5 Ways To Improve Your Non-Profit Website Performance

Managing a non-profit is very challenging. To succeed it requires dedicated staff, fund raising skill and a high level of focus on organizational detail. Having an optimized website helps alleviate some of the load.

By improving your website performance, you will attract more visitors through organic search and referrals from offsite social assets. This will help to raise awareness, increase engagement with those seeking your service(s), volunteers, and help you establish meaningful partnerships with donors and thought leaders.

How You Can Boost Your Organizations Website Performance

Here are five ways in which you can improve your non-profit website performance.

Use Social Media Platforms

To grow your organization’s audience and to let people know what you are up to on a monthly basis, it’s important to stay active on popular social media platforms. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are all great platforms to connect with donors and reach more volunteers. Furthermore, these platforms are a great way to share and link back to your website’s content.

By maintaining an active blog, you can regularly share articles, photos, and other information with your online audience through social media. This shows that your organization is dynamic and up to date with the times. Not only this but it’s also an essential part of convincing future donors to partner with you and boost your cause.

To go about this properly, you will have to develop a comprehensive social media strategy. This should cater to your specific online audience. Your online strategy should tie in with your overall organizational strategy. This way, you can continue to work towards your specific goals.

When done correctly, social media can help to boost brand awareness and donations. It can also increase your overall website traffic.

Captivate Users with Powerful Imagery

By incorporating powerful imagery on your landing page and throughout your website, you can captivate users from the moment they set eyes on your website.

Compelling visuals that are not overused, serve a purpose, and convey your brand accurately can have a big impact on engagement. All non-profit websites should make use of powerful imagery.

Images enable you to show your audience how you are changing the world instead of just telling them. By strategically placing your visuals, you can effectively evoke emotion in your readers. This can compel them to become emotionally invested in your cause.

In the end, great imagery is not just pretty. It can truly serve your organization well if used effectively on your website.

Implement Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for any business.

There are many factors that affect SEO. These can include things like mobile optimization, website speed, the use of SSL certificates, and the correct use of tags. Image optimization also plays a significant role as does your website’s infrastructure.

All in all, your SEO strategy allows you to get more organic traffic to your website. This traffic builds exponentially over time as you target more and more keywords. When done correctly, it can position your website in search results and help you to reach your target audience.

Optimize Your Website With Mobile in Mind

Another important consideration to boost your non-profit website’s performance is to be sure it is mobile friendly. When it comes to website traffic, mobile users make up the majority of online traffic. In fact, about 60% of searches  are from mobile devices.

Because of this, you should ensure that your website is fully functional across browsers and devices. If your website is not optimized with mobile in mind, your visitors will have difficulty accessing and reading your content. Ìn turn, they might get frustrated and leave.

Your web pages should be adaptable to fit any screen, no matter the platform. Additionally, mobile forms and pop-ups should be scalable for mobile platforms as well.

Searchers expect websites to load fast, be responsive and easy to navigate. Your website is an extension of your business. Ensuring a great user experience will lead to engagement and conversions.

Start an Email Newsletter

Email marketing can significantly boost communication when it comes to interacting with your audience on a monthly basis. It helps to deepen donor relationships and can help you to achieve your fundraising goals.

Non-profit organizations can also take advantage of email marketing. This can help you to:

  • recruit volunteers
  • reconnect with lapsed donors
  • and communicate important organizational and industry updates.

If done in an engaging manner, email marketing can increase online traffic to your website. It can help you to shine a light on what your non-profit is up to and why people should get involved.

In a Nutshell

When it comes down to it, there are many factors for improving your website performance. From email marketing and utilizing social media to implementing SEO and captivating your audience with powerful imagery, there are several important considerations.

The important thing to remember is that all of these methods should integrate with your organization’s overall marketing strategy. They should reinforce your organizations mission and your primary cause so that people know exactly what you’re about.

Nick Luvera

Why Schools Need Public Relations

Academic institutions and schools have gone through one of the most tremendous shifts in history in 2020. Teaching has moved into another dimension with virtual teaching hampering traditional learning techniques. Is it effective? What are schools doing to make sure their ‘client’ – the students, teachers, parents – are still learning and achieving grade and age level competency?

Today, more than ever, a strong public relations strategy is the best tactic an educational institution can use in today’s world. This is true for almost every desired outcome; expanding institutional reputation, expanding student enrollment, or simply expanding your reputation in the local community, a well-defined public relations program is a powerful tool in your communications arsenal.

