SEO for Nonprofits: How to Get Higher Rankings for Your Website

SEO for Nonprofits: How to Get Higher Rankings for Your Website

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the most effective ways to get traffic to your nonprofit website. A recent test resulted in over a 200 percent increase in traffic for one nonprofit, thanks to SEO.

Would a 200% increase in visitors to your website help you gather more support?

Let’s look at how SEO for nonprofits can help.

What is Nonprofit SEO?

SEO is the process of optimizing the pages on your website to rank higher in Google and other search engines. There are dozens of factors that get considered in Google’s ranking algorithm but a handful have the biggest impact.

1. Keywords

Search results are all about keywords, specifically the words and phrases that people search for. By adding those keywords to the content on your website, you tell Google what your pages are about, which helps them rank you for the most relevant searches.

2. Quality Content

It’s about more than just adding keywords to your site though. You need to have quality content that’s worth your visitors’ time when they get to your page. If they aren’t happy with the information when they get there, they’ll click back to Google and choose another option.

Google knows when this happens and if it happens enough, your site will drop in the search results.

3. On-page SEO

Adding keywords to your pages is important, but where you add them is also a factor. Use them naturally throughout your content but also add them to other sections:

  • Headings
  • Page titles
  • Alt tags for images
  • Image captions

4. Create a Good User Experience

The quality of your content is critical but the best content on the web won’t keep people on your site if the experience is bad. Use easy-to-read layouts and fonts, have clear navigation, and use a responsive layout that adjusts for different screen sizes.

Backlinks are links pointing to your website from other sites around the web. The original design for Google was based on the idea that when a website links to a page, it’s a “vote” for the quality of that page.

The more links pointing to a page, the more valuable it must be.

While the algorithm has changed considerably over the years, links are still one of the most fundamental components of SEO and digital marketing for nonprofits.

6. Local SEO

If your nonprofit works at a local level, make sure you’re optimizing your site for local rankings. Local SEO is a little different than organic SEO since your goal is to get ranked in the local listings at the top of Google.

Set up a Google My Business profile for your organization and include all the relevant information – contact information, location, hours of operation, etc. This is where Google gets the information it shows in the results.

More Donations Through SEO for Nonprofits

With a bit of work, SEO for nonprofits can drive a lot more traffic to your website, which will bring you more supporters. It does take some time and knowledge though.

If your nonprofit is like most, you’re already working with minimal resources and don’t have a lot of time to spare. If that’s the case, The Legacy Theory can help. We’re a digital marketing agency whose purpose is to build and strengthen our communities and we’d love to work with your organization.

Get in touch with us today to see what we can do to help you reach a bigger audience.

Top Budgeting Strategies for Nonprofits

Top Budgeting Strategies for Nonprofits

Creating a budget for your nonprofit will lead to greater financial success for your organization and help you meet your goals. This important document creates a financial overview of how you bring money in and how you spend it.

Budgeting can be tricky, though, as many nonprofits don’t often have much funding at their disposal, especially when they first launch.

Still, your budget will keep your nonprofit on track as your staff and volunteers work to achieve specific goals related to your mission.

Here are some top budgeting strategies to keep in mind when writing a budget for your organization.     

Determine Your Current Financial Status

Before anything else, assess the current financial health of your nonprofit. Review the accounting books from your most recent year in operation. What was your income that year? What were your expenses?

Also, analyze each line item and compare them to the fiscal year you’re budgeting for. Will any of these line items change?

Set Goals for the Year

If you’re planning a big project for the fiscal year, such as launching a new program or constructing a building, this will affect your budget.

Before writing an annual budget, make sure your team has established your annual goals. Consider these plans as you create a budget and determine how you’ll fund your nonprofit.

Record Your Expenses

Write down every single expense your nonprofit will have in the upcoming fiscal year. You’ll have two types of expenses to consider—fixed and variable.

Fixed costs stay the same each month no matter what programming you have planned. This includes rent, utilities, insurance, and payroll.

