Guest Blog by Anne Stefanyk
Your nonprofit’s donation page is the end product of a lot of hard work from your fundraising and marketing teams. They deliberated every aspect of the page’s design, fine-tuning the wording and imagery until it looked just right. But building (or revamping) your online giving form is only half the battle—now, it’s time to create a strategy for driving traffic to this page.
The more traffic you can drive to your online giving page, the more effective this tool will be for supporting your fundraising efforts. Therefore, it’s your goal to promote your donation page using every channel within your nonprofit’s marketing toolbox to ensure you’re reaching the widest possible audience.
Perhaps you’ve started sharing your new-and-improved giving form in a small-scale rollout, but you’re looking ahead to a more comprehensive marketing push. To generate more traffic for your online giving page, use these four effective marketing strategies:
- Adopt a multichannel social media strategy.
- Use compelling CTAs.
- Incorporate storytelling into your digital marketing strategy.
- Start a text fundraising campaign.
These strategies can help you not only raise awareness about your online giving form, but they will also connect you with better leads. You can reach an audience of new and existing supporters who are inclined to actually click on your page and complete your donation form. This allows you to enhance your organization’s digital strategy with techniques that lead to a higher return on your marketing investment. Let’s get started.
1. Adopt a multichannel social media strategy.
If you’re like 72% of American adults, you use some form of social media. As a nonprofit marketing professional, you know social media is an effective way to grow and engage your online community and increase support for your mission.
However, each social media platform serves a different purpose and engages a slightly different audience. With a multichannel strategy, you can reach different segments of your audience and reinforce your message through repeated exposure.
Before launching your multi-platform marketing push, ensure you understand each social media platform’s general audience. Then, determine the best way to promote your giving page on each network. Let’s take a look at a few popular platforms:
- Facebook: The active audience on Facebook tends to be slightly older—comprised mostly of Millennials and Gen X. Use Facebook to link to your donation page in your posts and any Facebook groups you have for supporters.
- Instagram: Instagram attracts a younger crowd than Facebook, with more Millennials and Gen Z flocking to the photo-forward platform. Share links to your online donation page in your nonprofit’s Instagram page bio and stories. You can also recruit a few influencers to help promote your giving form to their personal audiences. Your influencers don’t have to be social media celebrities with thousands of followers—they can simply be individuals with influence in the nonprofit sector or your local community.
- TikTok: TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform, with millions of downloads per month. Sharing TikTok videos about your organization’s mission is a great way to engage your youngest audience members and introduce them to your cause. You can also link to your donation page in your TikTok bio.
- Twitter: Twitter is a news and information-heavy platform that engages a younger adult audience of 25-34 year-olds. You can share your donation form using Twitter ads and posts.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is often overlooked in nonprofit social media strategies since it’s seen as a professional networking platform. However, LinkedIn is an effective channel for engaging a working professional audience of potential major donors. You can connect with these individuals by using direct messages to invite them to learn more about your organization’s mission.
Keep in mind that your supporters will be slightly suspicious of your social media presence if you only post during certain times of the year, such as Giving Tuesday or the year-end fundraising season. You don’t want to give the impression that you only care about interacting with supporters when you’re trying to raise money.
Create a social media posting schedule to ensure you’re maintaining an active presence and keeping followers continuously engaged. A year-round posting schedule keeps supporters involved with every aspect of your nonprofit’s projects and initiatives, not just your fundraisers.
2. Use compelling CTAs.
A call to action (CTA) is a statement, link, or phrase that encourages supporters to take action and get involved in the story your nonprofit is writing. This could involve urging them to donate, register to volunteer, or subscribe to your newsletter. For instance, you probably already have a donate button on your website’s homepage that links to your giving page.
When you use donation CTAs throughout your nonprofit website design, you can efficiently point site visitors to your online donation form. However, your website isn’t the only aspect of your content strategy where CTAs will come in handy. You can use CTA statements and buttons in your social media content and email newsletters, too. Your email subject lines themselves act as CTAs that urge recipients to open your messages.
To capture supporters’ attention, your CTAs should be:
- Specific and brief. Use simple, straightforward words such as “Donate,” “Volunteer,” or “Become an Advocate.” Keeping your CTAs concise helps to convey the information that website visitors need to know quickly.
