look for websites that are already attracting your target audience and request to post an article to their website. Some site owners may charge a small fee, while others are free.
And when it comes to packaging all of that content up and making it accessible for others to find, personal and reach stories that relate with others often works best. A perfect example of this can be seen in this article from Craig Kielburger, in which he talks about the inspiration behind his charitable efforts and helping those in need — no matter where they might be located in the world.
With news outlets and media always looking for feel good stories, this is an excellent way for charities and philanthropists to improve awareness and focus on their end goals and continued efforts.
Consider Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
Paid search, such as Google AdWords, is one of the best ways to drive immediate traffic to your website or charitable cause.
To start, study your site’s content by compiling a list of keywords, key content, and any unique value propositions that may be used as a call to action. Then, look for these keywords to see what the rivals are doing and which advertisements are ranking high.
You should write the ad copy after researching keywords, making sure to be descriptive to avoid generic expressions. Set a budget and closely track it as you start the ad and begin the PPC campaign to ensure that clicks are cost-effective.
And also don’t forget to implement any best branding practices when doing any type of paid advertising online, as you will want to create a memorable brand and message that your audience remembers time and time again.
If your advertisements aren’t doing well, consider making two or three new ones that use the exact keywords but have different copy. This is a straightforward way to see what happens and what doesn’t.
Create an Advisory Board
First, the board should include several people with extensive experience in the nonprofit sector to assist you with the launch. These people should be available as resources in real-time, and you could meet monthly until operations are established.
Once your charity is up and running, broaden your advisory board to include major donors as well as people with fundraising contacts. Just make sure your board doesn’t get too big. Furthermore, you must be wary of people with large egos who may jeopardize your charity.
Register as a 501(c)(3). This is the IRS code that allows you to operate as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization. Ensure you have a lawyer and an accountant with nonprofit experience advise you on the proper steps to register and operate, so you don’t break any laws. There is a plethora of information available on the internet.
Begin Raising Funds
Even if you contribute your funds to the charity, you will still require assistance from others, including family and friends. However, you will need additional funding from foundations and grassroots organizations. After you have completed all of your planning, you must contact several grant-making organizations that specialize in various fields.
And it’s also important to note that there are many different ways to help a charity outside of just making a financial donation. Some of the most simple ways can be to retweet or share content from their websites or social media channels. And other donations of time, clothing and food can always be of great use as well. All of these important data points should be highlighted on your charity site.
You should be prepared to make a lot of phone calls and give presentations. If nothing comes of them, don’t be disheartened; finding donors takes time and effort. You must be disciplined and professional in your fundraising efforts.
Finally, remember that launching is only the first step in a long process. As professional web developers constantly say, “a website is never finished” – part of your strategy should account for changes you’ll want to make based on how your users interact with the site. And be prepared to maintain activity over the long term, or you’ll end up with a beautiful but underutilized site!