Hi, my name is Jason. My passion is to help nonprofits and associations realize the value in their digital marketing activities. Read our nonprofit marketing blog with tips to improve your content and digital strategy that will grow awareness to your mission.
People are, and should be, cautious of how their gifts are used. This is especially true with the recent scandals surrounding the nonprofit community.
Ultimately, donors want to be engaged and feel valued in the contributions they’re making to an organization and a website is the perfect opportunity to display that information.
Nonprofits Leveraging Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is is the process of increasing your website’s visibility in search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo) with the goal of appearing on the first page of results for a any combination of keywords. Nonprofit’s use SEO as a method to distribute their content and drive visitors to their website through organic search. Take a look at the phrase “where to donate furniture.”
Wider Circle, The Salvation Army, and links to other nonprofit organizations appear all over the search engine page results (SERPs). But, it get’s better. According to Ahrefs, a popular SEO tool that tracks keyword search volume, among other digital marketing metrics, shows that the search term receives over 2,000 monthly searches. In other words, SEO is an alternative marketing distribution channel to social media or online advertising that nonprofits are leveraging to drive real results.
A Website Helps Integrate Your Digital Marketing Campaigns
One mistake nonprofits often make when diving into digital marketing is their siloed approach. In other words, investments may be made into social media while SEO or paid advertising are neglected. The truth is that the best way to get your message out into the digital world is by integrating your marketing activities. A website serves as a hub for these activities, thereby centralizing traffic to a single page or a series of pages that drive results in the form of conversions (newsletter subscriptions, event signups, or donations). As an example, if you want to run Google and Facebook advertising campaigns using remarketing or custom audiences, you’ll need a website to capture visitor data to serve ads to potential donors, members, or volunteers.
Websites Provide Control Over Your Content
Unlike social media, you have full control of how your content is displayed and distributed to visitors on your website. You’re also not subject to shifts in the platform’s algorithm changes.
For example, algorithms adhere to community guidelines and can block people from viewing your posts if they feel like there has been a violation.
Of course, algorithms aren’t perfect and sometimes they block genuine posts. In a recent consultation request, the prospect was eager to promote an upcoming golf tournament to raise funds. Unfortunately, their campaigns on Facebook were marked as political despite the organization’s focus on veterans.
Why WordPress For Nonprofits?
WordPress is free to install, deploy, and upgrade and with thousands of plugins and templates to choose from it offers a flexible and simple interface.
WordPress is extremely cost effective. Hiring a website designer and developer to create a custom site using Drupal or Ruby on Rails can easily run you $25,000 – $50,000 and take months to develop. In contrast, if you’re creating a WordPress website yourself the startup costs can be as low as $500 or free if you’re using a basic template hosted on a WordPress.com domain. The downside to this approach is the time investment and learning curve required to build the website. However, if you’re hiring a WordPress website design company then you can expect the costs to be around $3,000 – $15,000+ depending on the size of the site, the number of custom designs, and the required functionality.
WordPress Is Easy To Administer
WordPress Vs. Drag And Drop Website Builders
While drag and drop website builders like Wix or Squarespace are appealing, they have significant challenges with showing up in the search results. They also deploy sneaky “SEO packages” designed to make you spend money while convincing you that you’re getting any kind of value in return.
Wix.com Official 2019 Big Game Ad with Karlie Kloss - YouTube
According to Wix’s Superbowl commercial in 2019: “Wix’s SEOwiz helps you grab those top search results.” Any SEO professional worth their salt will tell you that there’s no quick fix solution to ranking your website and no slick tool will give you the advantage you’re hoping for. Despite the company’s aggressive advertising campaigns the backlash from the SEO community continues to be an issue with many recommending WordPress as their go-to platform to get results.
Examples Of The Best Nonprofit Website Designs
An effective nonprofit website should act as a tool to create excitement around a cause and to generate continued support. There are many answers to the question “what should a nonprofit website include?” It can differ for each organization’s goals, both from a user experience and marketing standpoint.
The site uses a very clean design style. The “Take Action” link in the navigation menu allows visitors to get involved. Information about the organization and its purpose can be easily found on the “About ONE” and “The Issues” pages.