Your variable expenses fluctuate each month. Maybe you have a special one-time event or program with costs associated with it. Or perhaps you need to book travel accommodations for a conference.

Don’t forget to include marketing and advertising expenses in your budget strategy. Many nonprofits don’t include this key line item. Even if you don’t have much money, try to set aside some funds for marketing. It will generate greater success for your organization. And don’t forget, if funding is limited, most nonprofit organizations can qualify for the Google Ad Grant program. This program provides qualified nonprofits with up to $10,000 each month in In-Kind (FREE) advertising dollars on the Google Search network.

Document Your Income

Consider your nonprofit’s funding sources. How do you plan to pay for your programming and day-to-day operations?

Are you relying mostly on donations? Or do you plan to raise most of the funds you need through membership fees and events?

And will you apply for grant funding? There is often a long waiting period to learn if you’ve been awarded a grant. Also, many grants will want to see a proven track record and results before awarding you any funds.

Base Your Budgeting Strategies on Real Numbers

Create an accurate budget for the year by using real numbers. Don’t make uneducated estimations. This will only cause you problems in the long run. You could find yourself falling short on a line item because you didn’t include a realistic figure in your budget.

Use numbers from your previous year whenever possible. If you’re in your first year of business or are launching a new program, research average costs for various expenses in your region.

Document Everything Throughout the Year

Transparency is a big part of operating a nonprofit. So, it’s important to document every financial transaction your business makes. Every donation. Every purchase. Every rental fee. Every paycheck.

This organization will be useful when creating your annual budget. All the information you need will be documented and right at your fingertips.

Let Us Help You Grow

Now that you understand the basics of budgeting strategies, let us help you build your nonprofit brand.

The Legacy Theory is passionate about working with nonprofits as they develop their goals, grow as organizations, and, ultimately, succeed. Contact our team for more information about our consulting and marketing solutions that will help you share your story with the world.

5 Tips for Creating a Great Nonprofit Website

5 Tips for Creating a Great Nonprofit Website

Are you looking to create a website for your nonprofit, but aren’t quite sure how to do it?

If you want your nonprofit to succeed, you need to have an online presence. In fact, since the year 2016, online giving has increased by 17 percent

But, it’s not simply enough to have a nonprofit website. Your nonprofit website needs to be great. 

How do you do that?

Check out this guide to learn the top 5 tips for creating a great nonprofit website. 

1. Make Your Mission Obvious 

When creating a nonprofit website, it’s very important that you make your mission known. 

When a supporter lands on your website, it should be very clear to them what your mission/goal is. For example, if your nonprofit focuses on education, make sure you include images and testimonials from students and teachers you’ve impacted.

2. Attract Vistors With Your Content 

One of the best ways to attract new visitors to your website is via your content. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have a lot of time to do it. In fact, most users leave websites within 10 to 20 seconds

If you want users to stay on your website for several minutes or more, then you need to offer them a variety of content to keep them engaged. In addition to basic information about your nonprofit, you should also include videos that help tell your stories, informative blog posts, and infographics that highlight your success rates. 

3. Make Your Site Recruitment-Friendly 

If you recruit volunteers for your nonprofit, then you need to make sure that people can easily apply or sign up to volunteer through your website. 

If someone has to jump through a bunch of hoops to sign up, or if it’s not clear how they can volunteer, then they’re likely going to give up and find a different organization with more apparent steps. 

We suggest creating an entire page dedicated to how you can volunteer for your organization. Take the time to regularly update your open volunteer positions, and create downloadable applications so people can easily apply. 

4. Make Your Site Donor-Friendly 

In addition to making your site friendly for your volunteers, you also want to make sure it’s friendly for your donors. 

Your donors should be able to securely give money directly through your website. Recurring donors should also have the option to create an account on your website so they can save their payment information, easily set up recurring gifts, and more. 

5. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly 

Last but not least, it’s important to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. 

According to a recent study, by the year 2025, 72 percent of people will use just their smartphones to access the internet. To make sure you’re reaching as many people as possible, you need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. 

