How Nonprofits Can Market Their Crowdfunding Campaigns on Their Websites

Image Source: Pexels

Contemporary nonprofit organizations have some distinct advantages. One of the largest is a new donation model in the form of crowdfunding. However, with so many campaigns vying for attention, your nonprofit’s approach to marketing your crowdfunded project has to be impactful. 

When developing an agile marketing campaign, you need to consider how your website can play a key role. After all, it acts as the storefront for many of your donors. Not utilizing it effectively can mean missing out on pledges.  

Let’s review a few of the ways you can market your crowdfunded project on your website. 

Create Supportive Content

When it comes to utilizing a website for crowdfunding, some nonprofits just focus on a single page. Though you should absolutely have a page dedicated to your campaigns, you should also remember your website can be a more agile tool. One of the most important roles it can play in marketing your project is as a host of content to funnel your target audience.

Focus on quality and relevance in your content. Potential donors want to understand more about how your organization works. Creating content here helps to build trust and enthusiasm for the campaign. It also has a role in drawing more people to your website in the first place. 

Ensuring the content you produce is of high relevance and quality can boost your search engine optimization efforts for your campaign — as long as you’re following Google’s Core Web Vitals and adhering to other important ranking factors. It generates backlinks and gives you opportunities to incorporate keywords into your site. When approached strategically, the content on your site can be the most effective marketing tool you have.  

To squeeze the most out of your content, take a multimedia approach. This will catch your target audience’s attention. It also makes it more likely that your content will be shared. Blog posts are definitely interesting for a percentage of your target demographic, but you should also be creating videos and podcasts.  Make sure they are engaging! Include calls to action to draw traffic directly from the content to the main crowdfunding page.    

While not a non-profit, marketing and sales expert, Pam Didner, does a great job of this. Pam uses both video and podcasts to enhance the written content on her website. Here’s a clip from a recent interview Pam conducted with the Founder of this site, Anthony Gaenzle.

Optimize Your User Experience

There are a lot of crowdfunding campaigns out there for worthy causes. Any nonprofit leader knows you can’t draw donors by trying to suggest your cause is more urgent or important than those of your competitors. Rather, you need to give your donors the confidence that, in choosing your campaign, they are putting their finite financial resources in the right place. One of the best ways you can do this through your website is by focusing on your donors’ user experience (UX)

Think of your visitors’ time on your website as a journey. Yes, by the end of this journey you want them to donate to your cause, but you also need to consider what you want them to get out of the process. This might be the sense they’ve played an integral role in making the world a better place.

Design the navigational flow of your website to reinforce the ideas behind the experience. Include touchpoints to restate their role in your mission. Post images or videos to give a sense of the effect donors have on the lives of others. When you understand what you want donors to experience, you can more effectively build a journey that takes them to your campaign page and beyond. 

Oxfam does an excellent job of this. There are plenty of stories on the site highlighting the impact of the charity and taking the site visitor on a journey.

Image: Oxfam is a charity fighting inequality and hunger – Source

Having the customer journey in mind tends to be the simple part of this equation; it’s often more challenging to translate this to your website. This is where a close and communicative professional relationship with a web designer is essential.

Contrary to popular belief, their role is not simply to make your site look good. Web designers are professionals with skills across multiple development disciplines. This could include creating clean user interfaces (UI), designing and applying tests to assess usability, and producing interactive elements. Importantly, they are increasingly vital in optimizing elements for peak UX to meet a variety of client needs.

Talk to your designer about your goals for the experience and outcomes and they can help you to achieve them accordingly.

Involve Your Team

In many nonprofits, a crowdfunding project is the responsibility of a specific team. This can be great for achieving the single goal of getting more people to the campaign page. However, it doesn’t take into account the challenges this may present to other departments or projects.

As such, you need to keep your entire team in the loop. This includes community leaders involved in your nonprofit campaigns. Today’s community leaders are much more tech-savvy, so they will want to be in on the process of building not only the campaign but its website.

Members of each department and organization should be present for the initial planning stages of the campaign. This way, they can voice concerns if changes you make to the website could clash with other projects or marketing imperatives.

It’s also a good idea to include members of your accounting department. If your crowdfunding project sees significant success, any profit acquired can make your nonprofit tax obligations more complex.

Your accountants need to have an accurate perspective of potential income. Specifically, they need to know what activities this may be funding. That way they can make plans to keep your organization within regulations.   

Above all else, this approach makes your website a more collaborative effort. Though discussing these aspects may highlight challenges, it also gives a chance to work together for solutions. There may be ways in which you can design or edit the content to serve multiple campaign purposes. Different departments can provide insights to holistically improve user experiences.

Conclusion

Crowdfunding is an increasingly important part of the nonprofit landscape. Be sure to optimize your website so it can play an agile role in marketing your campaigns. Build an effective content strategy based on quality and relevance and focus on creating peak donor user experiences. And remember that you can get the most out of this asset when various departments collaborate. With some focus, you can help ensure your crowdfunding makes a positive impact on your cause. 

Luke Smith
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