Thorn is a global nonprofit organization that tackles the growing problem of child trafficking and sexual exploitation. Because their work addresses such difficult subject matter, Thorn goes to great lengths to make their website inviting for all users. Whether you’re looking for the latest research data or interested in donating to support their work. Thorn’s website is structured around sharing educational material about child sexual exploitation on the internet while providing tools to companies and law enforcement offices to help identify child sex abuse images. In order to tell the story of their beneficiaries, Thorn pairs emotional images and videos of children at play to make it simple for users to get up to speed about the realities of modern child exploitation. Our favorite feature? When you transition from page to page on Thorn’s website, they use smooth text and graphic animations. This helps make browsing the site feel seamless, and helps users navigate from page to page more quickly.
Direct Relief is an organization with the mission to “improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty, disaster, and civil unrest.” The nonprofit’s website clearly states its mission and ways to donate and volunteer above the fold and also shows a feed of current news about the organization.
Select A Managed WordPress Website Hosting Provider
Find a managed WordPress hosting provider. They have servers built to specifically run WordPress websites. Other providers that run multiple site (Jummla, Druple, etc) require multiple programs to run on a general website server, which will impact performance.
Note: I am not affiliated in any way with the following hosting providers. I’m simply sharing my experience with testing over a dozen WordPress hosting providers.
WPengine is by far the best choice on the market, in my opinion. However, it’s not the most cost-effective. Plus, as traffic grows you need to be wary of unexpected costs. Pay attention to the plan level as you will be billed if you go over your monthly traffic limit. This is my biggest grip as there’s no real way to tell what a unique visitor is. For example, if you’re brtowsing a site on your phone while traveling and then the connection switches to a different cell tower, then there’s no possible way for any one tool to know whether or not that’s the same visitor.
Bluehost is a great budget alternative with responsive chat support, but you don’t get a lot of bang for you buck like a built in CDN, etc.
Partner With A WordPress Vendor
I recommend a dedicated parter as you don’t technically own your website.
Create an agreement that addresses the ownership of the content, trademarks, and other web assets.
These partners often offer monthly maintenance, support (patching/plugin updates), and content management where as most website hosting providers do not.
Finally, you may also wish to engage with a digital marketing agency or someone who has experience with search engine optimization (SEO) to create your website. As mentioned, the Wix “SEO packages” aren’t really that great and all in one plugins only go so far. These will not be enough of an investment to get the kind of results you may be expecting.
WordPress Website Design On A Budget
Pre-built WordPress theme
Nonprofit WordPress Themes And Website Templates
Themeforest (find 2 others and bullet) Purchase + may need to buy plugin support or licensing. WpBakery etc.
Top WordPress themes for nonprofits
Test site speed & mobile views
Understand the site features – not everything will be out of the box
Importing Your WordPress Theme
Import theme and theme child
WordPress Plugins And Website Functionality
Load theme plugins that you NEED
here’s a list of helpful plugins to get started
Plugin Maintenance Is Essential
Buyer beware (plugin bloat will slow down your site, even if you have them deactivated.
Always update your plugins and WordPress site to the latest version. Since WordPress is so popular it makes it vulnerable to a security breah
The WordPress Website Design ProcessEffective Website Design Principals For Nonprofits
Before we dive into designing your website I think it’s first important to discuss a few key principals that will help to make your website stand out. https://npengage.com/nonprofit-marketing/best-nonprofit-websites/ https://www.classy.org/blog/heres-what-you-need-to-build-a-great-nonprofit-website-includes-examples/
Every pixel has a purpose
Design is audience centric
Less is more
Improves brand identity
Make your purpose obvious
Content movies audience
Determine The Site ArchitectureCustomizing Your Website Pages
Create graphics for icons and other pages to be consistent with your brand and its strategy
How Long Will It Take To Create A WordPress Website?
Depending on the complexity of the site you can expect the website design process to take 4-6 weeks.
Factors include total number of pages, the number of customized designs, and how long it takes for you to get content to the developers
WordPress Development And Back-End Access
Back-end access to your WordPress site
FileZilla – SFTP (secure file transfer protocol) is the technical term for saying you’re accessing the server where your website is hosted from your computer.
