Feature: A Driver’s License to do Good

Putting The Web to Work for Nonprofits

Author: Don Martelli
Published: August 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Nonprofit organizations do an incredible amount of work, typically on minuscule budgets. That's the way it's been and the way it'll continue to be, as hard-working organizers and volunteers try to maximize the use of funds and donations to benefit the cause and people serviced by the nonprofit.

The great news–nonprofits don't need hugh cash reserves to create and maintain an online presence that drives the mission and goals of the organization, especially in our web-hungry, digitally-connected society.  

Here's how.

Keep It Clean and Easy To Read  

Your website needs to speak directly to the people you are asking to donate or volunteer. Ensure that your website features a clean design that is easy to navigate and allows users to quickly get to the content that's most important to them within two clicks. Think twice about using fancy flash graphics. Reconsider if "cool" widgets really help accomplish your goal or if they are "cool" for cool's sake. Forget using expensive, high quality imagery if a simpler approach can be just as effective. Most of all, be you. Be authentic. Just tell the story of your cause.

Get to the Point

Don't beat around the bush with your messaging. Be honest and straightforward. Tell people why it's important to donate, whether that means manpower or financially. Show them how they can get involved. Highlight why the organization can't do what it does without help from volunteers or sponsors. Don't overload site visitors with marketing speak. Share current information and statistics or an emotional angle, the meat and potatoes of your organization's story, and how they can help.

Make it Social

Some of the best marketing you can ever do is empower the people that already support your organization to promote it.  Provide your most passionate advocates with information, statistics and stories to share across social networking sites and with the people they influence. Be sure to include share buttons to your group's Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube Channel, Google+ page, LinkedIn,  etc. Encourage the community to not only join you in the conversation, but also share both your and their stories within social networks (in hopes of getting others involved). Start with 20 minutes a day of Tweeting, Facebook status updating and responding to others' social media activities on similar subjects. Judiciously ask for people to share or Retweet important information. You'll be surprised how much ground you can cover and connections you can make in just 20 minutes.  

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Don Martelli

Known on the social web as “BigGuyD,” Don Martelli is just a dad, moonlighting as a digital marketer, photog and civilian journalist. He's the executive editor for Technorati. Connect with him at www.donmartelli.com.

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