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  • Open-Source CMS is the Best for Nonprofits - Elevation
    tough Of course some non profitsare happy with the service they receive and stick with the same system and the same company but many others find they are dissatisfied and want to change or worse the web company closes down leaving them in the lurch Open source can provide your organization with the freedom and the flexibility you crave since many developers are adept at working with it 2 Open source is constantly adapting With such a large community of skilled developers working on open source there is a constant stream of adaptations and improvements to the functionality of the CMS This means open source CMS is highly adaptable and can offer you more A lot of the features that you will need are already built into the system including fixes to problems which are flagged up by members of these very large communities Open source developers are constantly creating new features and plug ins meaning what you re after probably already exists and you don t have to develop it from scratch If you re looking for a contact form that suits your particular needs for example there is likely to already be a feature that suits the purposes of your nonprofit That speeds up the design process giving you more previous time to devote to worthwhile causes 3 Open source allows your website to be unique On a related note because the largest open source systems like WordPress have so many developers from all over the world working on new features templates and plugins the number of options available to you is immense and constantly growing This means it is easier to customize your nonprofit website making it more unique We can advise you on which existing features will fulfil your needs If you have a tight budget we can help you to select a pre existing template that will give you everything you need but for less money If budget is less of a concern you can build on existing templates to get the exact functionality you are seeking 4 Open source can be secure One of the biggest concerns about using open source for nonprofits is over security issues and you are probably right to question this as cybercrime becomes more and more of an issue around the world However there are effective ways of minimising security risks with open source For a start you can ensure that your open source CMS is more secure by using passwords and keeping the system up to date It is important to change passwords every so often There are also many other options for boosting your security by adding plugins or other security packages to your website for instance 5 Open source is compatible with other systems Last but not least it s that all important flexibility issue again Since major open source systems command such a large community of users the developers have tended to create ways of integrating your website with their system This means that more

    Original URL path: http://www.elevationweb.org/blog/nonprofit-cms/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Nonprofit Website Ideas from Pres. Campaigns - Elevation
    capitalizes on the power of social media with the unique hashtag AllInForJeb which is creative personal and action compelling 2 Personal Call to Action Hillary Clinton has mastered the homepage call to action Not only is the CTA distinct from the rest of page drawing the viewer s eye to it but it flows logically with the piece of compelling content This starts with you CTAs are important and your audience is important If you combine the two your audience will feel more compelled to donate Something as simple as what Hillary has published on her site is a great way to spark empathy with potential supporters and donors 3 Excellent User Experience The most basic element of a great nonprofit website is excellent user experience This includes intuitive navigation a logical flow of content informative pages void of duplicate content fast loading times and more Democratic candidate Lincoln Chafee s campaign website is both traditional simple and most importantly maximizes a great user experience Where he lacks flashy graphics and heavy videos he makes up for in an efficient site with speedy loading times and excellent navigation 4 Branded Donation Form We ve said it before and we ll say it again branded donation pages work A branded donation page such as Republican party candidate Carly Fiorina s builds trust transmits a sense of confidence and increases the probability that the person accessing her donations form will complete the transaction While it may seem like an added cost to invest in a branded donations forms something as simple as maintaining the color scheme adding an optimized photo or placing the logo on will drive better results 5 Mobile Nonprofit websites that transfer functionally and aesthetically from desktop to mobile have yielded major results for organization an impressive 10 in overall online donations this past year and growing since Google s mobile updates Making a site that is mobile is crucial now more than it has ever been and can be a game changer for your nonprofit Responsive graphics easy to read font sizes and CTAs that transfer are just a few of the components mobile friendly sites embody Bernie Sanders a candidate for the Democratic Party employs great mobile friendly design with clear descriptive CTAs front and center as well as a single column scroll for easy navigation 6 Email Consistent action compelling emails are a must This is where you can reach out to your audience on a personal basis ask them to donate to your cause or share with something valuable about your nonprofit Take this chance to build better rapport with your email subscribers and segment emails personalize them with their first name and always thank them for supporting your cause Republican candidate Ted Cruz uses great email marketing His emails are personal in line with his brand identity and promote a call to action through his donation form 7 Transparency Nothing creates a sense of urgency or sparks unity quite like setting a goal demonstrating