Shouldn’t need to access often; but a good alternative to plugins for certain tasks – .hataccess, updating robots.txt files, adding markup to pages
Always backup your website or coyp files that you intend to edit before making changes. Even a semi-colon in the wrong place can easily break the site causing down time
You may already have a website
Make sure you’re properly
A WordPress website is the perfect solution for nonprofits who are on a tight budget. The ease of use
It can no longer remain as “a channel to focus on when it is convenient for you.”
Online video content is your content marketing plan – or at least, it’s a central point of your efforts, especially for your social media content actions.
Building A Better Online Video Content Strategy
Before we actually get into the types of video content that you can use, I first recommend identifying what you want those videos to accomplish in the first place.
Only by understanding what you’re trying to do in a specific sense will you be able to also pinpoint exactly how you need to do it.
Generally speaking, there are three main categories of videos to be aware of, each with their own unique objectives:
Awareness videos aim to accomplish exactly what it sounds like – they’re how you “announce” the presence of your nonprofit to the world.
You’re not necessarily trying to get someone to donate just yet.
Instead, you’re trying to let people know who you are, what you’re all about and, critically, why they should be paying attention.
Engagement videos are how you take things to the next level, motivating people to actually interact with your nonprofit or larger brand.
These types of engaging videos can involve motivating people to donate money, or even their time, to help further your efforts.
Education videos are a bit like awareness videos, but they’re more singularly focused.
These are your chance to allow people to learn and understand certain topics that are important to you.
You could shed light on breaking news events that are relevant to your nonprofit, or highlight certain issues that are important.
In any event, people should walk away with knowledge they didn’t have before – and they should consider you an authority on the subject matter, too.
Now that you have a clear idea about your goals and the different types of video content you can leverage, let’s dive into specific videos that you can use to boost your visibility and reach.
1. Explainer Videos – Share Your Mission
As the name suggests (and as partially outlined above), explainer videos are a great opportunity to introduce your nonprofit to the world. Here, you’ll be focusing on two core elements:
Your mission: what it is, and why it’s so important to you.
Your goal: What type of impact you hope to make on the world.
Take this video from an adolescent health nonprofit advocating on behalf of kids in Jamaica, for example.
By the end of it, you’ll know exactly what they do – and why an organization like theirs is desperately needed:
UNICEF: Adolescent Health nonprofit explainer video - YouTube
You might think that explainer videos are expensive to produce, and you might need a professional team, to put together an over-the-top video.
But in truth, creating explainer videos doesn’t have to be more complicated than just putting together a few slides in Powerpoint.
This type of video content is extremely powerful and useful.
You can use them virtually everywhere, and repurpose them for all your marketing goals, whether that’s more engagement on social media, or more conversions on your homepage!
Explainer videos are usually 30-90 seconds long, which translates into a script of around 150 to 200 words.
2. “Meet The Team” Videos – Share Your Values
Meet the Team videos are a perfect opportunity to not only share your values with your audience, but to also put a face to the people helping with your cause to spread those values far and wide.
Eventbrite isn’t exactly a nonprofit, but they do have a perfect “Meet the Team” video that you can get some inspiration from.
It showcases their organization in an intimate way and also puts some flavor and personality on display at the same time:
Meet the Eventbrite Team - YouTube
This type of video content can do wonders for your nonprofit.
Not only can it give other people a sense of your organization’s values, and mission, but it can also entice others to join your cause.
3. “Behind The Scenes” Videos – Pull Back The Curtain For The Audience
Everyone loves a good “behind the scenes” story, and your nonprofit audience members are no different.
This again is a way to showcase some of your nonprofit’s personality, but in a slightly more intimate and “less polished” way.
This video from the Seattle nonprofit film studio Knock Studios illustrates this quite nicely, as you get an inside look into the types of things they do when not furthering their mission – like having meetings with peanut butter cookies.
Behind the Scenes at Knok Studio - Seattle nonprofit film studio - YouTube
BTS (behind-the-scenes) videos are great for social media engagement, they’re also easy to produce.