The NSPRA (National School Public Relations Association) professional definition is:

“Educational public relations is a planned and systematic management function to help improve the programs and services of an educational organization. It relies on a comprehensive two-way communications process involving both internal and external publics, with a goal of stimulating a better understanding of the role, objectives, accomplishments and needs of the organization. Educational public relations programs assist in interpreting public attitudes, identify and help shape policies and procedures in the public interest, and carry on involvement and information activities which earn public understanding and support.”

At THO, in addition to providing strategic counsel, part of our communications goals include reputation building and thought leadership, all of which presents the institution’s stakeholders as a trusted source of information in their communities, to their students, parents and more.   

Here’s eight ways to improve your school’s public relations outreach today:

1. Crisis Communications

Whether it is a pandemic, a natural disaster, the death of a student or an act of violence, crises happen. Schools need to plan ahead for these potential crises in order to be prepared with solutions before they happen. Having a solid crisis communication plan in place before a crisis happens will keep a school looking and acting poised even in difficult times.   

2. Showcasing School Leadership 

Showcasing your leadership’s talents and accomplishments will build the status of your school. A PR plan should include crafting thought leadership articles for local and trade publications.  These pieces provide insight into the education system and highlight a faculty member, as well as provide insightful commentary.

3. Competitive Advantage

Remember to monitor your industry as well as your competitor’s media coverage. This includes social media pages as well as creating  Google alerts for key areas of interest. Then you’ll be able to continually monitor topics of key importance to determine how to position your school effectively amongst its competitors. The result? You’ll have the competitive edge in your market.

4. Remember the impact of your Social Media Presence

Studies show that 81 percent of all teens ages 12 – 17 use some form of social media and 74 percent of American adults use networking sites. Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter, the platforms can help you stay connected with your students and parents. Develop a social media content calendar to provide a complete schedule of posts to keep you and your team on track.  

5. Media Relations Provides Third Party Credibility

Working with the media will gain additional exposure in your immediate community and beyond. There are a variety of methods to implement this type of program. Announce test score results and new administrative changes with a press release;  event and fundraisers may offer another great story; faculty members and research papers may provide the backbone for an intense thought leaders program.

For example, here at The Hoyt Organization (THO), we support the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, a major national research institution, with its annual Casden Multifamily Forecast Conference, which unveils data and predictions based on institutional research specifically for the multi-family market. This information is distributed to the media, many of whom cover trends and predictions in the multifamily real estate market. The result?  We’ve secured both national and local media coverage for the center including Bisnow, Los Angeles Times, Commercial Observer, Spectrum News and the Los Angeles Business Journal, and many other media outlets, all of which position the Center as a well-respected hub in the industry.

6. Identify a Team of Spokespersons

These representatives can offer a wide range of opinions and commentary to the media on behalf of your institution. Remember to provide media training so they will be ready, willing, and prepared to meet with the media.

7. Website Development

Considered the digital front door to your institution, make sure your website meets the needs of the wide variety of constituents you serve. Is it easy to navigate? Does it include a newsroom to support your branding? What about your various social channels – do they all support the same message? Remember, posting new content on your website will improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Updating content is one of the best ways to rank higher in a Google organic search. Adding quality backlinks will also help search rankings. Consider creating a blog or video series if you don’t already have one. It will improve your website’s SEO  and maximize your effort.

8. Use a Wide Variety of Communications Vehicles

 In order for a school to thrive, it must connect with its stakeholders, the surrounding community as well as the national education world. This means choosing a wide variety of tactics, depending on the audience you’re targeting. It involves creating a program that touches digital marketing, e-newsletters, brochures, admission materials, earned and paid media and much more. Using an outside consultant, such as a public relations firm that understands the nuances of the educational world, may be a wise investment in launching the right type of program for your institution.

Public relations help to build a trusted reputation while strengthening the relationship within its community. With the increased competition amongst education institutions, including charter, public and private schools, investing in a strong communications program will provide the competitive edge that your institution may be looking for.

If you’re ready to move to the front of class and learn important strategies for school’s public relations – We’re here to help.

