At Proof Digital, we’ve partnered with nonprofit organizations, and they are truly special institutions in our communities that require the development of special marketing strategies. They are often pillars of hope and change for the individuals, groups and communities they serve. Every nonprofit needs to be able to effectively market their mission in order to receive donations, grants, volunteers and other support to continue their work.
Oftentimes, nonprofits need to be much more savvy and creative than for-profit businesses because they usually don’t have robust marketing budgets. Marketing efforts usually take the form of word-of-mouth fundraising and community events to raise awareness. In the nonprofit world, establishing and maintaining great relationships with individuals and businesses is what leads to success. While those in-person tactics are still key to the marketing strategies of nonprofits, the world is increasingly becoming an online one. Now, it is just as important (if not, more important) for a nonprofit organization to have a stellar online presence and marketing plan.
Despite usually not having funds to carry out and test diverse online marketing campaigns, one online marketing tool that every nonprofit needs is a website. It’s the prime place to focus marketing efforts and implement strategies that make an impact.
How Web Development Enhances Marketing
Web development is a key marketing tool. Arguably, it’s the most important marketing tool because a company’s or organization’s website is ultimately where they want the most traffic. Marketing strategies are essentially appealing and easy-to-travel roads that should lead potential customers – or those interested in helping or getting help from a nonprofit – to the destination that is the website.
A website is where curiosity turns into action. The website is at the zenith of marketing strategies. For that reason, marketing efforts can’t stop once suitable leads reach the website. The home page of a website, and a website’s landing pages, should be the most powerful marketing and conversion tools.
Think of the website as the digital storefront. It must continue the work of the marketing efforts that led individuals to it, presenting the organization, its purpose and why people should care in the most effective ways. Simply put, the biggest and highest quality billboards and ads that lead to a shabby storefront with broken windows and a mangled sign with letters dangling by the wires will have customers who were once interested running away as fast as possible.
That is why nonprofit organizations need to first invest the marketing dollars they have in developing a knockout website that is a true attention grabber.
Web Development in Nonprofit Marketing
When designing websites for nonprofits, the most important thing is to establish which audiences they want to target. Nonprofits often have several target audiences that either support the organization or are served by the organization. Making sure all of the target audiences connect with the nonprofit’s mission requires a deft and creative approach. Effectively appealing to all audiences is critical to a nonprofit’s success.
With that in mind, here are a few areas to pay attention to when developing a website for a nonprofit.
Content and Messaging
The content and messaging of a nonprofit organization’s website should be a combination of mission focused and donor focused that creates an emotional response. The mission focused approach answers, “Why should I care about what you’re doing? How can you help me? ” While the donor focused approach answers, “What can I do, and how can I help? How does helping benefit me?” The most efficient nonprofits have websites that use a mix of both approaches which lay out clear paths to actions that are time sensitive.
When creating the website for a nonprofit, there needs to be a sense of urgency that helps elicit an emotional response. A nonprofit’s website should guide visitors through the timely experiences that brought the nonprofit into being. It should compel them to understand why the mission is imminently important so that they can either help or be helped as soon as possible.
It may seem like a difficult task to appeal to two multiple audiences in one website, but all audiences support the overall mission. All of their paths lead to the same rewarding destination that is furthering the mission of the nonprofit. Furthermore, a nonprofit creates a more transparent community that is supportive of everyone involved when both audiences can see and understand the purpose of the other.
Enhancing a website’s SEO is a great and cost-effective way to organically gain exposure and long-term visibility. It is also a more trusted way to grab the attention of people potentially interested in joining and advancing a nonprofit’s mission.
At Proof Digital, our SEO services are some of our most requested by our clients because we’ve proven time and time-again that we can increase their online visibility, search ranking and overall site traffic. For all of our clients, especially for nonprofits, it is important that we set clear, specific goals for SEO in order to reach the individuals that are most likely to follow a given call to action.
Because nonprofit organizations focus on more than one audience, SEO tactics need to be precise and lead individuals with differing motives to specific pages of the website that cater to what they can gain from the nonprofit’s mission. Through proper SEO tactics, nonprofit organizations will be able to organically create paths for all of their intended audiences to follow so that they all can advance the mission in the way that is right for them.
Brand awareness is an essential part of building a nonprofit organization and advancing its mission. When individuals visit a nonprofit’s website, its branding should be consistent and recognizable. A brand is more than just a logo or a name, it’s the identity of the organization, what it stands for, and what draws people into its cause. A website is an organization’s online home, and it’s where the brand should be most emphasized.
For our nonprofit clients, we believe in taking a deep dive into brand strategy in order to create compelling content to communicate to relevant communities and nonprofit system members how vital the organization is. Part of our strategy is to create a Brand Messaging Guide, adapted from Donald Miller’s BrandScript of his StoryBrand Marketing strategy, which allows our clients to reach each of their target audiences – when and where they are – with clear communication and streamlined processes.
For nonprofits, cohesive and consistent branding is key to attracting those in need, donors, volunteers, sponsors and/or grants that advance their mission. Branding is also vital in establishing an organization that is trustworthy and unified. Nonprofits work to change, aid, uplift or educate groups or facets of our society that are often overlooked. When nurtured and used correctly, a nonprofit’s brand can have a far-reaching social impact that connects like-minded individuals, causing widespread discussions that can lead to support and action, ultimately serving the nonprofit’s mission in new, substantial ways.
Proof Digital’s Success in Nonprofit Marketing
At Proof Digital, our web design services helped Foster Success, a nonprofit organization that focuses on aiding and enriching the lives of teens and young adults transitioning out of foster care, surpass all fundraising goals, and it helped them to get a United Way grant. We completely redesigned their website and became their partner to guide them throughout the entire strategic marketing process, thus increasing their impact for the foster community.
Recently, we were able to completely redesign another nonprofit organization’s website. The organization is called Tangram, and their mission is to support people with disabilities in order for them to live full, meaningful and happy lives, at home and as members of their community. Tangram came to us needing a new website that upheld their branding and values while laying out clear pathways and compelling action plans for each of their three target markets. We fulfilled Tangram’s request and launched their new and improved website this month.
Web development and design is a powerful marketing tool for businesses, but especially for nonprofits. When branching out and beginning marketing efforts, it’s often difficult for nonprofit organizations to know what to do, how to start and where best to focus marketing efforts. At Proof Digital, we become a partner for our clients, aiding them to make the right marketing decisions that get positive data-driven results.
Contact us so we can talk about how to take your marketing efforts to the next level.