A Nonprofit’s Website…
…Is the place where you tell others about yourself. It is where you:
- Define yourself and others, i.e., you and your target audience
- Reach out and connect with others
- Put a face on your org. and help the viewer trust and like your org
- Can get people as excited as you are about your cause
Many nonprofits tend to speak like an organization, using “org-speak”, i.e. a lot of mission statement-like, lofty language. Most website viewers do not relate well to programmatic details.
- Instead, “talk” normally on your website to tell your org’s story.
- You have only 56 seconds or less to convince an online reader to connect with names, faces, and your compelling story so they’ll stay and possibly take action.
- To motivate action, you have to make your viewer THINK, FEEL, CARE.
- People relate to other people, not programs!
- Use stories and images to paint a portrait of your cause
Checklist about Story-Telling
1. Is this a story I want to tell?
2. Does it have a heartbeat? A human character(s) at its center?
3. Is the story transformative? Is there a change throughout the story?
4. Does it sound like us? Is it the voice of the organization?
5. Does it have an expiration date? (not like dated PR) Use archival, encyclopedic (not in length! J) stories that stand up to time.
6. Will it make the reader want to do something: sponsor, donate, think, care, tell someone else
You want success stories but you also want them to be genuine. And brief.
A Story-Telling Type of Website
1. Creates a higher % of online donations
2. Yields more $$ per online donor
3. Recruits younger and more generous donors.
Examples of story-telling websites:
Portland Rescue Mission: http://www.portlandrescuemission.org/
Feeding America: http://feedingamerica.org/
Humane Society of the U.S: http://www.humanesociety.org/
Conservation International: http://www.conservation.org/
Mission of Mercy: http://www.missionofmercy.org/
Website Content Tips:
· Use action buttons (at top of site) to encourage action: DONATE NOW, CLICK HERE TO READ MORE, SHARE, ADVOCATE, GIVE TODAY, JOIN TODAY, LEARN MORE, MEDIA CONTACT, EVENTS, VOLUNTEER NOW, OTHER WAYS TO HELP, PERSONAL STORIES
- The use of photos and videos pull viewers into your story. They show context and your org’s “environment”
- A good website provides different levels of sensory information
- Don’t use dense blocks of text which discourages viewer interaction. Intermix graphics with succinct, reader-friendly text
- Put a Donate button on every page of your website
Using Social Media: Where To Put Your Org’s Stories
- Once you’ve got your stories, you have several areas to place them: web pages (Home page), multi-media representation, and print materials.
- Post a Donate Now and Tell A Friend button right alongside stories on your Home Page or in your sections about regions and people.
Using Social Media to Share Your Stories
1. Post videos to Vimeo (better quality) or YouTube
2. Post photos to Flicker/Picasa/PictoBrowser to create embed-able slideshows
3. Create a blog for your org
4. Newsletters (Constant Contact) with click-through donation button
5. Social Networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
6. Integrate audio stories into your media outreach
- Can show staff at work to personalize your org
- Profile people/efforts/events to provide window into your org
· Most powerful videos are 30 sec – 2mins. long