Nick Luvera

Ten Effective PR Strategies for Non-Profit Organizations in 2021

Nonprofit organizations play a crucial role in building healthy communities by providing helpful services. With many nonprofits supporting the most vulnerable during this pandemic, planning effective public relations and marketing strategies will get the attention of the right audience, and build donor awareness.

Given there are more than one million nonprofit organizations in the United States, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, it’s a sizeable market. These companies focus on different causes and have different goals across all industries, including housing, education, healthcare, art, technology and science.

As a result, creating the right messaging to reach the right audience is critical in setting your nonprofit apart from the rest. How can it be done effectively? Here are the top ten tips that will keep your nonprofit at the front of the line:

1. Target the right niche  

Nonprofit organizations have a mission, which identifies with a specific niche. Know what it is – and go after it. For example, The Hoyt Organization provides public relations services to a nonprofit that delivers service-enriched housing programs to residents living in affordable housing communities. We identified multifamily owners and developers as key targets for this organization. This action connected us with the right media outlets to tell the right story – to the right audience.

2. Establish a memorable online presence

Make sure your online presence is memorable. Use your media coverage to help tell your story, create a newsroom and link back to your efforts on your social media pages. Leverage your social channels – such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to share your brand stories. Don’t forget to use SEO to expand your digital presence. Remember to include links to your media coverage in your annual newsletters and encourage your employees to share this coverage on their LinkedIn pages.

3. Keep tabs on your competitors every day

Find tools to help you monitor the news of your competitors. Track their social media coverage, set up Google alerts of their opinion leaders, check their websites and identify the ways you are doing things better and differently. Remember, they could be going after the same market you are so make sure you stand out.

4. Create compelling content

People will read your message if it’s interesting, compelling and tells a great story. Use consistent messaging but go deeper by telling success stories. Use high-resolution images and video from team members to grab your audience’s attention. As a nonprofit, team up with creative photographers and videographers to step up your game and stand out. You can also use “home footage” from a cell phone or webcam to tell an organic story if you’re at a special event or are practicing social distancing.

5. Think like a “local”

Local PR and marketing outreach can be an effective way to reach your target audience and build your credibility in your own backyard. Nonprofits that do not have a national reach can always leverage the local newspapers, blogs, radio stations and television stations. If you can get enough coverage from the local and trade, you can attract national attention. 

6. Check your calendar; leverage holidays and national observances

Nonprofits often have charitable work associated with the holidays. Plan ahead and develop a few virtual events around relevant holidays and national observances. Take it a step further and create your national observance and create a campaign!

7. Join an association

Expanding your network gets easy when you join an association in your industry. Associations help you learn more about the industry while introducing you to industry professionals. This may give you an advantage over competitors that don’t have access to those same individuals. As a member of a reputable association, you build your credibility as an industry leader. Consider joining the National Council of Nonprofits, a trusted resource and proven advocate for America’s charitable nonprofits. The association provides access to trustworthy information on legal, operational and capacity-building matters.

8. Showcase your leadership

Making your leadership more visible will build the credibility of your nonprofit. Consider writing thought leadership pieces for trade media outlets. Demonstrate your expertise by sharing business insights and providing research or data to back your statements. Bring your story to life with real-life examples or case studies. Then, remember to circulate your coverage to your stakeholders, including your clients, board of directors and potential donors. 

9. Highlight your partners and donors

Co-branding with various donors and/or others your organization is connected to will build your reputation. For example, if you received a generous donation from a well-known company, tell the world by pitching reporters who cover that company. Consider distributing a press release announcing the contribution.  Always remember to clear it with that company first.

10. Be PR savvy and invest in tools

There are a number of tools available that will expand your efforts with very little investment. For example, using a wire service to distribute your press release will expand your reach as well as your digital presence.  There are also platforms that can help you schedule and publish your social media content. One such tool, Hootsuite, is one of many that will help you manage all of your social content in a single calendar. All of these platforms allow you to leverage your time and efforts, and are worth exploring.

If you’re are one of the millions of nonprofit organizations that needs public relations support, please contact The Hoyt Organization at (310) 373-0103 or email helpdesk@hoytorg.com

We look forward to partnering with you.

Nick Luvera

How Can We Help?

Make us your first call if you’re launching a new product or service, re-branding or encounter a need for media relations or crisis communications. We’re here for you:

  • Targeted PR
  • Strategic Communications
  • Social & Digital Media Strategies
  • Crisis Communications
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