Daily Archives: November 20, 2013

Donations: How You Address the Problem

This is the second of six posts about seeking donations online.  In the first post about your charity’s situation, I outlined some approaches to describing your cause, mindful of your target audience.  In this post about donations how you address the problem I show how you can make a number of responses to the same situation.

After you describe your charity’s situation, the next step is to describe what your charity actually does.  If you want your visitors to leave your site in droves, this is where you place your aims and objectives.  Remember, this is a website, not a funding application.

So, you need to build a relationship with your visitors.  You can do this on your site or there are other options, eg email lists.

If you have a number of landing pages, you can prepare distinct content for visitors with different interests.  After all, you’ve gone to the trouble of identifying them as members of particular groups.

So, if you are a cancer charity, to continue with the hypothetical example in my last post, what do you do for this type of visitor?  Let’s run with just two types of visitor.  They might be (1) a bereaved relative of someone who has died of cancer and (2) someone interested in cancer research who wishes to support it.

Let’s say the charity provides support for families of people with cancer.  A type 1 visitor may be interested in the support the charity offers.  They may be someone who needs support or someone who has had support and wants to show their appreciation.  The type 2 visitor may be more interested in how support functions as a part of treatment for cancer.

Implications for Your Website

Can you see the problem with using a single home page? It either limits you to addressing one type of visitor or else you have to crowd the page with several arguments, not all of which may be compatible.  Extra pages cost next to nothing and they mean your site can offer a range of visitors what they need.

One other point.  You need to be clear in your own mind about the distinction between your situation and how you address the problem.  There may be more than one response possible to a particular situation.  You may be working alongside other charities that offer services complementary to yours.  So you need to be mindful not only of what your visitors need from your site but also that you are clear about what you do and what you don’t do.  Your visitors might appreciate some guidance to an alternative site if yours is not the right one.  Whilst you might lose a visitor to another site, you may also be demonstrating your integrity.

Share in the comments examples of where the same activity can be described in different ways to different audiences.  If your website does this, it would help readers of this blog, if you can add a url.  Can you think of examples of more than one charity offering complementary approaches to the same situation?