    Original URL path: http://www.elevationweb.org/blog/7-ways-the-2016-presidential-candidates-will-help-improve-your-nonprofit-website/ (2016-02-17)
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  • 6 Attributes of All Great Nonprofits - Elevation
    Elevation s web design templates take transparency into careful consideration Check out our portfolio for examples If you make transparency a priority you will always maintain the trust of your constituents Transparency can be measured by many factors The quantitative information comes from the IRS Form 990 while additional analysis is found through the company website Charity Navigator is a great way to find your nonprofit s transparency rating 3 Delegate and Distribute Behind every successful nonprofit is a strong leader and an even stronger team A good nonprofit leader has to be passionate charismatic and financially capable However a great nonprofit leader knows how to rely on his team for the responsibilities she does not have the time for This nonprofit leader can differentiate between what she is good at doing what she would like to be doing and what she should be doing The best nonprofit organizations have well rounded teams in which each member has a specific essential role to focus on Nonprofits have to juggle a variety of responsibilities so decreasing overlap is important As a result the most successful teams are often smaller in size Luckily there are certain online tools and techniques available for even the smallest nonprofit teams to maximize their productivity 4 Think Outside the Box There is a traditional model that nonprofits follow when it comes to selecting board members finding funding or handling financial statements Unfortunately many nonprofits get stuck following this set of unwritten rules Innovative thinking is essential to maintaining traction For example instead of making cuts in budget staff and programs Chicago Youth Centers CYC in Chicago focused on finding a strong ally to strengthen their infrastructure They made this change while they were still financially stable After partnering with Family Focus FF CYC was able to gain access to a new set of resources while maintaining their identity Instead of waiting until they were in the red CYC took control of their financial situation at a time where other nonprofits would not have considered it a priority CYC and FF prove that the more challenging solution can be the better long term decision 5 Create a Brand Identity The National Center for Charitable Statistics states that there are currently over 1 5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States However the most successful nonprofits have an identity that separates them from the rest This identity begins with the logo the symbol that the nonprofit uses to express itself While it might seem trivial the logo is the foundation for creating a brand identity If executed correctly it can be an effective way for your nonprofit to develop a certain image Then this image can be reinforced through digital and social media presence A branded identity that leaves a memorable visual is necessary to gain the solid dedicated support that will sustain the longevity of your nonprofit In the long term a branded identity will not only give you credibility but it will also raise public awareness

    Original URL path: http://www.elevationweb.org/blog/6-key-attributes-successful-nonprofits-have-in-common/ (2016-02-17)
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  • 3 More Successful Content Strategies for Nonprofits - Elevation
    to a cause showing immediate value Now let s take it a step further and make it about the donor Give to the Detroit mathematics and science initiative so you can help give every child the quality education he she deserves The so you can technique is a personal favorite marketing strategy It provides a direct correlation between the donor and the cause sparking empathy and a more personalized approach to expressing value to an audience 2 Logical Flow The internet has created an incredible two way street of communication Modern communication methods have transformed the ways users interact with online content Today s web users are now reading the news on their phones at home during lunch breaks commuting to work and plenty more Through a few simple clicks and highly efficient touch screens virtual readers can access information from any location day or night if there s a reliable internet connection It s crucial now more than ever to produce content for your website that reads well on a screen size as small as a smartphone and as big as a 27 inch monitor and here s how Similar to printing a detailed annual report or composition on your nonprofit logical organization through headings and subheadings will help your reader break down the content Applying this concept to your nonprofit s website may be more challenging No longer are viewers reading content in essay format but instead they are interacting with content Headings and subheadings still play a vital role in organization a web page but now you have to consider how content looks aesthetically Many nonprofits have also began using internal links discussed in part 1 or have created landing pages to other parts of their site so viewers can clearly organize the various facets of a nonprofit s website 3 Keyword Research Your audience controls everything about your content The style language tone aesthetics and most importantly what you are writing about Whether you re writing for your nonprofit s website producing a blog post or sharing short sound bites on social media platforms you should be publishing content that reflects and captures your audience That s where keyword research comes into effect While it s easy to assume that keyword research is associated with SEO a monster of a topic keywords can also help in organizing and developing valuable content for your website Keywords show you not only what your website is ranking for on search engines but most importantly it shows what words and phrases web users are using to look for information related to your organization A great way to kick off your keyword research is looking into your nonprofit s Google Analytics results This free online tool will give you a comprehensive list of keywords and phrases your nonprofit website currently ranks for on search engines From there pick 5 10 of these keywords and develop content strictly related to those phrases for words For instance if you re nonprofit focuses on