In addition to mobile-friendliness, you also want to make sure you connect your website to your social media channels and vice versa. Your website should include links to your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. And, all of your social platforms should link back to your website. 

Are You Ready to Create an Awesome Nonprofit Website? 

Now that you’ve read these tips, it’s time to start putting together your nonprofit website. Before you know it, you’ll have an awesome website that’ll help your nonprofit grow. 

If you need help driving traffic to your nonprofit website, contact us today. We can help you employ the right inbound marketing tactics that attract the right volunteers and donors. 

How to Create Needs Assessment Questions When Starting New Initiatives

How to Create Needs Assessment Questions When Starting New Initiatives

Your nonprofit exists to serve a need, but how do you take action to address the needs of your community?

You need to be asking the right questions to get the right answers. A needs assessment will help you determine expressed or implied needs by collecting useful information.

Read on to learn about the type of needs assessment questions you need to be asking to make the changes you desire in your community.

How Do You Write a Needs Assessment?

Performing an organizational needs assessment involves examining the mission or target of your brand. You can do this by demonstrating why your organization is needed.

  1. Describe and quantify the need.
  2. Identify who already addresses the need.
  3. Determine who you serve.

Essentially, when forming needs assessment questions, your new initiative needs to align with your organization’s mission. After considering these aspects, you need to consider a few resources with which to take action.

Brainstorm

When brainstorming for your needs assessment questions, you need to define key players and issues. You should map community resources to help you determine actionable project ideas.

After you have determined a few possible sources of need, you should select a focused idea and prioritize smaller steps to make it happen.

Survey

One of the steps you can take after brainstorming to help evaluate your needs assessment questions is through a survey. Your survey should ascertain the greatest concerns of the need your organization or nonprofit can resolve.

Your survey can be open-ended, with diverse or representative sample sizes. You can also include a ranking system to help in focusing on the most important needs.

Forum

Your organization or nonprofit could host a community forum in lieu of, or in addition to a survey, to help find the right needs assessment questions to ask. Face to face conversations with persons in need can help narrow the issues which need to be addressed.

Your forum could use votes to emphasize certain needs over others. Depending on how votes or tallies breakdown, a re-vote could occur.

Needs Assessment Questions Write Themselves

Your organization or nonprofit exists to do good things for your community. Ultimately, the needs of the people you serve will naturally emerge, but your responsibility revolves around honing in on the needs assessment questions that best address the most important problems.

After gathering information from multiple sources, you should be consistent with the questions you ask. Make sure you choose the best method for collecting data. Knowing your audience will help you in with accurate data collection.

Avoid rushing into a solution, even after you have formulated a needs assessment. Your organization or nonprofit’s mission is to solve problems and help address needs for people who may be unable to help themselves. 

Consider turning to a professional organization like The Legacy Theory, who is compelled to tell your brand’s story. Be sure to get in touch with us today to help you take action for your organization.

What Is the Ideal Social Media Budget for Nonprofits in 2020?

What Is the Ideal Social Media Budget for Nonprofits in 2020?

With so many causes out there trying to gain notoriety, it can be challenging to push your cause to the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Not only can it be challenging to make your purpose known via social media, but it can also be challenging to secure the funding necessary to support the cause.

Social media plays a significant role nowadays in the spreading of information for businesses and causes worldwide. When it comes to your social media budget, a little bit of cash can go along way.

Below, you’re going to find ways to maximize the results you can achieve by using a small social media budget, but making the most of the resources that you’ve got at your disposal.

Why Social Media?

Social media is one of the quickest ways to spread information about your organization, and the cause that you’re are attempting to collect funds for. There is an unlimited number of people on social media platforms that you can persuade to support your cause.

And once you amass a following, those followers will then, in turn, spread the news to their followers in the hopes of persuading others to donate to the cause.

Social media gives you the platform to produce short content allowing users to donate without doing much except watching a short clip or reading a brief statement.

Overall social media can be what helps make or break a cause depending on the way they utilize that particular platform.

