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The Trends of Charity Organization

May 19, 2008
Charity organizations in Malaysia are catching the internet trend. From total strangers to the net they are now slowly but surely moving towards online donations and fund raising. Here are a more tips on how to make a better website and how to make your charity website work for you.

Your website could be the most powerful tool your non profit has for communicating with the public. Used effectively, it can be a great source for raising funds, providing volunteer opportunities, and getting out your message. Do not let this resource slip away.

Here are some tips for maximizing the benefits of your website:

1. Contact. It is vital that visitors to your website know exactly how to reach your organization. Every page should list your address, your phone number, your email address. Make it easy for them to find you.

2. Branding. Every source of communication you have with the public should exhibit the same brand, or personality. Your website, your pamphlets, your emails, your letterhead, newsletters, grant proposals, business cards, every point of contact with the public needs to have a consistent personality. That personality may indicate your organization is traditional, homey, centrist, left leaning, tends to the right, whatever your message, keep it consistent so that your mission is clear and repeated and readers recognize you.

3. Content. Use your website to provide information about your organization that readers cannot find elsewhere. You can list current projects and report their progress. Provide a calendar of upcoming events, and after the event, report the highlights. Space and time permitting, you may want to add relevant information from outside sources. For example, if your not for profit serves the elderly, readers might be interested in reading about the developments in the new fields of medicine and prescription drug coverage.

4. Update. Make sure the information on your website is fresh and updated. If you have ever searched for information and thought you would found it, only to see a calendar of current events that is months old, or deadlines that have long since passed, you know how disappointing it can be. Some sites have not been updated in years, giving the impression that the cause has been abandoned. If you put articles on your site that you intend to leave there, make them evergreen. In other words, they contain information that is good today and, barring major world changes, should be good next year and the year after. Articles that include such things as tax breaks that will expire at the end of the year or limited time opportunities should be removed or updated once they are no longer relevant.

5. Donate. Readers should not have to search for donation information, but it also should not slap them in the face. On your home page, give some background information and a tab that says something like, support us or here is how you can help. Once readers click that link, they should find some introductory information about how their donations are used. Some not for profits are very specific, for example, a rescue missions fund raising materials might state the following, A $20 donation provides hot meals for 8 hungry people. A $30 donation, 12 hungry people, etc.

If you cannot offer the opportunity to donate online, be sure to provide a printable page that has the same information as you would have on your reply card.

6. How donations are spent. On a separate, but easy to find page, tell readers how their donations will be spent. Donors want to see that you are doing what you say you do, and it makes their contribution seem more concrete. You can also link here to your annual report and your Form 990.

7. Express appreciation. Your website is a great place to thank your donors and sponsors, assuming you have their permission to do so. Potential donors are often inspired to contribute by seeing who else supports you. You can do this on a separate page called our funders.

8. Keep track. If you set up your website in such a way as to track how many people visit the site, which pages they view most, which are not viewed at all, which pages are downloaded, you can use that information to hone your fund raising efforts.

The bottom line is, your website is an endless source of opportunity and may be the most cost-effective way of bringing in funds. Do not fail to have your web address on every communication that leaves your organization.

We hope that the internet can help charity organizations in Malaysia to better raise funds for the activities and daily expenses.
About the Author
Francis Suggest Charity Malaysiais the No.1 Malaysia's Fund Raising Portal in Malaysia. The leading charity organization in Malaysia. Visit http://www.charitymalaysia.com
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