Over the past few years, nonprofit organizations have adapted to extraordinary circumstances with the help of the internet. Your nonprofit likely treats its website like the virtual gateway to all things your nonprofit.
With the tools available to nonprofits today, you can achieve unprecedented levels of outreach and success for your fundraising events. Most importantly, you can connect all of your online tools to have an overall positive impact on your guest’s event experience.
If you use your website correctly, you can recapture lapsed donors and grow your support base further. Here are some features your website needs to engage visitors and boost fundraising success:
- An online donation form
- A Seamless User Experience
- An Interactive Calendar
- A Contact Tab
- An FAQ Page
- A Follow-up Survey
- An Online Event Hosting Platform
Let’s explore how you can leverage your website to reach more attendees online than ever before.
1. An Online Donation Form
A key advancement in nonprofit web design has revolutionized the way nonprofits operate: the online donation form. It can be a separate form from your main donation page, or it can be connected to your main form. Placing the form in an accessible location is important so that your attendees can easily donate to your cause. Plus, online donation forms are easily spreadable, as your organization can simply share the link on social media or on its main website.
2. A Seamless User Experience
The internet is known for connecting you with anything you want to know as soon as it crosses your mind. As such, conversion rates are highly dependent on your website’s user experience.
In fact, studies show that a longer load time decimates the conversion rate on the site, meaning your fundraising event attendees will plummet the slower your site is. You can avoid this by ensuring that your website is junk-free and functional.
Here are several ways you can optimize the user experience:
- Compress and optimize your images
- Reduce your redirects
- Cache your web pages
- Minimize your code
- Remove resource-hogging plugins
Once you’ve taken these steps to speed up your fundraising event’s website, it’s much more likely that your visitors will stay on your page and convert into repeat donors. Therefore, the exposure predisposes them to attend your event. If you’re unsure how to implement these changes, work with a web designer to get the assistance you need to succeed.
3. An Interactive Calendar
As a nonprofit professional, your job is to keep your organization’s calendar full. Between programs and fundraisers and board meetings, you probably rely on a digital calendar, and you aren’t alone. An estimated 70% of adults rely on their digital calendar to get through the day. Your organization should take advantage of this tool by offering compatible calendar files through your fundraising event’s website.
Many nonprofit website builders offer a calendar plugin that you can display on your fundraising event’s website. You’ll be able to input .ics files for each of your events that your attendees can effortlessly download to their own calendars. To facilitate communication with your attendees even further, you can update your calendar after they’ve joined and they’ll be notified of the change. Plus, online calendars can export to a multitude of apps, such as Apple Calendar, Google Calendar, and Outlook, so you can accommodate whichever platform your donors use.
4. A Contact Tab
Your nonprofit relies on the support of your donors, which means it’s your job to keep them satisfied. So, you should always keep your communication channels as open as possible to address their concerns and provide any additional information.
This is especially important for your fundraising event’s website, as this is likely the first place your attendee will go for contact information for individuals within your organization. Here are some of the contact fields you should have listed:
- Event chair’s name and email address
- President’s name and email address
- Board chair’s name and email address
- Office phone number, support email address and mailing address
- Links to your organization’s social media profiles
Your organization can level up its communication skills by including a chat feature on your fundraising event’s website. The chatbot will guide the visitor through several prompts to answer their question, or at the very least point them in the right direction for further assistance.
5. An FAQ Page
No matter if you’re hosting a capital campaign or a bake sale, you’ll be fielding a lot of questions from your existing supporters and prospective donors alike. To answer their questions quickly and keep your inbox clean, add an FAQ page to your fundraising event’s website. Some queries you might want to answer include:
- When is the event?
- What should I bring to the event?
- Where will the event take place?
- Where is the fundraised money going to?
- Which ages are invited? (Relevant for adult-only events, such as galas)
- What’s the organization’s mission?
Answering these questions ahead of time will reduce gridlock on the planning side and leave your supporters feeling satisfied and excited about the event.
6. A Follow-up Survey
One of the most important aspects of improving your events over time is collecting and implementing constructive feedback from your attendees. Collecting feedback is a win-win for you and your attendees because you’ll be continually making events more enjoyable over time, making them more likely to come out and support you.
You can include a link to a virtual survey on your website where your attendees can leave comments and suggestions for improvement in the future. There are numerous free survey platforms available, such as SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, and Zoho Surveys. This is a surefire way to drive recurring donations and ensure long-term success for your campaigns.
7. An Online Event Hosting Platform
In the wake of the pandemic, online and hybrid events have become wildly popular, and it isn’t hard to see why. They’re especially useful for conducting webinars and panels. Here are some of the benefits of online or hybrid events:
- Your attendees don’t have to be geographically close to your venue to attend anymore. Therefore, people around the world can attend your event. Also, online events are likely easier to fit into your attendees’ schedules because they don’t need to factor in travel time or other preparation.
- Cost-effectiveness. With an online event platform, you don’t need to worry about costs such as venue rental or catering. Plus, some event platforms even offer nonprofit discounts.
- Interactivity. One of the primary concerns associated with hosting online events is the lack of connection between members. However, event hosting platforms have rapidly expanded their offerings to make the experience more interactive. This way, you can make the experience more engaging and accessible for everybody.
- Shareability. Since anyone can join your virtual event with just the click of a button, it’s easy to spread the word about it and encourage attendance. This makes marketing your event a breeze!
- As digital events allow for social distancing, you can include people who are in quarantine, as well as those who are generally under the weather and don’t want to infect others.
Best of all, your nonprofit can integrate your online event into your fundraising website. Numerous platforms such as Zoom SDK have integration options so you can merge your event with your website. This will keep all of your materials in one place and drive more traffic to your fundraising event website.
You can make your fundraising event the talk of the town by making a useful and informative website. This strategy has long-term benefits, such as inspiring recurring donations from your supporters and reaching new audiences. Plus, it’s easy for your nonprofit to get started: just talk with a nonprofit web consultant and they’ll help you develop your fundraising event website. Soon enough, your fundraisers will be the hot ticket events in your space!