How to Create a Landing Page to find the Next Dollar for Your Charity
The world feels like it’s on fire (especially on Twitter).
Hurricane destruction, refugees, water crisis, education crisis, abused animals, and the list goes on.
You’re ready to get off the bench and get in the game to raise money for the charity of your choice.
Though, there’s a problem.
Either you've built a landing page and the contributions are trickling in (mostly from your family and friends) or you have no idea where to even start in building one.
What? I need to write persuasive copy...What's that?
I need hi-res photos? Do I need to hire a professional photographer?
Benefits and pain points? That's supposed to be in there?
You’re a natural at “surfing the web”, but you’ve never designed a landing page - especially for a charity, before.
We got you.
Let’s break down what we did and why this will help drive people to donate to your cause.
WHY IS A LANDING PAGE IMPORTANT TO A CHARITY?
Many people think getting people to their charity page is all it takes for people to donate.
That it will result in an immediate donation.
And as you've probably realized, it's not that simple.
As we've talked about in a previous article, as soon as an individual lands on your landing page, you have 6-8 seconds to let your audience member know:
Don't worry. We're here to help.
BOOMERS & MILLS
Mizrachi raised an excellent point during our conversation: “Who is your target audience? Are you targeting a younger demographic or an older one”?
Are you more concerned with social shares about your cause or getting monetary donations?
You need to go for both.
And here’s why.
THE MILLENNIAL DEMOGRAPHIC
“Millennials will mobilize for a cause which can carry people and causes a long way” - Nathan Mizrachi
“They are more willing to reach out to their peers and be vocal and passionate about their cause, and have an emotional impact”, states Mizrachi.
According to the 2013 Millennial Impact Report “Nearly 70% of surveyed Millennials are willing to fundraise for an organization they’re passionate about. That means your peer-to-peer campaign has the potential to activate a vast majority of young fundraisers, who can then tap their own networks for support”.
“I personally refer to millennials as the next ‘Great Generation’ because the degree of generosity that we’re seeing from them is quite impressive,” says a rep from the Case Foundation in a Washington Post article. “One common theme among all young people, it was true of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers at this age – they’re idealistic. The big difference, when we began looking at millennials, is that they’re turning their idealism into action in a very real way.”
THE BOOMER DEMOGRAPHIC
“We are on the verge of new wisdom about thinking tribally and thinking in terms of values instead of age.” - Mark Rovner
Boomers represent the top source of income for nonprofits.
And as Mark Rovner, principal at Sea Change Strategies states, “For the foreseeable future, Boomers will be where the bulk of [charitable] giving is”.
Going off of these statistics, you see they're both bringing some heavy hitting advantages to the table - whether it's social mobilization or monetary funds.
Though, In the end, there are two elements that are a MUST no matter what your demographic target:
These are the same exact questions you will be facing as well.
We’re going to go into some strategy, a little later, as to how you can approach this.
THE ELEMENTS OF YOUR LANDING PAGE
We’ve talked about wireframes before in Teri Morris’ story. This is where you put pen to paper, and create the layout of all the necessary elements you need to get your desired result, e.g., donations and social shares.
Mizrachi has laid out the wireframe for you, and it will go like this.
You will have your landing page sections created in this order:
Let’s jump into what this will look like.
And for our sample charity, like we mentioned above, we’re going to be creating a landing page for a pet shelter.
THE HERO SECTION
First and foremost, you’re going to want to curate Hi-Res images for your page.
Blurry pictures are not allowed. We repeat, blurry pictures are not allowed.
Once you’ve picked your home page image, Mizrachi suggests creating a headline that is about 6-10 words long that will pull on the emotional strings of your audience.
Take note of the “Endorsed by” section on the bottom of the image.
If you can get endorsements by well known organizations (local or national) - put it in the Hero Section. This is called “social proof (or trust elements)”. It helps legitimize your work and eases your donors thoughts that your charity ‘may be a scam’.
Uri Gneezy, Elizabeth Keenan, and Ayelet Gneezy ran an experiment on what one of the major hurdles was in getting donations.
The biggest hurdle/question: Is the money going to the charity?
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, “They found that when people were informed that “they had secured donations to cover overhead costs, [and that] every subsequent dollar donated was going directly to programs - the result was close to TRIPLE the amount donated, [than] when this was not mentioned”.
Ergo, “if possible”, states Mr. Gneezy, “charities should try to appeal to wealthy givers first to cover those costs”.
This is how we worded it on our landing page:
AND BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE.
A recurring theme you will hear us mention throughout this article.
