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Why it’s important for a charity to have a strong online presence

23/11/2016

 

This afternoon I’ve been reading an interesting article about what makes a good charity website. The examples in the article were of sites all costing over £30,000 and some a lot more.

 

Oh, if only we had clients with over £30,000 to spend. However, here at Catfish we’re used to working with small budgets and have turned out some really great websites for a fraction of that.

 

What we focus on:

 

  • Working with the charity to produce good content
  • Ensuring it supports the charity’s fundraising and communications goals
  • Compelling calls to action
  • Easy to navigate
  • Make sure it’s easily manageable in-house
  • Bang up to date technology
  • Responsive for mobile devices
  • Accessibility

A website is often the first contact many people have with a charity, particularly funders not located in the same area as the charity appealing for its help.

 

Websites, newsletter and social media pages can be an effective way to reach target audiences so it’s important to make sure your online presence is professional and clearly addresses the people you wish to reach.

 

The Internet makes it easy for charities to collect donations, but it’s still important that potential donors feel they are supporting an organisation they can trust. They need to know what the charity does, so a professional looking and informative website is crucial in lending credibility.

 

Social media plays it part too in connecting with the community and keeping supporters informed of events, initiatives, fundraising, and what’s new. Building a relationship with supporters is easy through social media. Engage with them by talking directly and in return they will spread the word about you, persuading strangers to become donors, volunteers or trustees and helping your raise funds and awareness.

 

Our latest charity project

 

Recently we’ve been working with Wintercomfort for the Homeless to rid them of their old Wordpress blog and provide instead a bright and welcoming website that tells their story.

 

Wintercomfort

 

The website now makes is easy for people to see the different ways they can support Wintercomfort as well as displaying a prominent online donation button (please feel free to click on this and support them!).

 

News is on a database so it’s easy to keep up to date and for visitors to share posts on their social media pages. In fact, the site uses a very intuitive content management system (CMS) so creating new pages and editing existing ones can be done in-house. We provide instructions on how to use the CMS and can offer face to face training but we rarely get a call for this once clients see how straightforward it all is.

 

One of the important elements for us was capturing the positive and uplifting atmosphere of Wintercomfort in photographs. Fortunately for us, local photographer Helena Anderson jumped at the opportunity to work on the project and provided us with some amazing pictures of staff and volunteers. What makes the photos particularly refreshing is that they are ‘real’ and show day to day life at the charity.

 

Wintercomfort volunteer

 

Wintercomfort volunteer

 

Wintercomfort cleaners