In the modern world, more and more businesses are shifting towards the online environment for everything from encouraging sales to interacting with customers. As a result, growing numbers of people are choosing to research and make their purchases online – and the same can be said for the charitable sector.
Increasingly, people are looking to donate to their preferred charity causes and organisations online or by mobile. This shift towards digital means that charities must be savvy enough to develop a strong online presence to avoid missing out.
In order to assist with this, charities and non-profits can utilise the following methods to harness online traffic and develop a strong, effective brand in the digital landscape.
One of the most important tools available to you when developing an online presence is your website – an essential part of any charity’s digital existence. Not only does your website need to be fast, efficient, and in keeping with your brand guidelines, but it should also be a useful weapon in your online arsenal.
If in doubt, you may find it beneficial to enlist the help of a professional web design agency in order to ensure that your website is as good as it can possibly be – after all, you should never underestimate the power of a sleek, professional website when it comes to encouraging donations!
If you want supporters to donate online via your website, you need to ensure that you have an effective, secure donation platform in place to handle online transactions. Not only is security essential, but your chosen donation platform must also be able to handle a high volume of traffic during peak times – whether it’s a specific time of year, the launch of an urgent new appeal, or a religious festival.
For instance, Muslims looking to donate Qurbani with a charity during the festival of Eid ul-Adha are probably going to donate elsewhere if your website is inaccessible, not secure, or unable to cope with unusually high volumes of traffic.
Social media presents a wonderful opportunity for charities to interact and engage with supporters and donors, showcasing everything from news and updates on current appeals to fun facts, polls, and event details. When done right, social media is a great way to connect with both existing and potential supporters, providing an important way to stay in touch and make the charity seem more friendly, approachable, and beneficial.
If you are struggling to spread the word about your charity and what they do, PR could be a good avenue to go down. Although PR is not strictly online, as it can also encompass traditional media and marketing routes, the online aspect of PR is becoming an increasingly useful tool to harness.
Whether it is releasing press releases about current appeals or upcoming events, encouraging news and media outlets to cover fundraising events, or even just advertising online, these can all be useful ways to raise awareness about your charity.
Put simply, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of trying to get a series of chosen keywords relevant to your charity to rank well and appear higher in search engine listings. When done well, this results in more traffic for your website, and hopefully, more donations.
While it may be best to hire an agency or experienced professional once again to ensure your SEO is done right, the absolute basics of an effective SEO strategy are likely to include choosing the most effective keywords for your charity to target, content optimisation, and ensuring your website is both technically sound and optimised for the best possible user experience. It’s important to note that SEO is a long-term goal rather than a quick fix; similarly, it is a process which is constantly changing as the digital environment evolves.
Of course, the best method for developing and maintaining a strong online presence is to incorporate all of these techniques – and more – into an all-encompassing digital strategy for the brand. Each process interlinks and feeds into the others, allowing you to develop an efficient and effective overall plan of action. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is far from an overnight solution and the best digital strategies often take a great deal of time, energy, and resources to perfect.
If your charity or non-profit organisation is struggling to develop an online presence, it may be time to reconsider your existing website and digital strategy. Focus on the areas that need improvement, try your best to distribute your resources where they will bring the most benefit, and before you know it, you will be actively working on developing your online presence.