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It’s Time To Push Your Year End Fundraising! Is Your Website Ready for The Campaign?

We’re all bravely stepping into the fray that is the year end fundraising season. A lot of things are about to start happening very, very fast.

Appeals will be sent out to the masses, adorned with snazzy video, heartwarming pics, and a plethora of links, most of which will send constituents to your website. But that begs the recurring question: Is your website ready for your end of year campaign?

As you plan out how you will be reaching out to your constituents this season, here are a few things you need to consider for how your website will help you get your hard-won visitors to take action.

Is your content shareable?
No matter what platform you use for your site, you need to give your users the ability to spread your message, especially in times where you are appealing to their desire to make a difference and support your organization. When you create a microsite or decide on the landing pages for your campaign, be sure there are easy ways to share your content on your audiences’ favorite networks. Don’t know what those are? Use a tool like Addthis or ShareThis to gather initial analytics on what sites are used most to share your content, and adjust the buttons accordingly. According to recent research released by ComScore, time spent online using Facebook has surpassed time spent online using search.

Is the path clear?
Are you sending your constituents on a wild goose chase to donate to your organization? Are they hitting any dead ends? Be sure to map out the path you would like your users to take from their initial point of contact (being any medium, social network, email, whatever) to the ‘thank you’ page after a donation. This will also allow you to track how successful your campaign is, and where you may need to improve your content.

Make it easier for online users to donate to you by offering multiple ways to pay. Amazon Payments, Google Checkout, and Network for Good. And remember, experiences, and activity is shareable too, be sure to check what steps in your process you can allow users to share their actions with their network (i.e. I just donated to X cause, you should too!)

Finally, make your appeal something someone would want to share. Tell a story. Use images and video as part of your messaging. Keep it short and directed. And as we always say: incorporate a strong call to action around donating.

Think You’re Ready? Run some tests.
If you’ve completed a nice map out of your campaign, don’t stop there. Test it out. Be sure to run through a few tests outside your office, with a few different situations, to make sure everything works correctly. This will catch problems before they arise in public. Another tip, in the event that your users do have a problem: what will they see? What information will be available to help them get to the next step? Take steps to create pages that, if your user becomes lost, leads them back to where they should be.

Save yourself a lot of time and effort and conduct a short usability lab using paper prototypes. You’ll be amazed by how what seems obvious to you is totally invisible to someone else. Making adjustments early saves time and money as well as improves the performance of your campaign.

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