How To Lose Donations and Confuse People

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has a great article about what prevents people from giving online (Confusing Web Sites Discourage Donors From Online Giving). What does it come down to? Bad design.

Nielsen Norman Group, which conducted the research and wrote it into this report. A summary of the biggest problems, which I can testify are the same problems we fix too:

Don't Squander Your Money: 10 Essentials for All Websites

This Halloween I might dress as the economy. I can't think of any scarier. You're right to be scared too, especially if you're a nonprofit and beholden to funders, because you've got to make the case why you need a good website.

Hold on. Reality check: you aren't thinking of cutting funding for your own website, are you? That would be a grave mistake. Websites are not only the public face of your organization, but the best tool you have to information and create a community on a budget.

Top 10 Mistakes of Online Fundraising

With some mighty big funders losing money because of the bad economy and the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, this is a good time for nonprofits embrace grassroots fundraising. This, after all, is how the president-to-be was able to raise such an enormous sum: lots of people making moderate donations.

If you're not raising funds online, do it! Too many websites make it too hard – or impossible - to give online. Here are the top 10 transgressions I’ve seen many times. Learn from these mistakes.

Technologically Impaired

Check out my latest article in The Jewish Daily Forward, which articulates how many of the nonprofits we come into contact with are struggling to keep up with technology. I'm already hearing some "mazel tovs" and "Yes, we're hearing the same thing toos."

Technologically Impaired?
Jewish Organizations Struggle To Keep Pace With New Technologies

By Monique Cuvelier
Wed. Jun 18, 2008

It’s Not All Online

A client called the other day wondering why more people weren't using their brand spanking new synagogue website. It was a nice site, all the bells and whistles, and there wasn't a very good reason I could see that no one was using it. But it didn't take long to figure out what the problem was."Well, do the people in your congregation know about the site?" "We sent an e-mail when it launched." "Do you mention it in your monthly bulletin?" "No." "Do you have the URL on your business cards?" "No." "Do you tell people during services that they can find more information on the site?" "No."

Free AdWords for Nonprofits

Here’s another good reason for you nonprofits to set up your own websites: Google Grants. If you have 501(c)(3) status, you can apply to receive free AdWords advertising on Google – this is worth it! As cited on the Google site:

Google Grant recipients use their award of free AdWords advertising on Google.com to raise awareness and increase traffic. Three of our award recipients have achieved these results:

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