So next time you have a gathering or an event, this is a great chance for you to take your audience behind the scene!
4. Testimonial Videos – Show Your Nonprofit’s Impact
It’s one thing to write a thousand words about your nonprofit’s impact on your community.
It’s another thing entirely to let some of those community members tell their own story.
People can see the look on their face and feel the emotion in their voice, thus making the point better than words alone ever could.
To get a sense of this type of video content, look to the following nonprofit with the people at Robin Hood Foundation:
5. Interview Videos – Build Trust and Authority
Interview videos are great for your nonprofit because they accomplish two goals at the same time.
First, you get to further educate your audience about important topics that matter – and you also get to establish yourself as an authority (and thus build a terrific degree of trust) while you do it.
Take this interview from nonprofit AARP with actor Danny Trejo, where he talks about being sober for 46 years and giving back to his community.
Not only is the interview itself naturally compelling – but it’s also intimate in a way that helps further your understanding of what AARP actually does.
Danny Trejo: Sober 46 Years and Giving Back - YouTube
6. Personalized Video Emails – Take The Time To Inspire Action
Personalize video emails are great because they don’t just inspire someone to take action by volunteering or donating – they’re also your chance to SHOW someone how much they truly mean to you.
The sheer fact that you took a few minutes to record a video for one person, in particular, will absolutely be appreciated – and it will again help put a face to the larger nonprofit you represent and its efforts.
While the following example isn’t personal in that it uses someone’s name, it does wonderfully illustrate the target you should be trying to hit:
Nonprofit Thank You Video HD - YouTube
How To Get Started With Video Marketing On A Budget
Now that you’re well-versed in the types of video-on-demand content that you need to take your nonprofit to the next level, you can begin to think about how you’re going to take your vision for that content and bring it into reality.
The most important thing for you to understand is that you do not need access to a massive marketing budget in order to be successful.
If you want to learn how to make a great YouTube video, for example, just head over to YouTube and check out some of today’s top pieces.
The site is filled with captivating, engaging content made by “amateur” creators – many on a shoestring budget without a single piece of “professional” equipment to their name.
Yours will likely be more professional than the latest comedy sketch created by a comedian in his college dorm room – but the point still stands.
It’s possible to do this, and it’s a lot easier than you might think.
First, know that if you happen to own a recent iPhone or some other smartphone of similar quality, you already have access to a camera that shoots video in 4K resolution.
The iPhone, in particular, has been capable of this for a few years.
Use resources like this one to get an overview of the basic equipment you’ll need to start shooting video content – lights, sound equipment, etc.
See how many of these you can rent inexpensively instead of purchasing from local equipment houses in your area.
Most computers already come with nonlinear video editing suites built in at the time of purchase – Apple computers have iMovie, for example.
You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on an Avid to edit a video with the sleek sophistication of a larger international brand – you just need patience, time, and a basic understanding of how these (again, totally free) utilities work.
At that point, all you have to do is create the content itself – which again, isn’t nearly as difficult (or expensive) as you’re probably assuming.
Just remember the age-old rule of filmmaking:
You can only pick two of the following qualities – cheap, fast, and good.
You can have “fast” and “good,” but it isn’t going to be cheap.
You can have “fast” and “cheap,” but it isn’t going to be good.
Instead, shoot for “cheap” and “good” and know that the process will take however long it needs to and not a moment sooner.
So long as you understand and accept that, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about the $1.80 strategy on LinkedIn, most notably from Gary Vaynerchuk.
If you’re skeptical don’t be because the strategy works. I wrote an article back in 2018 on how I was leveraging the “what people are talking about now” section of LinkedIn before it started being hand curated by LinkedIn Editors.
This tactic still works today, but it’s not nearly as effective as it once was. I suspect there are already forces at play that are trying to limit your reach. Further, Rand Fishkin shared a recent study of business engagement rates on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Guess what? The organic reach is awful and the engagement rates for businesses have fallen from 10% at its height to an abysmal 0.09% across all industries in 2019 on Facebook alone.
What Does This Mean For Your LinkedIn Marketing Strateg?
