Preparing for a major fundraising campaign is a complex, laborious process for nonprofit organizations— preparing a nonprofit website to support a major campaign is just one facet of the planning! To help keep your ducks in a row during the planning process, we’ve put together a master checklist of items to prepare ahead of a major nonprofit campaign.
Whether planning a campaign 10 months or 10 days in advance, there are some crucial aspects of your website that need to be in tip top shape to ensure your nonprofit reaches its campaign goals!
Set Website Goals for the Campaign
The very first step in preparing for your fundraising campaign is to set goals. These goals, while primarily focused on raising funds and securing new donors, should also include goals for your nonprofit website. These goals can range from increasing website traffic to improving SEO rankings. All of your fundraising and donor goals can be tied into the effectiveness of your homepage design, online donations process, and more. Identify current gaps in your fundraising methods, pick anywhere from one to three areas to work on, and showcase those goals in your online campaign messaging.
Your campaign messaging will be plugged into your marketing channels. These can range from your website, social media accounts, email, direct mail, SMS text messaging lists, and more. Though the range of marketing channels varies, decide which primary avenue of communication will best support your campaign marketing efforts. Be sure to ask the following questions when developing your marketing strategy:
- Why is our organization running this fundraising campaign?
- What makes this campaign unique?
- What will donations and volunteers to this campaign accomplish for our mission?
Communicate with donors
Even if your nonprofit’s fundraising campaign isn’t launching for a few months, it is smart to communicate with donors to put the campaign on their mental calendars. It is your job to get donors excited about participating in your major campaigns, so altering them about donation opportunities with plenty of time to plan is crucial.
To avoid flustering your donors to make donations on the fly during your campaign, send out a few pre-fundraising emails, newsletters, or social posts to communicate the fundraising or event details about your campaign.
Check online donation forms
High-functioning, quick, and easy donation forms are a necessity for the success of your fundraising campaign. This is especially true if your major fundraiser is primarily web-based. To ensure your online forms are operating at full capacity, run user tests to recognize and assess any potholes in your online donation process.
It’s also a good idea to have your team run through these essential website functionality questions before your campaign launches, to truly understand the functionality of your donation process:
- Does your website have an SSL to provide security and trust with your website visitors?
- Is it easy for website visitors to find your online donation form?
- Is your website mobile friendly and is it easy to make a donation from a phone?
- Does your website load quickly so visitors don’t get frustrated and leave before completing their donation?
- Does your donation form offer recurring donations?
- Does your donation form properly total and display donation amounts?
- Are donations properly processed through your payment processor? Do you offer a fee recovery option to allow donors to cover the processing costs (and does your form accurately compute these fees?)
- Do you get notifications when a donation is made?
- Does the donor receive an email receipt and thank you message after their donation is processed?
Plug campaign on nonprofit website
When your campaign marketing materials are ready to launch, prioritize getting that important information on your nonprofit website as soon as possible! There are several ways to plug your campaign into your website that effectively capture donor’s attention.
The Do More 24 campaign has a countdown to their launch day at the top of their homepage, so it is the first thing site visitors see. Additionally, they have last year’s fundraising amount listed so donors can see the success of the campaign firsthand.
It is also wise to have a large, very visible call to action on your nonprofit website homepage. Even if it is months ahead of your campaign launch, having a call to action banner, button, or graphic that says “Sign Up for Campaign Updates” or “Join the Cause Today” will encourage donors to stay up to date on campaign happenings.
Make website mobile responsive
Everyone is on the go these days! To ensure you are maximizing donations and donor engagement on your website, be sure it is designed to be mobile responsive. This means it is easy for donors, volunteers, and site visitors to learn more about the campaign and make a donation while on the move.
Promoting a nonprofit website that isn’t mobile responsive is a one-way ticket to losing potential donors. Be sure to triple check before your fundraising campaign launches that your site is clean, organized, and easy to navigate.
Capture campaign media
A picture says a thousand words! Sit down with your marketing team and map out several graphics, perhaps even a campaign photoshoot. If you can create a campaign video, that’s even better— video ads are more effective in digital marketing than still images!
Planning out campaign media beforehand makes your social media strategy fall into place easier. If you know you have a solid group of graphics, photographs, even a video, you can plan how many original posts you can build over the course of your fundraiser. If you are behind schedule and need to develop campaign imagery in a flash, Canva is a great option to build creative graphics and video for a fundraising campaign.
Also, be sure to have your social media feeds linked to your nonprofit website so site visitors and donors can stay connected! This is especially true if your fundraising campaign has different social media accounts than your nonprofit’s regular accounts.
Are you ready to take your nonprofit website to the next level?
If you are in the thick of planning your nonprofit organization’s next major fundraising campaign, we can help you optimize your nonprofit website to maximize your efforts and reach your campaign goals. Contact us TODAY for a FREE 15-minute consultation!