What to think about when moving your charity online

Charity technology experts recently took part in a live Q&A ‘Getting your charity online’ to offer their top tips on how charities can boost their online presences.

| 4th Nov 14

The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network recently held a Q&A ‘Getting your charity online’ during which experts came together to offer their top tips on how charities can boost their online presences.

Here’s what they came up with:

  1. Connect with people online who are fighting for the same cause, share the same values or operate close to you. Stephanie Siddall policy officer at the Institute of Fundraising adds that fundraising involves all departments, from finance to IT.
  1. Think about your goals and who you are trying to reach. CEO of Tech Trust, Richard Craig, said: Think about who your audience is and what medium suits them best and start there. Social media sites are quicker to get going than a web site, but ultimately that is where you want them to go as you can have more control over the environment and the message.”
  1. Should your charity set up a Facebook page or website first? “It depends on what you want,” says Lizi Zipser, head of digital fundraising at Barnardo’s.“People are less likely to find out about your services via Facebook than via a Google search. If your aim is to keep in touch with volunteers and/or donors and show them what you’re up to – then yes, Facebook does a good job at being a lot easier to update and allowing people to share with their networks.”
  1. Look past the fees when it comes to fundraising platforms. Richard Craig said:Of course you need value for money, but I think it is more important the right user journey is in place. This ensures you get all the data you need (including Gift Aid) and the donation is completed by a happy donor.”
  1. It’s not all about mobile. Richard Craig urged charities to interpret their Google Analytics to see where the traffic is. “If people are visiting on a mobile device, the site must be optimised.”
  1. Crowdfunding was flagged as one to look out for. Lou Coady head of marketing at Localgiving, said: “Crowdfunding is a great way of raising funds over a short period of time for a defined project. One thing to watch out for though is that, unlike a donations site, with traditional crowdfunding sites the donations will not count until the target has been reached. If the target is not reached then the money will not be collected.”

Click here for the full Q&A thread.