As a result, more and more brands will start moving to LinkedIn for their marketing needs because there is no platform that compares to the organic reach and engagement you receive. Advertising on LinkedIn is expensive in my opinion so strike the iron while it’s still hot!
If you’re looking to crush LinkedIn marketing in 2019then consider these 5 tips:
1. Check Out Your LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI)
LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index is one of the few metrics I think is worth obsessing over. The index is a daily snapshot of your profile’s strength as it compares to other people in your industry and those in your network.
The 4 dimensions include establishing a professional brand, connecting with the right people, engaging with insights (this one is the most important), and building relationships. My advice is to identify where your profiles greatest weaknesses are and start building up your score. At the very least this will give you a benchmark to reference your progress.
2. Engage With Like-Minded Professionals
This one is obvious, but I’m surprised at how many people miss the mark. If you want people to take you seriously on LinkedIn then you need to be active on the platform. This means commenting, liking and sharing DAILY. You should also consider planning a formal content strategy for posting 2-3 articles per week.
Here’s the real hurdle, though:
Not only do you need to be active on LinkedIn, but you need to provide thoughtful insight that starts, adds to, or continues a conversation.
People who “get” you will be more than willing to advocate on behalf of your ideas.
Shutout to Ruthie Bowles who is my new favorite human on LinkedIn
The real key here is that you shouldn’t be trying to send your message to everyone. Find people who like what you have to say and double down your efforts and attention on them. You’d be surprised at how impactful even the smallest of niches can be on your personal brand or business.
3. Build A Network Of People Who Are Relevant To Your Industry
Another obvious one but again people are not leveraging LinkedIn to it’s fullest potential and as a result they’re losing out on a ton of opportunity.
One tactic I like to use is connecting with 2nd degree contacts with very specific job titles or keywords related to an industry I’m trying to target. For example, take the phrase “nonprofit marketing” which has over 800,000 search results when filtered by people.
Next, click the filter tab and start narrowing your audience. There’s a lot of trial and error involved in finding the right filters. I strongly recommend creating a spreadsheet to track your progress.
If you have an influential 1st degree connection *cough*Allen Gannett*cough* then try filtering by “connections of.” This may give more weight in whether or not someone chooses to accept your request.
If you’re into meeting connections offline you may also want to filter by location.
The last criteria I look for before I even think about sending a connection request is how active they are on LinkedIn. There are a few ways to do this.
Only connect with people who have 500+ connections
Look for people who have complete profiles aka All Star
Must have had ANY activity in the last 3 days
Review their “Skills & Endorsements”
See how many people gave them a recommendation
Even after you’ve narrowed down your ideal audience it’s still not enough to just click the connect button. You want to personalize your request with a message that demonstrates how connecting with you will bring value.
I’ll be upfront in saying I’m not a huge fan of templates because I believe in ultra personalizing your request, but after doing some testing I found this one to have a > 50% connection success rate:
I came across your profile because I’m looking to connect with like-minded [Industry] professionals. I’m genuinely interested in engaging on LinkedIn, so you won’t get a sales pitch or automated message from me
Look forward to connecting!
Lastly, ALWAYS respond to messages. You never know where a connection might lead.
Just like Google, LinkedIn has a search feature that relies on keywords and phrases to rank your profile and content in search results. I haven’t done too much digging into this arena yet, but I suspect back links also play a factor.
Just imagine what it could mean for your personal brand or business if your profile (or your employee’s profile) were at the top of commercial intent keywords. Or, if you’re looking for a new opportunity, then ranking for keywords in your industry or the job title itself could actually land you in your dream job.
Personally, I’ve received more job offers in the last two weeks of being active on LinkedIn then when I was actually searching for new opportunities.
If you’re interested in a LinkedIn SEO crash course then the video below from SEMrush is a good place to start.
How to do LinkedIn Lead Generation with a $0 Budget - YouTube
5. Stop The “Cold Calling”
I won’t speak too much on this one other then to say cut this shit out. Half the time they dive right into the sales pitch (which are often automated by bots) and the connection rarely contributes any value.
