We’re all accustomed to the typical fundraising programming––galas, events, cold calling––but having a ‘donate now’ button on your website can help you reach diverse audiences and gain a new pool of donors. At ARTE, we work to engage young people, amplify their voices and help them organize for human rights change through the visual arts. To help them rise to the challenge, we have to remain flexible in the ways that we work.
Wix for Nonprofits
To achieve our vision, we work not only with our students but with our donors, meaning we work both at grassroots and foundational levels. Donations help organizations like ours do the work they need to create a more just world. But, like so many others, we’re still up against limited bandwidth and budgets, so we were thrilled with the opportunity to work with Wix, the website development platform company, to redo our website through its Social Good Project at its Wix Design Playground in NYC.
We worked with the program’s students to create a strategy for increasing reach online and getting more people to donate. By including the button clearly on our site, we were able to create a simple call-to-action.
Tools to help nonprofits grow
Having an online presence is fundamental for nonprofit organizations. We are all attracting different stakeholders: donors, volunteers and recipients of our services. A website helps engage us with each stakeholder, while helping them easily understand the organization’s mission and culture. It also allows you to reach more people and create a connection, building an online community.
To get people to donate, make sure that the website enables them to easily do so. People are busy and anything that can delay a transaction can result in the most well-intentioned donor leaving. So, make sure to provide a process that is easy to understand, simple and quick.
Additionally, make the website informative enough that it keeps people coming back. That way, while some might not donate immediately, you can drive donations later by including a donate button in an email newsletter. This will also help readers continue to equate donations with the organization.
Donation button on your website
Connecting the donation button to your nonprofit’s bank account is the first and best option, since it eliminates third-party fees and expenses. However, third parties can help to spread the word about your organization and better appeal to their audiences. Wix’s funding options allow us to do both, enabling direct donations, as well as going through PayPal Donations, which connects directly to our PayPal account.
Using trusted merchant services to accept donation payments is crucial because it gives donors a sense of security when making donations to our organizations. Depending on the type of nonprofit, it may be wise to also use crowdfunding and social media donation buttons. Donors can more easily recognize these brands and trust them.
While Paypal is our go-to, there are also different donation buttons that suit an organization’s needs. Fundly, for example, is a great crowdfunding donation tool, particularly for collecting a lot of small donations. Other good tools include Double the Donation, a matching gifts donation button, and a verified button, which helps secure the organization and its donors.
Like galas, fundraisers and community activities, a website is a way to connect with your audience. Make sure it’s updated to modern standards, so you don’t lose the ability to continue the important work your nonprofit is completing.
Marissa Gutierrez-Vicario is the Founder and Executive Director of Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE). As a committed human rights and peace-building activist, artist, educator, and advocate for youth, Marissa launched ARTE in 2013 to help young people amplify their voices and organize for human rights change in their communities through the visual arts. Since early childhood, Marissa became interested in the arts and its potential in bringing attention to important social issues within her community. At an early age, Marissa also developed the propensity to lead as a student activist and public servant through her involvement in several nonprofit organizations, including: United Students Against Sweatshops, the Advocacy Lab, Public Allies New York, and Global Kids. In all of these experiences, Marissa realized the need to support young people in their development as organizers to help cultivate the next generation of social justice leaders. Growing up in southern California, Marissa became active with the Unitarian Universalist Association, a faith-based, social justice community and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), a human rights organization, where she served as a Board Observer. Marissa currently serves as a Program Leader and as a member of the Advisory Board for the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice. Marissa also served as the Vice President of Recruitment and Outreach for the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation. As someone who is interested in building a global community of human rights activists and educators, Marissa has traveled to 50 countries and has presented workshops in several, including South Africa, Cyprus, and Canada. In 2011, Marissa presented at the Council of Europe’s symposium on “Human Rights in Education,” at the European Court of Human Rights. In 2016, Marissa was awarded a fellowship with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations to travel across the Middle East to understand how to promote peace and address xenophobia across cultures. Also in 2016, Marissa was selected as an Ashoka Changemakers and American Express Emerging Innovator for her work as a social entrepreneur. Marissa also currently serves as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of Human Rights Educators USA. In 2018, Marissa was named as a Catherine Hannah Behrend Fellow in Visual Arts Management in the 92Y Women inPower Fellowship Program. Most recently, through Rotary International, Marissa was selected as a 2019 Peace Fellow at the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Marissa has written several publications focusing on the intersection of human rights, art education, and youth development, including the Huffington Post, Education Week, and Radical Teacher. Currently, Marissa serves as a CUNY University Faculty Senate Member and an Adjunct Lecturer at the City College of New York in the Art Education and Education Departments.