3 Essential Reminders for Any Non-Profit Looking to Stand Out Online

It’s 2015, and the world of non-profits has never been more exciting.

We’ve been so happy to have many non-profits come to Mindbrew Creative for support with their web design, online marketing, graphic design, and other creative service needs in the past year. It’s never a dull experience working with charitable people.

You deserve to hear solid advice to help your organization grow. We’ve laid out 3 essential reminders for any non-profit organization that is looking to hit it big online.

1. Outward Appearance Matters

Millennials LOVE non-profits. They want to work for them, learn about them, and volunteer. And despite what many may think, younger generations aren’t that stingy when it comes to donating their time and money to a cause they find suitable.

This is great news! But remember the time we now live in. The online competition you’re up against from other non-profits is growing daily, meaning you need to step it up with your website and your digital footprint. You need to be EVERYWHERE.

You may have a responsible framework in place for your organization’s structure, and an inspiring mission statement, but the undeniable truth is…

If you aren’t making your mission look attractive in your online space, you will have a hard time peaking anyones’ interest.

It’s a hard idea to swallow, and perhaps it shouldn’t be this way – but it is. If an apparel company has less than 5 seconds to grab someone’s attention with their website, the same rule applies to your non-profit’s website. A boring website, or none at all, could bring in little attention and few fundraising dollars.

2. Maintain an Active Role Online

When someone considers giving money online – possibly to people they have never even met before – they are comforted knowing that your organization is thriving and active. If you haven’t posted any new content or images on your website in over a month, how do they know you even need the funds? Will they know where their hard-earned cash will go, or how it will be used?

The same goes for social media. As a non-profit, you should have a much easier time connecting with people than a for-profit business (your solicitation isn’t meant to stuff your pockets). Stay current, stay PERSONAL!

And don’t go it alone. You should be reaching out to other organizations you could partner with, suggest projects to, ask questions of, and cross-promote. No one wants to help a non-profit that appears greedy or just wants the limelight for themselves.

The best way to do this is through social media. You will naturally find the organizations that are doing things the right way first, that’s the whole point. Watch them, take notes, and get to know them personally.

It won’t happen overnight, but the more you place online, and the more often you do it, the more you’ll see new web visitors engage with your content and donate to your cause.

3. Brag…Seriously

This might seem like contradictory advice, but you need to break out of your humbleness shell if you want to succeed online as a non-profit organization.

We’ve met the founders of countless non-profits, and they are all great people. Non-profits are a lot of work to get started, are a complete pain come tax season, and require putting in hours after you’ve most likely worked a full day at your actual job.

Unless you’re the Red Cross, you won’t have footage of yourself repelling from a helicopter into devastated areas, and that is ok! What is NOT okay is forgetting to give yourself the credit you are due. And here is why:

People give when they feel an emotional pull or connection to a cause. If you aren’t posting about all the cool things you are doing, they won’t feel that connection.

Online, images (and video) speak louder than words. Document your trips, your events, and everything you are doing with images and video. An iPhone camera is acceptable for this!

The internet can take some of the weight off your shoulders if you do it right. You can actually get some sleep on the weekends if your blog is driving more traffic and donors through your website. SEO matters just as much for a non-profit.

Donors will want to know you are working hard, it gives them the incentive to give again!

You aren’t getting paid, or not much at least. Your reward is feeling good about the work you do, and it isn’t wrong to share that. It’s not boastful, it’s smart.

Running a non-profit can be the most rewarding thing a person can do. It can also be the most draining. Don’t settle only for the latter. If you or a non-profit you work with needs help standing out online, contact us and we can help you.

Forrest Musselman

fmusselman@mindbrewcreative.com

Forrest holds a B.A. in English from Framingham State University. Prior to Mindbrew Creative, he spent time working and interning with larger agencies, where he was able to learn from influential creative leaders. Using his homegrown skills in web and graphic design, Forrest paid his way through college (Gordon College, Temple University, & Framingham State) and was able to grow long-lasting relationships in both Greater Boston and Greater Philadelphia (his two favorite cities), that have become invaluable to Mindbrew’s success. Forrest is a foodie who loves to spend quality time with family, enjoy the outdoors, grill, and jam out on his 3-piece drum kit.