The Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) is the nonprofit sector’s signature technology event. This year nearly 2,000 nonprofit professionals, exploring how technology can be used for social change, attended the conference. There were three pre-conference events featuring WordPress, Drupal, and Salesforce technologies. We were excited to participate and hear from folks at.., and learn about increasing donations online.
Lesson 1. WordPress & Nonprofits is the perfect fit
WordPress is a perfect platform choice for all kinds and sizes of organizations. It’s highly sophisticated, extremely flexible and easy to use, and it’s free. We knew all that, but here is Kyle Maurer’s of Real Big Marketing take on how to convince your board that the WordPress is the right choice.
Acknowledging that one of the most challenging and important decisions every organization must make is what to use to power the website, Kyle explores the numerous differentiating factors which are important to non-profit organizations and covers in detail what exactly sets WordPress apart from all other options as the only logical choice.
WordPress powers over 25% of all websites on the Internet including fundraising sites, e-commerce, social networks, academic databases, blogs, multi-level marketing systems, corporate training sites, Intranets, large multisite networks, and directories.
The WordPress ecosystem is huge.
WordPress help is easy to find.
The WordPress community is amazing with 945 active meetups, and 500+ WordCamps in 8 years. WordPress vs. Drupal. WordPress release cycle is every 4 months vs. Drupal’s:
– Drupal 5 – January 2007;
– Drupal 6 – February 2008;
– Drupal 7 – January 2011;
– Drupal 8 – November 2015
WordPress is easy to use and customize with many themes created specifically for nonprofits as the folks at Corner Shop Creative have pointed out.
It’s tried and true. It integrates with major CRM’s, event, and email marketing platforms. And it’s FREE to use.
Lesson 2. Increasing the donor base via storytelling.
WordPress is the most powerful storytelling engine. “Democratizing publishing” has been the WordPress’s motto and mission since its inception back in 2003.
We connect to stories emotionally. Telling stories should be fun, and it should be simple. Still, so many organizations struggle with content publishing. Here is how you can facilitate your organization’s content publishing and automate content distribution process using WordPress.
Here is some advice by Birgit Pauli-Haack of www.nptechprojects.org: “If publishing within the WordPress Dashboard is overwhelming to some on your team, then set up publishing by email through Jetpack.”
Spread the word by automatically posting to social networks.
Offer your readers ability to share your content.
Create a publishing schedule.
Lesson 3. Make a leap by adopting next-generation publishing technologies.
With Apple News Format, you can create engaging content for Apple News. Elegant layouts, beautiful typography, photo galleries, videos, and animations bring your stories to life. You can author once and News will optimize for all iOS devices, so your readers will have a great experience no matter which device they’re using.
Create Instant Article, a HTML5 document optimized for fast mobile performance, rich storytelling capabilities, branded design and customized visual display and display it on your organization’s Facebook page. Instant Articles will be available to all publishers globally on April 12, 2016.
Make your WordPress-based content truly platform-independent.
suggests Phil Crumm of 10up. REST API allows sharing your content between any device, platform, and application.
Lesson 4. Is your donation page a problem? Optimizing your organization’s donation form.
You have excelled at story telling and content sharing, but still your organization’s website doesn’t convert at the rate it should. Well, it’s time you pay attention to your donation page.
Here is what you can do to improve your donation page, suggests Yelena Lowenfeld of LIMIT8.
Make a donation page your front page. You can still tell your story.
The storytelling starts immediately with their name: Charity:water – two words separated by a colon. The first one describes the category and the second one describes the cause. There are several looped videos behind the donation button. The video header reads: “We’re a nonprofit on a mission to bring clean drinking water to every person on the planet. And with the support of people like you, we’ve funded 19,819 water projects in 24 countries so far.”
Ensure a consistent look and feel on desktop computers and mobile devices, and make it really easy for your donors to complete transactions.
Lesson 5. Maximizing your online fundraising capabilities.
Get innovative, experiment with new technologies and tools. After all, what’s there to loose? Ever heard of crowdfunding or peer-to-peer fundraising? Not sure what’s the difference? We’ll do the explaining.
P2P and Crowd fundraising Tools.
Razoo – a crowdfunding platform for causes. It lets any nonprofit create project-specific fundraising widgets to place on your website.
Indiegogo – a crowdfunding platform which allows choosing between “all or nothing” model and keeping any pledges whether or not you reach your goal.
Crowdster for Nonprofits – offer crowdfunding and P2P-fundraising capabilities featuring “one-click” mobile payments and donations via Apple Pay.
Facebook Fundraisers – verified and approved nonprofits can raise money for specific fundraising campaigns.
Another emerging trend worth considering is Bitcoins. Should your organization accept Bitcoins for donations? Our answer is, YES, sure. Think direct mail versus email fundraising. Why limit your organization’s fundraising potential to direct mail only?
Here are some facts about Bitcoins.
– It is a secure and nearly-instant payment method.
– You can send bitcoin to anyone, anywhere in the world.
– Low transaction fees – receive your first $1 million in donations with no processing charges (Coinbase).
– Bitcoin Donation pages can be deployed in less than 2 hours.
– Compelling tax benefits for donors: IRS Guide
– Wikipedia raised $140,000 USD worth of Bitcoin donations in a week and so could your organization.
And before you ask.
At LIMIT8, we strongly believe that WordPress is the only logical solution for organizations to tell their stories, spread the word, manage donors, campaigns, and events, and accept donations right at the website.
We would be happy to hear your opinion and your stories.