It’s a short-term gain that sacrifices any future potential relationship on LinkedIn. My advice is to just be nice and call it a day. No need to bring that frustration into your life. /rant
The $1.80 strategy works on LinkedIn, but only if you’re genuinely interested in connecting and building your followership. You may not get a sale or lead today, tomorrow, or even 6-months from now. But, I’ve been surprised in many unexpected ways at how impactful this strategy can be.
I truly hope this helps you crush LinkedIn marketing in 2019!
What are your thoughts? Do you have a success story you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!
The first use of the text to bid system was during their “Sporting Affair” event, where local celebrities, professional athlete and wish kids and their families come together to talk about the hope, strength, and joy received from a wish come true.
By allowing donors to place bids with their mobile device the pressure to win an item didn’t overshadow interactions with the celebrities, kids, or other guests.
As a result of implementing this system, Make-A-Wish Colorado saw a 45% increase in auction revenue when compared to last year.
Donors were no longer worried about being outbid, as a text alerted them so they could increase their bid.
This meant donors were able to spend more time enjoying the event than being bogged down by the auction.
It’s a simple concept, but it made a huge impact for Make-A-Wish Colorado in reaching their fundraising goals.
Over eight campaigns from 2014 through 2018, Make-A-Wish Colorado was able to raise nearly $771,000.
Puerto Rico Relief Fund: Mobile Donation Page
Whether you’re using a mobile fundraising platform or sending potential donors to your website you want to be sure you’re offering the best user experience possible.
This means your donation pages should be as easy to navigate, establish value to donors, and involve as little friction as possible.
In addition, they announced they would match up to $2 million in donations.
Needless to say, their mobile donation page is executed flawlessly.
When you first land on the page there is a clear call to action located in two places, an emotional headline informing users what the page is about, and a video describing why funds are needed:
As you scroll down the page, it tells donors exactly how the money will be used along with direct links to each nonprofit’s website:
They’ve also included an accordion style drop-down FAQ for people who may be considering a donation, but haven’t quite satisfied their hunt for information:
When a donor is ready to give they simply click on the donate button and input the amount they wish to give:
There’s no need to type in your contact information as Google will pull this from your Gmail account if you’re signed in or using the Chrome web browser.
However, if you do not wish to provide this information you can proceed using the Guest checkout option.
Once you’ve entered the amount you wish to give you’ll be prompted to enter in your credit card information:
The entire process is effortless and took 2 minutes to walk through with zero issues.
Likewise, the desktop page has a similar feel and experience to the mobile page eliminating potential friction in the donation process.
How To Select The Right Mobile Fundraising Platform
Now that the basics have been covered and you have a feel for how other organizations are leveraging mobile platforms it’s time to talk about how to select the right one.
It’s important to research certain criteria when selecting the right mobile or online fundraising provider for your nonprofit.
To get you started, we’ve included some of the guidelines below.
Product Offering Based On Your Fundraising Objective
Before you start diving into the research, try to spend some time with your team to agree on your fundraising objective and goals.
This will greatly influence the type of mobile fundraising solution you choose.
For example, are you trying to raise money at a specific fundraising event or gala?
If so, you may be interested in a mobile silent auction or raffle offering.
Or, are you focusing on making the general donation process easier for supporters of your organization?
In this case, you may be looking for a provider of online donation pages.
Of course, there are also many mobile fundraising solutions that provide a range of capabilities to support all of your needs, should you decide that you are interested in more than one functionality.
Functionality And Usability
Once your team has established fundraising goals and objectives, and have agreed on the tools you will pursue, it’s time to ensure that you select a platform with the features that you need.
Based on the tool you are interested in, you may be looking for different features.
Some common ones include:
Online Bidding & Text Message Bidding.
Outbid notifications / Winner notifications.
Credit Card Checkout.
Real-time updating pages.
Donation Pages & Text to Give
Easy donation process.
Credit card payments.
Easily embedded on your existing website.
While this is a good place to start, the best way to make sure the mobile fundraising solution you are researching is adequate is by trying a demo.
Hopefully, the provider you are considering offers a free demo, allowing you to test out functionality and usability of the service – if so, we recommend that you take advantage of this to get a feel for the system.
