StrategyBytes Transcript: Web Tips for Nonprofits

Episode

We have a new FEEDBACK segment, StrategyBytes — short, scripted podcast episodes less than 10 minutes. Just eat it up with your morning coffee. The inaugural episode deals with a few areas that can help improve a nonprofit’s ability to distinguish itself online.

 

Transcript


LISETTE

Rock paper scissors, shoot.

 

ANDREW triumphant noise. LISETTE frustrated noise.

 

Rock paper scissors, shoot.

 

ANDREW frustrated noise. LISETTE triumphant noise.

 

Rock paper scissors, shoot.

 

ANDREW frustrated noise. LISETTE triumphant noise.

 

ANDREW

No!!

 

LISETTE

Yes! You first.

 

ANDREW

Lisette, I don’t even know what this means–”differentiating nonprofit user audiences from other verticals in digital CMS conversations.” Like, what? Gimme a thesis on Shakespeare to BS any day.

 

LISETTE

I won, so that means you got to take a crack at it first.

 

ANDREW

Okay. Okay, fine. I see what you’re doing. You’re trying to make this a learning experience for the new guy. This would be like, a billion times easier for you to explain and not screw up.

 

LISETTE

You’re the everyman, Andrew. That’s what fate via rock paper scissors determined for this episode, that’s how you’re going to run with it.

 

ANDREW

I feel like being in digital would have erased superstitious tendencies like fate and luck?

 

LISETTE

Oh, my dude, you don’t even know. And stop getting off topic. Tell the audiences what you think they need to know about nonprofits in digital.

 

ANDREW

Okay. Let me think. Okay. Well first, I follow a handful of nonprofits on Instagram. You know, those “Humans of New York”-style story posts with people doing cool things to help communities or the environment or whatever? I like those. Oh! And the nonprofits that don’t like, barrage you with pop-up requests to be a donor every two seconds.

 

LISETTE

Hey, that’s not bad.

 

ANDREW

Why thank you. I may be the new guy, but it’s not my first day on the job.

 

LISETTE

Alright, new guy. I’ll take it from here. Andrew is right, there are a lot of nonprofits that are getting things right when it comes to social media and their websites, but there are a lot of things that they’re still struggling with. A lot of nonprofits like National Geographic Society, Human Rights Campaign, and World Wildlife Fund have gotten really savvy in their use of digital to promote their message and drive engagement. Sometimes, though, you don’t really have the time or resources like those big organizations do. So, we’d like to offer up some ways a nonprofit could change their digital presence today.

 

ANDREW

Wait, what if they don’t even have a digital presence? Or at least, not one they want people to be on. Some of these sites…ugh. Wow. Hello dial-up era.

 

LISETTE

Platform is a big deal, and websites should be an important investment in your organization’s future, but now a lot of social media can handle things like engagement and even donations. I’m sure some of you have seen Facebook and their campaign-style pages for non-profits? You can even set up a campaign during your birthday to get your friends and family to donate to an important cause. Those are quick and easy to set up, and you’re more likely to reach the people you need to reach than just setting up a page on a website.

 

ANDREW

How do these nonprofits know if they are reaching the right people? Or how they know who the right people are? I see fundraising campaigns all the time but it doesn’t make me want to donate.

 

LISETTE

Good point. What are the things that work for you?

 

ANDREW

I like knowing what project I’m supporting directly. And it’s nice to get a sticker or something in the mail.

 

LISETTE

Yeah, communicating impact is huge with non-profits. And having graphics, statistics or other ways to visualize what you’re doing is great for communicating impact. There’s also this whole thing about audience again. Do you, the nonprofit, want to target someone like Andrew–a male millenial living in an urban area, married with a kid–

 

ANDREW

Thanks, give out my social security number while you’re at it.

 

LISETTE

What I’m saying is, you’re a human person, right?

 

ANDREW

Presumably.

 

LISETTE

Nonprofits need humans to support their mission. But which humans do you want to motivate? People like Andrew? Or someone else? The world is huge, and diverse, complex, and most importantly–increasingly online. It’s important they get those stats and those analytics. Keeping track of who is donating, who is downloading resources, visiting your site and reading your blogs can influence how you choose to organize your campaigns.

 

ANDREW

Cool. So I’m guessing at some point you need, you know, writers to deal with these campaigns and social media posts though. Like, if I’m working for a non-profit and need to write a blog what am I supposed to be looking for?

 

LISETTE

So I’ve noticed that increasingly, resource centers and blogs are often key points of engagement. But! They aren’t really well organized. Also nonprofits may have professional writers on staff, but they may not be well-versed in writing for web.

 

ANDREW

Oh for sure. These guys usually sound like they’re writing a research paper. It’s so dense.

 

LISETTE

Exactly. Nonprofits, for the most part, need to be writing more clearly for web and organizing their content by their strengths and focus areas. This is usually when we would go into information architecture, but that’s a topic for another time. At the end of the day, nonprofits would benefit from three main things that support engagement; understanding audiences–that’s mostly gathering information on them via analytics and data, accessing audiences–that’s knowing what platforms are most easily accessible like social media or mobile-friendly websites, and writing for their audiences–that’s brushing up on writing for web best practices, keyword and SEO research, and effectively organizing your content. Cool. Think you can remember that the next time I beat you at rock paper scissors?

 

ANDREW

You wound me, Alvarez.

 

LISETTE

I ain’t runnin’ a charity here, Admunson. In our end of month interview, we’ll be talking with Monica Flores from Green America and this really cool concept of changing the term nonprofits with citizen sector. Because what nonprofits really need is a brand makeover, too.

 

And now we present to you some thoughts from Ab, in a segment we like to call “Abstractions.”

 

AB

There’s a nonprofit that gets spun out of the door on a daily basis. Millions of them. So how do you compete? Because that’s the biggest concern right now because there’s so much noise. Just, everything. And they’re all fighting for the same consumer to get that dollar and for the same grants that are available out there. So it’s difficult. The best thing you can do is have a solid content strategy; how does your voice sound, does it sound professional? Does it sound like you’re legit? Or are you just some fake nonprofit?

 

Your design; are you up to par? Does it give that consumer the confidence in giving you money?

 

Pretty big one; do you look fake, do you look secure, do you look legit, do you look like you’ve been around for a while? Those things are super critical.

 

Same thing for me, when I go shopping for anything online, if your website is horrible, I get scared. What is this, is this a scam, is it a Russian hack? I don’t know! I think it is really important to invest time, money, and intelligence in your online presence.

 

LISETTE

This is Lisette Alvarez

 

ANDREW

And Andrew Admunson!

 

LISETTE

Bringing you some Strategybytes to satisfy your digital cravings. Until next time, thank you for listening.

 

BLOOPERS. LISETTE AND ANDREW laughing.

 

ANDREW

You got into that one. You got saucy there.

 

LISETTE

I know it’s real, it’s real…I gotta bring the sauce. Gotta bring the sauce.

 

LAUGHING.

 

Now I know what my little ending blooper is going to be. Gotta bring the sauce.

 

ANDREW

Gotta bring the sauce.

 

 

 

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