How to grow your organisation’s membership and donations

Group of people splashing in the sea

Attract more and better members and donations to support your cause.

The big six

1. Keep it simple, make it mobile

Online donations should be fast and convenient for your customers.

Don’t have too many steps or distractions. Make sure there’s a clear ‘call to action’ (that obvious ‘thing’ that you want someone to click) that will be obvious to your visitor.

Keep fields on the donation form to a minimum. Your donation process should be easy to understand without much, if any, guidance. If you have to explain it, it’s not easy enough.

Every website should work well on mobile.

It won’t be long before of your website visitor are on mobile. Your online fundraising efforts should be accessible via smartphones with clear links, great design, and clear, concise text.

Don’t forget about your emails and website. Over half of all email opens now happen via mobile devices. To make a good first impression, your emails must be readable and usable on a smartphone.

2. Make sure your website is fast

A recent study showed:

  • 52% of users said load speed was an important factor in loyalty
  • 40% of users will leave a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load
  • 47% of consumers expect a page to load in only 2 seconds

There are many factors that affect site speed. To properly diagnose a slow site, you likely need a site audit to review your code, configurations, and maintenance.

Before you deploy a new or updated site, make sure the site is tested for speed – and not just on the homepage. Make sure every page can handle the high traffic! Further, campaigns and seasons (especially December for non-profits) bring new visitors; ensure your site can handle that increase in volume.

3. Make sure your website is secure!

SSL certificates can do much more than just keep data safe. They also ensure your site will rank higher in the most popular search engines. Google wants all websites to have SSL certificates, and they’ve made no secret of their efforts to reward compliant sites as previously mentioned. Back in 2014, Google started giving HTTPS sites a modest boost in search results, and then in December 2015, Google even admitted that they give search priority to these more secure sites.

With the mounting pressure to increase SSL coverage, it’s likely that sites with SSLs will continue to benefit from Google’s search algorithms. This means that, even for simple websites that don’t request customer data, having an SSL certificate will help your site be found in searches more organically.

The past few years, Google has also especially championed mass adoption of SSL. In order to persuade website owners to adopt SSL, Google does two things: One, it considers the presence of an SSL certificate as a ranking signal. Two, it offers a positive designation in the address bar of the Google Chrome browser for websites using SSL.

4. Grow your social media audience

Nonprofits use social media platforms every single day to connect with constituents,raise awareness for causes, and collect donations. With engaged followers on one or more of the major social networks, organizations can effectively spread the word about fundraising campaigns, new initiatives, and advocacy work.

However, simply having 1,000 Facebook fans or 5,000 Twitter followers is not the best indication of social media success. It’s possible to have thousands of followers who never read your posts or click on your links. The key is to build a thriving online community of your nonprofit’s ideal fans—the ones who will actively engage with your content, share it with their networks, and respond to your calls to action.

Help Google put you in front of customers

Buying the right keywords is the first step in the ongoing process of Search Engine Optimization. Make sure you focus on the keywords your customer base actually uses. For example, are they looking up “meteorology” or “weather” or “temperature”? Often times, users look up much simpler terms than your in-house nomenclature. Keyword campaigns need to be continually refined – stay on top of the trends.

Create content and a lot of it! Keep your content current for Google algorithms (note: Google is becoming more advanced; bad content will no longer do). Use links in your content to other pages of your site! But, don’t just link to your company name. Add links to terms for what you want to be searched for! For example, we added links in this article for “site audits” and “testing” not just “development” (look! we snuck one in!) or “Promet”. Further, distribute your content to third parties for the ever-essential backlinking. PRWeb is a great tool to publish press releases – make sure they are chock full of links to your site. Your partners and vendors may also be willing to publish your content on their sites.

If you’re using Drupal, the Meta tag Module is a simple solution to internally streamline SEO. Use the meta tag description to provide a brief and concise summary of the page’s content, preferably 150 characters or less. The description meta tag may be used by search engines to display a snippet about the page in search results. But, don’t worry about assigning keywords here; it’s not necessary.

Automate your emails

Wouldn’t it be great if a non-member received content that promoted membership? And members could get quick access to their benefits? And for users who haven’t donated to receive content that encourages them to give?

You can and should do that! Give users (both members and anonymous) the relevant content they need so you can drive memberships and donations. Create scenarios and rules so you can give the right content to the right people. Using Drupal and flags, you can tailor your users content to match their location, interests and other demographical information.