By John Connelly, president and founder of Sensus Media
#GivingTuesday is 13 days away.
Colorado Gives Day is 20 days away.
And your nonprofit website should’ve been search engine optimized (SEO) yesterday.
#GivingTuesday and Colorado Gives Day, approaching their 6th and 8th anniversaries, respectively, have been a major fundraising boon for nonprofits nationally and across Colorado—especially for online giving.
Online Giving is Here to Stay
Reflective of consumer behavior, individuals are more comfortable with giving online. Nonprofits processed $2.2 billion in online giving last year and, overall, online giving grew 9.2% in 2015 compared to 2014, according to Blackbaud’s 2015 Charitable Giving Report.
As impressive as those numbers are, the volume of online donations are more pronounced on #GivingTuesday and Colorado Gives Day.
#GivingTuesday 2015 online donations reached $116 million, up 52% compared to 2014. 17% of online donations were made on mobile devices—iPhones, Android devices, iPads, etc. Across Colorado, nonprofits collectively raised $28.5 million on Colorado Gives Day 2015 with a median donation of $50.
#GivingTuesday and Colorado Gives Day deserve a lot of credit for reinvigorating the charitable spirit and mark the start of the most prolific fundraising period of the year.
SEO for Nonprofits
While nonprofit Executive Directors invest in creative digital fundraising campaigns for these charitable holidays and end-of-the-year push, little investment is paid to search engine optimization (SEO).
Executive Directors know the importance of their nonprofit website showing on page 1 of Google and their digital fundraising campaigns depend upon it. Unfortunately, many Executive Directors still believe that keywords alone will get their websites there.
The search engine optimization (SEO) game has changed considerably. Not only has Google successfully eliminated shortcuts to page 1, they’ve factored user experience into their secret sauce. In addition to quality search engine optimized (SEO) content, webpages and websites that are easy to interact with—download fast, mobile friendly—get served higher in the search results.
SEO and Online Giving
Executive Directors are busy approving fundraising campaigns and landing pages aimed at existing donors. They’ve got their eye on #GivingTuesday, Colorado Gives Day and December, when 31% of annual giving occurs, according to the Network for Good. There’s a lot riding on the next 3 months.
While Executive Directors should be aiming for donations from existing donors on #GivingTuesday and Colorado Gives Day, they should also capitalize on the increased interest in nonprofits these days generate.
Individuals, who account for 71% of all charitable donations, according to Charity Navigator, will be searching for causes near and dear to them on these days, but many won’t donate immediately.
By search engine optimizing your nonprofit website, which includes creating a smooth user experience, your website should generate a spike in first-time visitors who are interested in your cause.
Capturing vital information from these first-time visitors, such as email addresses, can deliver donations over the course of the year by expanding your donor base.
This expanded donor base can be tapped throughout the year for other strategic initiatives using email, which provides the highest return on investment at about 40:1.
While individuals will be motivated to donate on a single day, #GivingTuesday and Colorado Gives Day should be the days that keep on giving—to nonprofits.
Where to Start
The future of giving is here. Nonprofits must continue to invest in how they engage donors using the right channel on the right device at the right time.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the first step in engaging new donors and boosting online giving.
Not sure if your nonprofit’s website is search engine optimized?
Calculate your website’s SEO score for keywords with this free tool. Don’t forget to test individual landing pages.
Looking for more tips and support?
Sensus Media can provide multiple digital content solutions. For overall marketing and communications strategies, connect with the team at Joining Vision and Action. Learn more by calling (303) 477-4896.