Using Websites to Support Charitable Causes
Posted on 29th January 2011
More and more charities are going online with their promotions and fund raising activities. The net has become a blessing for many cash strapped organizations who can now promote themselves without having to spend a bundle.
Charities can now do quite a lot of things online such as
- Showcase their work through articles, photos and videos
- Appeal for donations which can be now accepted throgh credit card gateways.
- Signup volunteers through online forms
- Send regular mailers to keep their supporters informed.
- Use social media sites to spread the message in a more informal way.
However creating an effective website for charity is not easy and although they do not have to be as sophisticated as a commercial business site they do have to be upto a certain standard.
Some strategies for charities looking to go online
- Find web designers willing to donate their time and talent. There are many of them out there who might not be able to give money but can certainly contribute their time ana effort. We too have our own foundation to create websites for charities -http://www.bejonelavia.org
- Use blogs to get online quickly - Blogs are an effective and easy way to get online and start sharing your message. Although not has feature packed as a regular site can be, these can be very effective. But more importantly they are free (on some sites) and don't require much to get started. Popular sites include http://www.blogspot.com and my favorite, http://www.wordpress.com
- Buy read-to-use templates and get a developer to implement them. - This will save you on the cost of designing the website and will not require very advanced skills to implement. However you will need someone who can do the job right. Combined with point 1 above it can be quite a useful idea.
Dos And Donts for charities on their website
- DO make sure you effectively showcase your work upfront. Use lots of photos and wherever possible use videos.
- DON'T be controversial or make accusations against others. Controversy tends to put people off. Be FOR something instead of AGAINST.
- DO state clearly what your requirements are whether its money, goods or services. State the amount and quantity clearly. People will be more likely to give if they know what they are contributing towards instead of some standard appeal for help.
- DON'T use very negative language or images on the site. Putting people off their lunch is not a great way to loosen the purse strings. Use Positive languge and show pictures of hope and good work. Your work may involve a lot of suffering but try to paint an optimistic future. People like to contribute where there is hope!!
- DO include an emotional appeal in the website. No matter how good the work you do is, if it does not reach peoples hearts they will not help. Try to convey the emotional connection to the work. Convey emotions such as love, hope, courage and generosity.
- DO provide a means to make a donation such as a credit card gateway or a process of sending you the payment. Make it clear with proper instructions so that the person is encouraged to do it immediately. Also do highlight the tax advantages (if any) of donating to your cause. A good cause with a personal benefit is a win win for all.
I wish all the wonderful people doing such good work across the world the best and if it was in my power I would give them all a free website.
Our commercial work is viewable at http://www.miracleworx.com