Our local communities and friends are usually the first ones to engage when assistance is needed. But there are other people out there, near and far, who could help your drive or organization. We’ve seen time and time again that donors who are touched by a story will show acts of kindness to complete strangers, even if they live thousands of miles away. The truth is that one never knows what cause will inspire a donor to open their hearts and pockets and help your organization. Therefore, it helps to be prepared.
As one of our donors said in a recent conversation:
“When the pandemic hit, I felt an urge to help others who are less fortunate than me. I felt lucky and blessed to have a steady job, a roof over my head and a fridge that is full. Heck, I even had toilet paper to spare! I wanted to help a struggling family who may not have been as fortunate. I didn’t really care where those people are located, because I can order pretty much anything online, and ship or deliver anywhere. I just didn’t know where to find people in need. I started making some calls. I thought that organizations are standing by the phone to receive in-kind donations, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.”
Today’s Inside-In-Kind post will provide you some simple tips to broaden visibility of your campaigns beyond the local support you’re already getting.
Increase Visibility of Your Online Presence
This probably goes without saying in today’s digital world, but a proper website, and active presence on social networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are table stakes. Ensuring that these web properties are effectively built and properly maintained will help with incoming lead flow of both donors and supporters.
There are already a ton of resources and articles written to help increase your online presence. Below are some suggestions for getting started, with the overall goal of improving web discoverability:
- Implement SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies: Getting found by search engines is key for ensuring that your prospective donors, volunteers, and even clients can find you. Want to get a sense how your website SEO is performing? Try this nifty tool from online marketing expert Neil Patel. Their services help maximize SEO performance by optimizing keywords, content, and backlinks.
- Adapt your website to mobile users: Making your website “responsive” to different form factors is key for modern websites, especially with younger tech savvy donor and volunteers. Here are tips for maximizing the mobile experience for your users.
- Consider ad space targeting specific audiences (Facebook, Google): While social media marketing can be quite pricey, be sure to take advantage of deals that many platforms have for nonprofits. Through Google Ad Grants, for example, nonprofits can access up to $10,000 per month in search ads on the Google platform.
- Invest in quality content: In the nonprofit space, storytelling is a great way of humanizing your cause and showing the impact of your work. Organizations who are able to connect with their supporters on an emotional level have more effective campaigns. Interested in seeing a few examples of successful campaigns? Check these out. For social media, your team might want to consider creating engaging stories, going live more often, improving photo and video quality, and use hashtags effectively.
Wherever you decide to focus, perhaps most important of all, we believe the key to success is consistency. Keep the content coming at a pace that you can manage and ensure you are present where potential donors could be. And once you do acquire new ‘friends’ keep in touch with them and let them know about upcoming campaigns. This is by no means a comprehensive guide, but hopefully these tips will help you get started.
Increase Visibility on Roonga
Roonga already gives organizations visibility to potential donors that are beyond the immediate community. The easy-to-use platform allows any donor to browse all current (and past) drives, to read about them and decide how they want to participate. Many drives already have all the necessary information, making the process seamless and easy for donors.
However, we would like to emphasize a few best practices when launching a campaign on our platform:
- Provide a clear and appealing overview of your organization: Do not assume that everyone knows who you are or what you do. Have a short but powerful introduction that will helpfully capture the hearts and wallets of potential donors.
- Make it easy to contribute: For Roonga’s collection drives, the items purchased will automatically be delivered directly to the nonprofit organization, but for adopt-a-family programs, consider allowing an option for the donor to ship the items to you (as opposed to bring them physically to your office during certain dates and times). Donors should be able to purchase items for you no matter where they are located, and what time of the day they are inspired to contribute.
- Include a contact person and phone number: This person should plan to be responsive during the course of the drive across time zones as required. In addition, we suggest providing a clear mailing address of your organization (including city, state and zip code). Avoid partial names (eg: “drop off donations by the beauty store in the mall”. This will mean very little to an out-of-town donor). Include any information that may be helpful for donors who are sending merchandise over (eg: business hours of operation, labeling requirements, etc).
- Acknowledge and thank: If you have an online drive where donors select items without really interacting with your team, find a way to thank them, let them know the impact of their donation and help them feel good about it, even if through a generic message. If tax forms are possible, be sure to include that information, which is something that can impact participation for some donors.
- Become a featured drive: Your drive will appear on Roonga’s landing page and will therefore have access to more ‘eyeballs’. Interested in being featured? Contact the Roonga team at email@example.com.
There are other ways to broaden your donor reach. Some require some investment, such as buying online ads or purchasing lists and calling potential donors. In a previous post we discussed how to build partnerships with corporations in your city, and partner with them around big drives and initiatives.
At the very minimum, make sure that your website and social presence has the information on how to donate, and don’t forget to recognize your in-kind donors who prefer to purchase tangible goods rather than a lump sum cash donation.
Your Roonga team