- Well-designed. Ensure your CTA buttons incorporate your organization’s brand colors, and use bold text that stands out against the background.
- Urgent. Add urgency to your CTAs by making them more immediate. For instance, use buttons and links that say “Donate $5 Now” or “Give Today.”
The best nonprofit websites bring supporters into the story with specific and convenient ways for them to get involved. Your CTAs accomplish this by catching your supporters’ attention and driving them to your online donation page.
3. Incorporate storytelling into your digital marketing strategy.
If you can connect with supporters on an emotional level, they’ll be much more likely to hear your pitch and consider donating. You must give audience members a compelling reason to give, and one of the most effective ways to do this is through storytelling.
Incorporating storytelling into your donation page marketing campaign appeals to the natural human desire to seek emotional connection and cerebral stimulation. At their core, stories remind us that we’re all much more alike than different, and provide a natural way to inspire empathy.
Here are a few tips for using storytelling to promote your online donation page:
- Know your audience. Who are you trying to connect with? For example, maybe you’re conducting a year-end donation drive and hoping to connect with a younger audience of Millennials and Gen Z. To design a marketing campaign that resonates with your audiences’ motivations, you need to understand what your target audience values.
- Share stories about real people. Telling a story about someone involved in your organization gives a human face to your fundraising campaigns. Tell a real story about a staff member, beneficiary, volunteer, board member, or long-time donor.
- Use data to back up your stories. Incorporate statistics into your outreach campaigns, such as how many people you’ll be able to support with the help of donations. This gives your stories more credibility and authenticity.
When you provide a compelling reason to give to your cause, you can earn new long-term supporters for your mission, rather than just one-time donors. The stories you tell can help construct stronger emotional bonds than the ones created through more straightforward marketing campaigns.
4. Start a text fundraising campaign.
According to Double the Donation’s fundraising statistics, mobile donations comprised a third of all donation online transactions last year. That means connecting with supporters on their mobile devices is more important than ever.
To reach supporters effectively on mobile, you can launch a text-to-give campaign. Here’s how the text-to-give process works:
- Supporters will text their chosen donation amount or a keyword to your dedicated phone number.
- They’ll receive a link to your online donation page where they can complete their transaction.
- Donors will fill out your donation form and receive an automated thank-you message after they’ve submitted their gift.
This process is highly convenient for donors because they can give without having to pull out their laptops or even seek out your donation page on your website themselves.
Ensure your donation page offers a streamlined mobile user experience (UX) for donors so they can easily and quickly complete mobile transactions. Kanopi’s guide to UX for nonprofits recommends streamlining the page to only ask for necessary information, aligning buttons for easier access by finger navigation, and using a few carefully-selected visual elements.
These efforts ensure mobile users will actually take the time to fill out your entire giving page.
As digital fundraising and marketing continue to grow in importance in the nonprofit sector, your online donation page will become more vital than ever. You must have a dedicated strategy for not only optimizing this page but also for driving sufficient and ongoing traffic to it.
The more you can learn about your supporters, the easier it will be to design your marketing campaigns to connect with them on a deeper level. Good luck!
About the author: As Founder and CEO of Kanopi Studios, Anne helps create clarity around project needs and turns client conversations into actionable outcomes. As someone at the intersection of business development, marketing, and technology, Anne provides digital strategy to clients and organizations in the nonprofit, higher education, government and corporate sectors. She enjoys helping clients identify their problems, translating it all into plain language, and then empowering the Kanopi team to execute stunning website solutions that strengthen brands and help companies succeed.
How to Build Your Nonprofit Email List Using Your Website & Social Media
Your email list is essentially the communicative lifeblood of your nonproﬁt.
Okay, that was a little dramatic, but seriously, your nonproﬁt needs a robust and plentiful email list to continue engaging your community and garnering support.
But how does your nonproﬁt go about building this active email list, you might ask?
Via your nonproﬁt’s website and social media proﬁles of course!
J Campbell Social Marketing has partnered with Elevation to bring you this free guide to building your nonprofit email list, using the tools that you already have!