As you would expect, pricing is always something that needs to be considered.
When thinking about mobile and online fundraising solutions, typical cost structures include some of the components below:
Flat fee per event/fundraising campaign.
Annual or monthly contract with multiple events allowed within the time period.
Percentage of fundraised taken as payment.
Depending on how often you plan on using your mobile fundraising provider, different cost structures will make more sense for you.
For example, if your organization only runs one major event each year, a flat fee per event will be the most affordable.
Finally, ensuring that your mobile fundraising platform offers exceptional customer service is key.
Whether it is before, during, or after your event, it is always reassuring to have access to support staff to help with any questions that you may have.
The best fundraising platforms will offer consistent 24/7 customer support, allowing you to reach a team member at any time – even at night, or on weekends during your event.
Choosing An Event Ticketing and Registration Platform
In order to the find an event ticketing or registration provider that fits your needs, we suggest considering the following criteria.
Pricing & Fees
When considering different ticketing options, make sure you do your homework understanding their pricing structure.
Common pricing formats for ticketing providers include charging a flat fee per ticket, charging a percentage per ticket, or both.
Be sure to research both the cost structure and the numbers or percentages behind each charge.
Additionally, try to find out if the vendor charges a credit card processing fee.
Finally, you will want to understand whether or not you can pass the ticketing fees onto your buyers, or must absorb them yourself – many vendors leave this option to you.
One of the most important criteria to consider, flexibility refers to the available options you may have when considering customization for your event.
Some of our favorite ways to customize an event and sell as many tickets a possible include:
Event page customization – Can you upload your own logos, messaging, and branding?
Ticket Customization – Can you create your own ticket types, inclusive of price, quantities, or dates?
Information Collected – What information can you ask from your buyers? Can you add your own custom questions in order to use that information in the future?
Day Of Event Functionality
On the day of your event, you will want to feel confident in having a reliable ticketing provider.
Here, your main concerns will be event check-in.
How does the provider you are researching handle event check-in?
Hopefully, they offer some type of ticket scanning ability, so that you can scan tickets (both paper and digital) quickly in order to keep lines moving.
Many providers will also have a guest lookup feature for those who may forget their tickets.
Finally, it may be worth researching to see if the ticketing provider you are considering offers an option to allow your staff to sell tickets at the door so that you don’t miss any last minute sales.
Finally, we suggest finding a ticketing or event registration provider with impeccable customer support.
Our preferred methods of communication our live chat, email, and phone chat, but it’s also important to understand availability.
Will a support staff be available during your event, even if it is at night or on a weekend?
These are some great questions to ask when deciding on a ticketing provider for your event.
Bringing It All Together
Most event hosts use one provider for event ticketing and another for mobile fundraising.
In my opinion, using multiple platforms creates additional work and confusion for both you and your guests.
For that reason, we recommend finding a platform that offers both event ticketing and mobile fundraising solutions.
Options with both capabilities will not only save you time with your event setup and organization but will create a seamless experience for your guests, allowing them to both purchase their tickets and donate to your cause in the same place.
Once a donor purchases a ticket, all of their information will be stored in the system, meaning they will not need to re-enter their information when placing a mobile bid or donating to your cause.
Furthermore, any of your guests that are already coming to your page to buy tickets can now seamlessly enter a donation on the same website, leading to increased donations and overall proceeds.
Zach Hagopian is the co-founder and COO at Accelevents, an event ticketing, and mobile fundraising platform. An active member in the Boston fundraising community, Zach spends time creating seamless event experiences for his clients. In his free time, he also organizes a 1,000+ person charity event in Boston each year.
In return for their time, each influencer received a do-follow link back to a site of their choosing, as well as exposure to over 1,000 nonprofit and association professionals in our network.
Not only were we able to tap into influencer audiences, but these comments also provide additional content for the page to help with search rankings.
It’s only been 2 months since the page has been published and it already ranks for over 160 keywords with a few on the first page:
Twitter is also a core part of this strategy to help promote the page.
