How to Create a Landing Page to find the Next Dollar for Your Charity
“Yes, technology is an exciting tool. But to move someone to action still requires a messenger, a message and a purpose”. -Derrick Feldman
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.
You’re inspired by pages like, Lilly Singh of #girllove, that supports girls to receive education in Kenya.
And Scott Harrison of Charity:Water, that builds wells in developing countries to get the residents access to clean and safe drinking water.
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.
We reached out to copywriting and landing page design wizard, Nathan Mizrachi, for advice on how to design and write persuasive copy for a charity’s landing page.
AND from his advice we created this mock charity landing page which you can view (and copy from) HERE.
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:
- What this charity is for
- Persuade them on why their donation matters and where the funds will go
- And convince them that you're not a scam artist (this is a HUGE hurdle - where it will be your job - to get them over it).
Don't worry. We're here to help.
- GET THEM FOCUSED. “Your goal, in action-focused marketing aka fundraising”, states Brady Josephson of Shift Agency, “is to get people to a focused landing page where they have an interest and desire to take action. A page that is solely focused on that interest and desire they possess, [and they] can complete the action in as simple and straightforward way as possible”.
- BETTER COPY, HIGHER RETURNS. Using persuasive copywriting and hi-res images, properly, can lead to significantly more money for your charity. We’ve talked about in past articles how using persuasive copy can lead up to a 300% increase in funds.
- TESTING. Also, as ELC Associates reports, "By creating different versions of a landing page and changing ONE element only and then analyzing the responses to these individual changes, it is possible for the charity to gain valuable insight into what content and visuals appeal to their audience. Armed with this information, your charity can then plan and design current and future advertising and marketing collateral based on the data".
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?
The answer? 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:
- Be Transparent. As stated by Scott Harrison from his interview with NPR about his charity organization Charity:Water, this is what he was facing when he was inspired to raise money for the cause, "[Everyone] said, 'I don't trust charities. I don't give. I believe these charities are just these black holes. I don't even know how much money would actually go to the people who I'm trying to help ".
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.
- You’re Mobile Optimized. This shouldn’t be a shocker. It was researched by Achieve Guidance that a whopping 80% of respondents use their phones to read articles and updates, and link to more information for next steps from their charitable foundations.
Strikingly has you covered on this, as ALL of our templates are automatically mobile optimized.
Now let’s get into the actual creation of your charity’s donation page.
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:
- Hero Section (with a call to action or CTA)
- The problem they’re helping to solve
- The benefits
- Repeating the call to action with urgency and/or specificity
- Social Sharing
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’.
The average donor doesn’t seem to care about the size of the overhead, as long as they’re not the one paying for it”. - Mr. Gneezy
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:
- What are their problems? They need funds to care for their new residents
- What are their aspirations? To keep the doors open to all feathered, furry, or scaly residents who need medical assistance and care.
- What are their goals? To get funding to perform surgeries, provide rehabilitation, food, proper shots and medicine, etc.
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:
- “Get Involved” (Nice.)
- “Save 100 puppies” (Good.)
- “Give 10,000 people a hot meal after surviving this disaster” (Better.)
And for the button you can use:
- “Donate Now”
- “Invest Here”
- “Your Donation Matters”
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
How can you keep a donor up to date on the progress that you have made with the charity?
“[You need to] strengthen the emotional ties between the donor and the organization”, says the Achieve Agency.
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.