In the last part, we discussed how to get support, but maintaining support is the primary goal. To do this, you’ll need to give your supporters three essential things: Interaction, praise, and updates.
Supporters need to know what’s going on with the charity because after all, they are a part of the cause. They need to feel as if they’re in the loop. You can give them updates weekly or monthly through a blog, or e-newsletter. Blogs are the perfect tool allowing users to subscribe and unsubscribe from different topics as they choose. Event calendars keep supporters in the know as well.
Annually, there will be a report detailing the accomplishments for the year including photos, videos, charts, and stories. I’ve seen beautiful annual reports as PDF documents, but it’s often hard to view these online because they were made for print. Sometimes it’s best to have a web page version to give online viewers an easier read, and if you’d like, switching to online reports could cut down on the cost of printing and mailing.
With a blog, supporters can comment on the updates and stories you provide. In some cases, you may just want to use a feedback form. With a feedback form, it’s best to tell users who the form is going to or allow them to select the person it should go to. Supporters don’t want to just send information to a general inbox, they want to know it’s going to a specific person.
You can also create a forum to allow supporters to hold discussions, and polls can be created to gather quick data about what your supporters think about a certain topic. Supporters need to be able to voice their opinions and interact with each other and key people in the organization in order to keep supporting.
This is often done in the form of reward dinners, but you can take this to the website as well. You can feature donors and volunteers monthly or weekly detailing who they are, and what they did, along with pictures. Sometimes you can have a whole section dedicated to donors like “Donors of the Year” and “The Donor Hall of Fame.” If these donors include companies, their logo and website link should be displayed. Praise, interaction, and updates go a long way to keep supporters happy.
More stuff that makes up a successful charity website
The following lists other necessary info that should be on your site:
- Photo Galleries
- Videos (these are really helpful in getting your message across)
- Programs and services information
- Product Store
- Press Kit
- Staff / Board list and bios
- Social media pages: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
Also adding to this series, I can’t forget Usability and Web Standards which play huge roles in the success of any kind of website; along with creative and custom-tailored design.
I believe the most important thing (as stated before) is your charity’s vision and how well that vision is communicated to your online visitors. Your mission should be one of inspiration, and a well-designed website simply reinforces that message.
Here at CWC, we provide both content writing and outstanding web design. As we talk with you, we can generate not only a beautiful website but a message that will touch the hearts of your supporters which will move them to give; and keep on giving. I hope this information made you take a look at your own charity website. Does it need some improvements? Contact us.