charity

15 sec without words

The 15 Second Bounce

Charities must diversify their fundraising strategy, raise their digital profile, increase their supporter base and generate online donations – an out of date website and ignoring social media is not an option.

Your website should be the centre of your communications. Visitors to your site are interested in the people you help, how you help them and how they can get involved.

Please remember that donors fund people not organisations.

You have 15 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention – this is called the 15 second bounce. In those 15 seconds you must stir emotion, empathy and invite engagement.

Menu Options: You should have no more than 5 menu options with short, call to action words:

About    Get Help    Get Involved   Contact Us   Donate

Mission statement: The message on your home page must be simple and immediate ‘We’re ending homelessness and rebuilding lives’

Fundraising: It must be obvious to the donor who you are fundraising for. Donors and funders will check your site to see what you do with your money. Tell beneficiary stories and have project pages with images and totals raised. Keep pages and interest fresh by updating regularly.

Donations: Your donate button should be in the top right of your website and visible on every page. The button should be a different colour from other menu options. No more than 3 clicks to donate from anywhere on your site. Where possible offer different donation values and tell the donor what their money buys.

Tell Stories and Use Images: Site visitors want to hear about real people and their lives. They want to hear stories and quotes from volunteers and beneficiaries about how your intervention improves lives and makes a difference. If you have vulnerable beneficiaries, try copying the image creativity of larger charities to get around the problem of showing faces. Don’t bury your stories deep in the website – they should be easy to find.

Calls to Action: Every web page, email, Tweet, Facebook post should have a call to action – donate, volunteer, contact, support, sign up, share.

Mobile Friendly: Google penalises websites which don’t display well on mobiles or tablets. In 2018 25% of all online donations were made on a mobile.

What are you for? Who do you benefit? Where are they? Show faces and tell stories. You have 15 seconds before I bounce.

Self Help Guide from Amigo

Amigo’s Self Help Interactive Services Guide

During this COVID-19 pandemic our time spent in lock-down has made it easy to become overwhelmed so we’ve produced a guide which you can download here – highlighting the range of free online services that can be used to relieve your stress or anxiety and help you to cope with your mental health.

Our new Amigo project manager Leeah Jones has created this helpful guide and encourages you to actively take part in some of the online activities and have a go at downloading some of the apps.

Please contact us if you are unsure about how to access any of the services in the guide, or you are new to the online world.

The Amigo project supports people who need encouragement to move forward on their journey of recovery from mental ill health. We match our buddy volunteers with people who need help to make connections within the local community in order to boost confidence and increase motivation. If you think you would benefit from a buddy or you would like to be a volunteer buddy please read more about the project and complete our contact form.

The project covers the residents of several boroughs; Runnymede, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, West Elmbridge and Woking.

FB live streaming

Livestreaming Charity Events

Charities are using livestreaming for fundraising events with great ingenuity and success.

Event Ideas:

Has your charity had a successful event that could be made virtual or could you try something new? ow.ly/4ywM50Ae06N 

Choose the right platform:

Facebook Live – people have and use Facebook accounts and are more likely to find your event because they are on the platform anyway http://ow.ly/eYiM50AfgoO

Twitch – known as a gaming platform it has increasingly been used for charity fundraisers an allows fundraising goals and rewards for donations http://ow.ly/paSE50AfgoM

YouTube – best and least technical option with built-in features including a virtual tip jar for donations http://ow.ly/awoT50AfgoL

Zoom and other meeting platforms – connect and communicate with clients, donors and supporters http://ow.ly/Y1KJ50AfgoK

Sell Tickets:

The most effective platforms can help with ticketing, marketing, bookings, payments and donations, giving out essential information about the event http://ow.ly/RtXr50AhzD2

Use Subtitles:

90% of people watch videos with the sound off. There are free online tools such as Clideo, Adobe Spark to add titles to your videos and YouTube also generates subtitles.

Call to Action CTA:

Tap into the energy from your event to inspire people to take action. Tell them what do you want them to do – buy tickets for another event, donate, volunteer, sign up, share on their social media?

St John’s Ambulance have a great guide on livestreaming your event http://ow.ly/rEcK50AfgoN

open for business (1)

Open for Business

Many of our local charities have a new ‘normal’ – adapting their existing services so they can be accessed virtually and creating new online services for their users.

It may look different, but they are still there to help and still able to offer support to our community.

We’ve been talking to local charities who are ‘open for business’ and finding out how they have changed and adapted. Take a look at what the Runnymede, Spelthorne and Surrey Heath groups are doing.

seo-1288976_1280

SEO to increase website visitors and donors

Search Engine Optimisation helps your website perform better in search engines like Google.

SEO is important because good SEO practices improve the usability of your web site and your visitor’s user experience. You’ll get discovered by the right people more often, allowing you to grow your base of supporters and donors.

Users trust search engines – if your site is in at the top of a search for the keywords used by your visitors, they will have more trust in your site.

Many small charities face 2 problems – not enough website visitors and the ones who find you are not engaged enough to stay.

So how can you improve your SEO?

