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WCEU 2019 WordPress for nonprofits - HeartWired Digital Solutions


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In this presentation, I share web design tactics, plugins, and design to optimize for donations. This talk was in Track 2 at 10:00 am at WordCamp Europe in Berlin.

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WCEU 2019 WordPress for nonprofits - HeartWired Digital Solutions

  1. 1. WordPress For Non- Profits: Website best practices, collecting donations, increasing exposure online
  2. 2. A bit about me… Been in IT for Years Started using WordPress in 2007 Began my design agency in 2016
  3. 3. Design for Nonprofits While they serve the common good, they also must be run much like a business, this included their websites.
  4. 4. Nonprofits are best supported by a nonprofit • Invest in a CMS (i.e. WordPress) • 42% of all nonprofit websites are on WordPress • The WordPress trademark and the domain is owned by the WordPress foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, whose sole purpose is to ensure that WordPress is freely available, maintained, and developed. (Source:
  5. 5. Why WordPress? • It’s Free • It’s easy to learn • It’s open-source • It’s customizable • There is a community • Built to be social • Plugins for almost everything
  6. 6. Recommended Plugins for starters Security Jetpack Akismet SSL Wordfence Donation Options Give WooCommerce Charitable Paypal Optins Privy OptinMonster Bloom Gravity Forms
  7. 7. Tell Their Story • Past, Present and Future of the organization. • Stories differentiate the nonprofit from others. • Emotional connections increase passionate donations. • Promote their story, invite visitors into the story to participate.
  8. 8. Storytelling • Content is King or Queen all depending, engagement matters more. • Stories sell and donors give • The more you share the more they will give.
  9. 9. Colors matter in design, they invoke emotions, good, bad or otherwise. So many colors to choose from but do they really matter?
  10. 10. Psychology of colors can cost dollars Up to 90% of first impressions of products can be based on color alone. Colors matter So does gender appeal
  11. 11. Font choice also matters…
  12. 12. Knowing your audience as you design makes all the difference. Many times your client ‘thinks’ they know their donors.
  13. 13. Intuitive Navigation • Easily accessible menu (Top bar or Left side) • Short menu titles that make sense. • Maximum of one level of drop-downs so they don’t get lost.
  14. 14. Give donors options • Matching Gifts • Fundraisers • Major Giving • Mail in donation • Smile Amazon program • Workplace Giving • Philanthropy • Ideas are endless
  15. 15. Best Practices • Keep branding standard across the site • Feature the donation button • Make the donation process easy • Other ways to participate such as volunteering.
  16. 16. Why they don’t donate • Solicitation is infrequent • They don’t see how it will make a difference. • They never feel wanted or needed. • They receive no direct personalized appeal. • They gave an unacknowledged gift in the past. • They were not asked to give. • The timing wasn’t right. • The organization’s mission wasn’t compelling.
  17. 17. Optimizing the design • Every nonprofit is different and so are their donors. • Colors matter • Theme • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) • Mission ready • Get Social • Content …content … content …
  18. 18. A/B Testing – Increase Conversions • Long Form vs. Short Form (Increase 155%) • Making fields in Optin optional (Increase 275%) • Reduction of Eye Friction (Increase 135%) • Less Steps through the process (Increase 166%) • Adding simple CTA button upfront (Increase 246%) Reference: MecLabs: Research-based Lead Gen Swipe File
  19. 19. Best Practices
  20. 20. Do’s • Easy to use Navigation • Use Pictures • Speed Matters • Clear CTA • Keep it Simple • Secure it! • Mobilize!
  21. 21. Don’ts • Hide the Donate button • Self Play Audio or Video • Bury your story • Forget to ask … again • Be scared to ask • Use big picture files • Beg
  22. 22. Analytics and more • Google Analytics • Heat Mapping – Crazy Egg • Email Marketing • Funnels • Lead pages for Lead Generation
  23. 23. Your clients are the nonprofit Not your agency! 1. Have a plan 2. Set expectations 3. Charge them! 4. Have a Heart Nonprofit work is not free work!
  24. 24. Final Thoughts Use a simple website builder or theme for building a donation site. Have a strong visual identity (Logos, pictures, fonts, and colors) Optimize your web design for mobile devices. Prioritize your online donation forms. Build loyalty content that makes donors donate. Make user engagement a priority.
  25. 25. Any Questions?
  26. 26. References • 843# • tblog/the-psychology-of-color-and-what-it- means-for-fundraising/ • technology/only-5-content-managment- systems-drive-62-of-nonprofit-websites/ • ofit-web-design/ • study/research-based-lead-gen-swipe-file
  27. 27. Contact Info Twitter : @HeartWired_DS Instagram @heartwired_digital Facebook @HeartWiredTech Website