Using a Small Budget for Major Impact

When it comes to the budget that your organization implements, it can be adjusted as you begin to get more and more donations. However, as it pertains to your social media budget, it doesn’t take a large sum of money to produce compelling content.

Here are some ways to make the most of a small budget allocated to the social media budget.

Post Interactive Content

When we talk about interactive content, this is a form of content that requires some type of action on the side of the audience. More people are likely to donate after participating in interactive content such as:

  • Twitter polls
  • Q & A sessions
  • Facebook survey’s
  • Asking the audience to share updates about their personal story

Use Hashtags

Using hashtags will allow you to reach a bigger audience. Accurately because whenever someone types in a hashtag that is similar or exact to yours, it will then populate posts from your organization.

Or your organization can take a hashtag that is already popular and use it for marketing your content.

Make Donating Easy

Create a compelling call to actions that move the reader to donate to your cause. Ensure that when you post links calling for people to give, it is a direct link to your donation page.

When people have to click through different website pages, they are less likely to end up donating to the cause. Make it simple as clicking the link and submitting their donation.

Create a Social Media Budget Now

When it comes to your social media budget, as we stated above, you don’t need to spend an excessive amount of money to reach your goals. By using the tips, we provided above will help you to maximize your reach.

If you would like more information about ways to maximize your marketing reach, feel free to contact us today!

A Guide to Grant Writing: How to Formulate a Winning Proposal for Nonprofits

A Guide to Grant Writing: How to Formulate a Winning Proposal for Nonprofits

Obtaining grants for organizational funding is an essential part of having a nonprofit organization.

It can be challenging to write a grant that helps you to achieve your goal, which is to persuade another entity to provide funds to your organization.

Certainly, there are some things that you need to know when it comes to grant writing to ensure that you receive the funding you’re looking for. The good news is, however, writing grants isn’t as challenging as some may be led to believe.

We are going to help make grant writing more manageable for you in the steps below. Read more for our tips to knocking your grant writing out of the park.

Grant Writing

Every well-written grant encompasses persuasive writing in all sections involved in a grant.

Most grant proposals contain a summary and 7 parts of information gathering, depending on the requirements of the funder.

Start With Your Summary

This is the section where you will provide an overview of your proposal.

This includes the amount of funds that you will be requesting in the grant and a detailed list of any other resources contributed by others.

1. Introduction To Applicant

Describe your organization and why your organization is a worthwhile applicant. This area should be approached like a job resume, but instead of marketing yourself, you are marketing the organization. Funders need to have confidence in your organization and your cause if they’re going to provide you funding.

2. Problem Description

Describe the situation that your organization is in and why the funding is necessary. Explain the issue, why the issue matters, and what has caused the problem, This helps to establish a base for the procedures you will implement with the funding.

3. Outcomes

Detail the results that you expect your organization to achieve. If you expect children to improve in their studies detail where the children are currently and how each child will enhance their educational skills.

4. Program Plans

This section should be about the plans your organization intends to use to achieve the goals you’ve listed. Who will be delegated to each task and how they will accomplish those tasked goals.

5. Plan Evaluation

How will you assess the work that is being completed by your organization? How do you plan to monitor and track all progress that is made? And how will you will determine if the program in place is accomplishing the outcomes that you’ve set for the organization?

6. Sustained Impact

Explain how your organization will continue to make progress once the funding period has ended. It may be beneficial to detail that some programs will be traded for others to achieve goals in a more efficient manner.

Funders want to see that when a program isn’t necessary that it’s been removed.

7. Budget

Now for the part where you give an outline of what you intend to spend the grant funding on. Provide a breakdown of the budget and the places that funds will be allocated to support your proposed program.

Will Your Nonprofit Qualify for a Grant?

All of these tips above and descriptions of each section will help you improve your grant writing and increase your odds of securing the grants that you want.

Remember, funders want to know exactly how their money will be spent down to every activity and every penny spent.

The grant writing will help establish a stable relationship with your donors. If you’re looking for more information or advice about grant writing, contact us now