  • Regularly updated, quality, relevant content
  • Identify and use your target keywords
  • Use Google Search Console
  • Use Google Analytics
  • Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
  • Use a plugin like Yoast
  • Fix 404s

The higher your google ranking, the easier your website will be to find. You’ll attract more visitors and persuade them to donate and support you with an interesting and attractive, navigable site – easy!

https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/course/6

https://truenorthsocial.com/seo/how-to-choose-seo-keywords-for-your-business/

https://search.google.com/search-console/about

https://www.quicksprout.com/best-seo-plugins-for-wordpress/

https://www.classy.org/blog/7-seo-tips-nonprofit-cant-afford-ignore/

https://charitydigital.org.uk/topics/10-essential-charity-seo-tips-to-get-your-website-found3-6168

https://whitefuse.com/blog/7-steps-mastering-seo-your-charity-website

social proof fb

Use Social Proof

The Rule of Social Proof: ‘If others are doing it, it must be the right thing to do.’

92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of marketing. People care about what others think and you can use that to attract new donors and supporters.

Tell the stories of your beneficiaries and supporters in text and pictures. A good story will spark emotion and empathy in your reader and persuade them to answer the call to action on your donate page. Images in the online world increase engagement by 313%. Not everything can be expressed with words, but nearly everything can be explained with visuals. Pictures help us relate to content, which will increase credibility and trust in your cause.

Use numbers on your website donation page. Show the number of people who have already given or who have fundraised for you to motivate visitors to donate. Tell your readers your total so far if you have a target amount to raise, this inspires them to help you reach your goal.

If you’ve received positive mentions from credible media sources, influencers or publications, put them on your website as well as key quotes from experts. Don’t forget to include social media buttons on your website pages to demonstrate broad support for your organisation and so people can easily share your content.

The internet has made social proof a powerful way to influence social behaviours.  By building and increasing the visibility of social proof for your cause, you more clearly demonstrate the value of your organisation to prospective donors and fundraisers.

https://zapier.com/blog/power-of-empathy/

https://www.globalgiving.org/learn/listicle/photography-tips-for-fundraising/

 

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secure your website with an SSL

Would you enter your contact data on a website that was unsecured? We wouldn’t.

https is a secure way of transmitting the data associated with your website. On most browsers (even those on phones), you’ll see a lock icon in the address bar. The https lock icon appears when your site has an SSL (secure socket layer) certificate.

If your site collects personal information you should be protecting the data of your donors and supporters with an SSL certificate.

Usually costing approximately £50 per year and a couple of days to implement, your website hosting company will almost certainly offer an SSL certificate and set your site up with it.

https://smartcausedigital.com/articles/your-website-not-finished-you-forgot-https

windows 10

Long Live Windows 10

Support for Windows 7 ended on 14th January 2020 and we’ve been asked repeatedly about what that means.

Many of you are still using it – at the end of 2019 about a third of desktop operating systems were reportedly Windows 7, including a large part of the NHS.

Your PC with Windows 7 will continue to work, withdrawal of support by Microsoft means that there will be no software updates (including security updates) so your PC is more vulnerable to cyber-attack. Microsoft will also cease to provide technical support when things go wrong.

Continuing with Windows 7 also affects your organisation’s legal compliance. You cannot meet the security requirements of data protection legislation when you are using an operating system with potential security flaws which are not going to be fixed.

In practical terms – it may cost you more in time wasted recovering data from a system crash or a virus than installing Windows 10.

Unless your PC is very old, Windows 10 will run on the machine you have been using with Windows 7 it’s just a matter of upgrading. If you do decide to upgrade your PC, remember that UK charities can benefit from discounted software donated through the Charity Digital Exchange programme.

https://www.charitydigitalexchange.org/

Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) have an excellent, more detailed blog post for more information

https://www.nicva.org/article/still-using-windows-7-heres-what-you-need-to-know

For those of you that hate change – once you’ve made the move you can customise Windows 10 to look like 7!

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-make-windows-10-look-like-windows-7/

tell us what you think2

Tell Us What You Think

Organisations succeed when they talk to their customers and ask them what they think.

Every 2 years on behalf of Surrey County Council, we send out ‘A State of the Voluntary Sector Survey’ asking you about the quality of our services.

This survey provides hard numbers and facts on your opinions and we can use them make important decisions about how we help you.

Please complete the survey to voice your opinion and help us to improve services to you and other voluntary organisations in our community.

Surrey County Council Survey

You’re not just helping us – you’re helping yourselves and other local charities by improving what we do for you.

training (1)

Spring Training from Voluntary Support North Surrey

Why is it important for charity sector organisations to have a learning culture?

When resources and volunteer numbers are tight we must find ways to be more efficient and effective with what we have. By continuously learning we can find out what we should be doing, what others are doing, how we can do things better, and learn how to measure your impact to show you’re making a difference. VSNS Spring training kicks off in March:

First Steps to Successful Volunteer Management on 17th March, 9.30am to 3pm

Digital Fundraising Workshop on 26th March, 10am to 3pm

Grant and Trust Application Workshop on 30th March, 10am to 3pm 

Volunteering and the Law Workshop on 17th April, 10am to 1.30pm

ThursdayThoughts Networking Event, 23rd April, 10am to 12pm

There are lots of other ways to learn new skills through webinars, podcasts and blog posts from a wide variety of organisations – here are resources I use on a regular basis:

https://charitydigital.org.uk/podcasts

https://knowhow.ncvo.org.uk/studyzone

https://www.nptechforgood.com/webinars/  

 

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