How is this done? Well, we begin by answering the two most often asked questions by supporters and potential supporters.
This is a 3 part series:
- How to build a successful charity website Pt.1
- How to build a successful charity website Pt.2
- How to build a successful charity website Pt.3
A successful charity website targets its donors, volunteers and sponsors and helps maintain and gather more of their support. How is this done? Well, we begin by answering the two most often asked questions by supporters and potential supporters:
- What are you trying to achieve and what have you done so far?
- How will you spend my money & what have you done with donations so far?
OK. So let’s build off these questions and come up with some essential content for your website.
Question 1: What are you trying to achieve?
You can answer this by creating a summary of your mission statement. All you need is a brief (no longer than one small paragraph) statement that gives a quick glance at what you are trying to achieve. This will be posted on the homepage. This statement will link to a new page that will go into more detail.
The next page will feature your actual mission statement which should be motivational to your online readers. The statement should be clear and direct including: the purpose of your existence, the problem(s) that needs to be solved, statistics, news articles and stories about the problem and the strategic plan. Finally, your vision and goals should be stated. This usually leads to how the supporters can get involved.
Question 2: How will you spend my money?
Once again, on the homepage, you should have a brief overview of how the money is being spent with a link to more detailed information. In some charities, this is easily done by saying something like:
96 cents of every dollar is spent to feed children in southeast Michigan, or 25 dollars helps this amount of families, 50 helps this amount…
You can provide a pie chart showing how the donations are divided and used. After that, the homepage will link visitors to a more detailed spending page with information like: IRS form 990 and annual reports.
You can also get into who supplies what to your programs and include the cost for their services. It’s up to you to decide how much you want to disclose, but the point is to be transparent.
Next, use brief testimonies about how your charity has changed a life. Stories will help a donor make a decision to support your cause. Accomplishments should be listed as well, as they detail the goals you’ve reached so far.
Finally, press coverage, endorsements and awards from other organizations and the media will add even more validity and movement to your cause, which leads a supporter to confidently donate.