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Five Quick Ways to Make Your Nonprofit's Website Work For You

Published: | Updated: | By Mara Certic

It’s the year 2016, and businesses worldwide are coming to the realization that success hinges on an effective online presence. This is especially true for nonprofits, which rely on donations, volunteers and other forms of generosity to accomplish even the simplest tasks. Research over the past decade shows that a good website can help nonprofits find deeper pockets. In fact, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported last year that online giving increased over 9%, with nonprofits receiving 7% of all donations online. And while online activity increases, so too does mobile: the same study found 14% of all online donations were made on phones and tablets. With this in mind, we’ve assembled a few easy steps using POWr plugins to optimize your nonprofit’s web presence and keep the money flowing: POWr PayPal Button: PayPal is the world’s most popular online payment system, and is the industry standard for accepting donations. A PayPal button is the obvious first step for increasing online donations. With a few clicks, visitors can donate an amount of their choosing directly to your cause. Your PayPal donate button can be used in different ways, depending on your marketing approach. Some charities put the PayPal button in their site’s header or footer, so it appears on every page. Others, such as the Cleft Foundation, create a specific page for donations. One major concern of charitable donors involves understanding how their money will be spent. A study by Hope Consulting found that most donor research centers on this question. Some nonprofits allow patrons to make this decision themselves. For example, Bethany’s Children’s Home used two separate PayPal Buttons on their donation page. One directs funds towards operational costs, including salaries and admin fees. The other goes exclusively toward sustainable farming projects. This not only allows philanthropists to understand what impact their money will have, but also helps increase operational transparency.

Another successful fundraising strategy is to build a stable revenue stream through recurring payments. Organizations can use PayPal to set up and receive regular weekly, monthly, or annual donations. Author Karen Kingsbury’s professional website includes a page about her family’s foundation, which provides grants to families seeking to adopt. The donation page uses multiple Paypal buttons to distinguish between levels of giving, and gives the foundation reliable stream of recurring revenue around which to base its activities. The POWr PayPal button is the perfect tool to begin accepting payments on your website. It’s ridiculously easy, supports over 25 currencies, and can accept both payments and donations. It’s completely customizable too, so you can change the color and font of your button to attract eyes and match your larger brand. This can be particularly helpful if you subscribe to the widespread belief that button-color dramatically affects clicks. POWr Mailing List: Keeping in touch with your supporters is always a good idea, and recent studies show that email marketing is particularly effective for nonprofits. With 91% of American consumers checking their email on a daily basis, building a solid list of donors and supporters should be one of your top priorities. POWr’s mailing list makes it simple to add benefactor details and contact info to a MailChimp list. This means you can easily build your mailing list and send out email blasts. POWr Mailing List is an easy, effective way to collect contact info in a single, accessible place. Embed the form directly onto your website like The Caroline Fund, a memorial charity that supports research in brain and spine tumors. POWr Survey:

Putting a survey on your website is an excellent way to get immediate feedback from visitors with minimal effort. Many charity races use surveys to learn more about their participants and gather feedback on past events. By including a detailed survey, organizers can develop ways to expand and improve future fundraisers. POWr Survey is a fast, flexible tool for creating any type of user survey. One Girl Scout created a long-lasting community action plan focused on reducing distracted driving. She used POWr Survey to bring the issue home by prompting visitors to pledge to avoid distracted driving in a poll embedded on her page. POWr Countdown Timer: If you’re looking to build anticipation and create a tad of urgency, you might want to consider adding a countdown clock to your website. Using a timer is an easy way to build anticipation and make sure everyone’s calendar is marked correctly. The Caroline Fund, the same charity that used the POWr Mailing List on its homepage, also used the timer widget effectively. The clock on their homepage kept track of the days until their annual 5K fundraiser. The POWr Countdown Timer, like all our plugins, can be edited to match any website and color scheme. It can count up or down from a specific date, and can also count the number of events over time. POWr Media Gallery: Photography on a nonprofit’s website can do more than just provide colorful illustration; it’s a direct and effective way to show patrons the impact their giving will make. In our Internet-driven global society, people are connected to faraway places without setting foot outside. Images can paint a picture of the gap your nonprofit is filling, and the good work you do. And if a picture’s worth a thousand words, you should hear what they say about video. Luckily, the POWr Media Gallery can also display videos from YouTube and Vimeo. Just paste the URL of any public video into your gallery to make that video available to your audience. Now, all you have to do is decide if you want to combine your still and moving pictures, or have separate galleries, and voilà: a makeshift museum. POWr Social Feed:

While the original allure of social media was the potential to tap into a new audience, it’s now frequently used as a way to instantly bring new, vibrant content to your website without having to actively upload new posts every day. If you already have great photos uploaded onto an Instagram or Facebook account, just use POWr’s Social Feed plugin, which will allow you to put your lovely ‘grams right onto your website in approximately four clicks. HIVE, an HIV Education program uses POWr to embed their Facebook feed directly onto their website. Our social feed app supports all major platforms, including Pinterest, Vine, Vimeo, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and more. POWr Social Feed can be used to follow personal accounts and handles as well as hashtags. We’re proud of all the nonprofits currently using POWr plugins to do good around the world, and we’re going to keep building tools to make it easier. We’d love to hear how your organization uses your website to grow, and what tools you’ve found most helpful. Leave a note in the comments section to continue the conversation.