Here’s how I did it:
Note: Do these activities every single day:
This is obvious, but for the sake of time management use a tool like Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts weeks in advance.
Respond to all notifications and messages as quickly as possible.
Get involved in relevant groups, chats, or forums and share your knowledge.
Research people within your industry and follow 100 accounts
Use hashtags to narrow down accounts (ex/ #DigitalMarketing, #Nonprofit, #Fundraising, #Marketing, Etc.)
Or, use focused searches like “nonprofit + marketing” and follow people who have tweeted about that topic in the past.
If very relevant (think niche within a niche) then consider pitching the piece of content after you’ve followed someone.
Note: No templates or cut and paste BS. These need to be honest and value-adding message otherwise it will be marked as SPAM and that person will never talk to you again.
Note: Semi routine (2-3 times per week) actions:
Engage with your audience using a second account (Ex/ personal or business account) and use both platforms to share and retweet work to amplify presence.
Share other people’s content regularly and more frequently than your own.
Reach out to people who engage with you (e.g. like, shared, replied, or mentioned) and offer them something for free.
When possible Direct Message (Email works fine too) people / businesses / organizations that link to your site thanking them. Then, share that page on your social channels and your email list. Finally, respond back showing the positive response you receive from the article and that you would be open to a collaboration project if one becomes available.
Reach out to people within your industry who are interested in content collaboration.
Amplify reach with a Twitter Promote. A $99/month subscription plan offered by Twitter to reach more people.
As a result, both of our Twitter pages have seen increased metrics across the board:
Keep doing this until you start to see traction. It may take months or a few weeks with a proper strategy.
Eventually, if you have something that’s worth the attention then you will grow your following.
Otherwise, go back to the drawing board and come up with reasons why your content didn’t perform as well as you had expected, make adjustments, and try again.
4. Optimize The Mobile Donation Experience
Google announced their Mobile First Index on November 4, 2016, meaning websites will soon be prioritized by their mobile version over it’s desktop version when choosing to deliver a search result.
The announcement wasn’t surprising, as many in the community had speculated mobile would play a big role in Google’s future web search strategies.
But, optimizing your pages for mobile can serve more than just an aesthetically pleasing experience for visitors.
Honestly, you wouldn’t believe the amount of puns one organization could use on social media.
Project Aware somehow manage to slip them in here and there without overdoing it.
They combine the perfect balance of fun and serious—as their aim is to protect the world’s oceans they can’t be too silly, but need just the right amount to keep their audience interested.
The best part about Project Aware is that they connect well with their audience on social media.
They aren’t afraid to retweet relevant posts, or share photos.
Go to their Twitter account and you will find some fantastic photos, not only taken by them but also those that have been shared by other relevant accounts.
These make for a beautiful all-round picture of the world’s oceans, from the beautiful creatures that live there to the horrible pollutants put there by humans.
What We Can Learn
To connect with your audience you have to engage with them.
You don’t want your entire feed to be made up of retweets, but it helps to intersperse them with your own posts.
Nonprofits can teach us a lot about how best to use social media, whether to promote an ecommerce business, a blog or simply for personal use.
When looking to up your social media game it is important to look at a wide range of accounts to see how they behave, and across different platforms.
Keep up to date with what’s going on and you’ll be able to keep up your winning social media marketing campaign.
Guest Post: Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she looks at how organizations can make the most out of their social media accounts and covers the latest developments in the digital world.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING STATISTICS
Online giving to charitable organizations has continued to rise year over year, with an estimated $31 billion given in 2017, up from $28 billion in 2016.
Driving much of this growth is social media.
In fact, 55% of people who engage with nonprofits on social media end up taking an action, while 59% of those people make an online donation.
The statistics are more compelling when you dig into them by platform.
Facebook Statistics For Nonprofits
Nonprofits share an average of 1.2 Facebook updates per day.
In an average peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, 15-18% of donations are referred directly from Facebook.
84% of Facebook users share to show their support for a cause and highlight issues that are important to them.
Facebook refers 29.4% of traffic to donation pages on #GivingTuesday.
$45 million was raised by nonprofits through Facebook fundraisers on Giving Tuesday.