Raising finance in various ways is important for many organisations and it is important to understand the relationship between finance and the social aims of third sector organisations.
Building relationships with your visitors is essential whether or not your purpose is financial. You need a clear grasp of how you want your visitors to respond to your site and then to design your site to meet your purpose.
This section is a case study, showing how you might design a site to encourage visitors to donate. The posts assume you are an established organisation although the ideas can be adapted to for a new organisation. There is however no such thing as an off-the-peg website design. These posts are guidelines, you will need to work hard to adapt them to your current needs.
How to Draw Down Donations suggests a six step approach to making the case of donations on your website. The next six posts cover each of these steps in turn.
- Your Situation covers the types of stories you might feature on your site and how to feature them.
- How You Address the Problem suggests there may be several ways of engaging visitors depending upon what interests them. Sometimes you may need more than one route to lead site visitors to donate.
- What Have You Achieved? This post suggests approaches to demonstrating your cause can make effective use of donations. There are various options for established and new charities.
- What Still Needs to be Done? It is important to be clear about this so visitors can see what their contribution will do. You need to distinguish between outputs and outcomes (or features and benefits as online marketers call them.)
- Your Request for Support distinguishes between a one-off donation and the value of building a long-term relationship. Getting this right can be challenging and here are a few initial guidelines.
- Follow Up is vital and it is important you consider how to build relationships with supporters whilst not alienating with too frequent requests for financial support.
A final post looks at Alternative Approaches to supporting your charity by making donations. As you build relationships with supporters there may be more things they can do to support your cause.