If 100% of the funds are going to the charity, say it loud and proud.
Put it big, bold, and near the top to create transparency and continue to build trust in what your organization is raising funds for.
“You’re showing people right then and there, who and what they can be supporting instead of leaving it to the imagination”. -Nathan Mizrachi
When it comes to copywriting, specificity has persuasive powers, as it equates to cold hard facts and helps to remove all doubt.
YOU WANT TO BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE
When you’re writing about this, invoke Marie Forleo’s Spotlight Method.
She states that, “in business the spotlight can either be on you OR your customers. When you shift that spotlight over to your customer [or to those that you serve], the focus of your words [should] be on - THEIR problems, THEIR aspirations, and THEIR goals’.
Getting this little guy to smile again is your goal, people.
So for our example, the pet shelter:
Use the Hi-Res images that you have taken, and select the “Content in Columns” in the “Make Your Own Section” to set up the images and simply explain, in 2-3 sentences MAX, some of the services that are needed for your residents.
As Mizrachi says, “Put a face, to the pain point. Do not leave it up to the imagination”.
Here’s what our example looks like:
Bonus: If you can create a 1-minute video that would go along with the images on why a donor should support the organization, by all means showcase it.
The next section in Mizrachi’s master plan is the “Benefits Section” where you will tell people EXACTLY how the charity, they’re donating to, will benefit the cause.
And here’s that phrase again: BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE.
If you can EVER go quantitative when showing your results - do so.
Using the “Content in Rows” in the “Make your own section” of the Strikingly Editor our layout looks like this:
Checkout this snapshot:
See what we did there?
Don't you feel more motivated that your "little $10 donation" can make an impact?
THE TESTIMONIALS PANEL
“In this section you want to provide quotes from the people that are supported by these donations. Provide quotes from people that have given, and even post live tweets from people who have supported this project [on social] and why they believe it’s so important. This incentivises others to do the same”. -Nathan Mizrachi
Using the ‘Gallery Section’ via the ‘Make Your Own Section’ in the Strikingly editor, we created this. In this section, we went SUPER quantitative - even giving a breakdown of what their donations have helped accomplish:
THE CALL TO ACTION
The last section of the Mizrachi plan - ending the landing page with a powerful CTA.
“Be as specific as possible, and add urgency with your goal, in the CTA”, says Mizrachi.
Need some examples:
And for the button you can use:
Here’s what we went with (and we think you can tell now, that we love going quantitative):
But let’s say that the donor doesn’t have the funds to invest in this cause right now.
“Provide social media buttons for them to help build social awareness”, says Mizrachi. “But DO NOT blind shot gun with 5 social media icons for people to click on. It can be visually clustered. And the social media manager will appreciate the focus on 2-3 channels vs. 5-6. It can be overwhelming and takes up unnecessary bandwidth”.
For your Millennials - Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter (Millennials understand Snapchat. Boomers don’t have the time (nor patience) to WANT to figure that platform out)
For your Boomers - Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (Boomers love Facebook. Millennials, it’s not exactly their cup of tea as - to them - that’s a place “where my mom hangs out”)
For our pet shelter, we played both ends.
Though it would be wise, as your social media manager will suggest, that you test which platforms are having impact (i.e., spreading social awareness that leads to donations) and which ones are not. After looking at that data, drop the platforms that aren’t working and double down on the ones that are.
And on that note, let’s go into what you should do AFTER the donor has invested their social network or funds into your organization.
THE PROGRESS REPORT
“A progress report can be accomplished in an article, but to really drive it’s impact home, emotionally... photographs and/or a video would be the most effective”. -Nathan Mizrachi
Whether it’s through Snapchat, Facebook Live, Instagram and Instagram stories - grab your cell phone, click on stories (or snap, or record) and show the people behind the scenes.
Show them the volunteers.
Show them the food delivery coming in for the first time, show them how you’re rebuilding (with before and after footage), and more!
Engage in a dialogue with potential donors, perhaps in a Faceboook live or AMA style interview - answering any questions donors, or potential donors, may have.
And you do not have to be fancy with this.
If anything donors just want you to be true to your word. Transparency wins, every time.
TIME FOR ACTION
We just went over all the elements of building a landing page for your charity, from scratch, with the help of copywriting wizard and landing page creator Nathan Mizrachi.
Feel free to use our examples at your discretion.
Seriously. You can copy our verbiage and tweak it to fit your charity.
We don't mind. AT. ALL. Especially if it's going towards a good cause.
We're curious, have you tried to raise money for a charity before? If something has worked for you, that we missed, let us know in the comments below.
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