    Original URL path: http://www.elevationweb.org/blog/featured/part-ii-3-more-successful-content-writing-strategies-for-nonprofits/ (2016-02-17)
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  • 7 Ways to Ruin Your Nonprofit's Call to Actions - Elevation
    to creating an effective CTA 2 Blending Hiding There are a myriad of steps you can take to ensure that the CTA on your site s homepage stays hidden These include but are not limited to Applying the same color scheme of the website to the CTA Lacking boldness and vibrancy Placing the CTA below the fold Making it too small Simply put in order for the Call to Action to reach its maximum potential it needs to stand out 3 Passive Language Arguably worse than blending or hiding your CTA is using vague or passive language Similar to what was discussed in parts I and II of the series verbiage is everything when it comes to a great Call to Action Long winded phrases or non action compelling verbs give your audience the go ahead to ignore donating volunteering or supporting the nonprofit Don t worry about being pushy or imposing the CTA is one area where you can be aggressive and directly ask for what you want Avoid words such as submit to use for a CTA and save the less exciting verbiage for later 4 Not Demonstrating Value Not to be confused with over embellishing a nonprofit CTA is giving it value Every great Call to Action answers the bulging question so what Provide value and answer this inquiry by incorporating imagery and statistics to the Call to Action Give your audience reason as to why they should support your nonprofit s cause 5 Wrong Place Wrong Time Call to Actions that are pushed too soon or that are being communicated to the wrong audience is a sloppy mistake CTAs should coincide with the content of a page and be in alignment with the interest of your audience The best way to effectively mediate this common issue may take some strategic planning and testing on your end On the homepage it may be in the best interest of your nonprofit to push the Donate Now CTA above others whereas on the blog you may want to influence visitors to sign up for your monthly newsletter Dig deep into your nonprofit s website analytics before making decisions on which CTAs will go where 6 Competing Buttons There are lots of things visitors can do when they explore a nonprofit s website They can donate start a peer to peer fundraising campaign volunteer subscribe to a newsletter etc In efforts to give an audience the full spread of action items so they have access to everything all at once things can get overwhelming When a visitor clicks on the Donate Now CTA and are taken to the landing page they won t want to be greeted by a competing CTA that says Start a P2P Fundraiser These conflicting action compelling buttons are equally important which is why the shouldn t be on the same page 7 Not Testing Above all else discussed in this post there is one mistake that trumps all not testing It should be common practice

    Original URL path: http://www.elevationweb.org/blog/7-ways-to-ruin-your-nonprofits-call-to-actions/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Crowdfund Your Holiday Campaign - Elevation
    projects don t receive funding if they don t meet their goal amount receive funds through Amazon Payments costs to nonprofits 5 plus 3 5 per donation IndieGoGo over 56 million raised to diffuse individual ideas and raise funds offers professional data drive advice for your campaign costs to nonprofits 6 75 plus 4 0 30 cents per donation CauseVox average campaign raises over 12 000 offers custom site template and widgets receive donations directly without merchant account costs to nonprofits 5 2 5 until 5 000 raised 3 5 per donation GoFundMe over 570 million raised for personal causes and nonprofits less socially media oriented than other platforms receive donations through WePay or FirstGiving costs to nonprofits 5 4 5 30 cents per donation With the holiday season quickly approaching you should consider starting a crowdfunding campaign as part of your year end strategy The GivingTuesday December 2nd campaign started in 2012 calls for an early start to holiday giving following up on the Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday retail shopping Based on a CONE Communications Digital Activism study more Americans are drawn to donating to individuals or environmental causes rather than directly to nonprofits themselves 18 and 12 as compared to 47 Therefore recruiting your supporters to start campaigns associated with their name will help your organization reach out to new types of donors If you re considering a new web design for your nonprofit consult with our representatives on how you can incorporate crowdfunding widgets into your site s template design or integrate social media sharing to spread the word about your campaigns Contact us to speak to learn what you should be doing to prepare for the holiday giving season Hillary Skeffington Hillary Skeffington is the Communications Partnership Manager at Elevation While Hillary started as a

    Original URL path: http://www.elevationweb.org/blog/crowdfund-your-holiday-campaign/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Top 5 Brands in Nonprofit Web Design - Elevation
    It s a comprehensive idea phrase or image that represents everything associated with the organization it s purpose mission statement beneficiaries etc Building a Nonprofit Brand As graphic designers and web strategists in the nonprofit industry it s easy to focus on the tangibles Our critical thinking skills combined with a system analysis approach to everything from web design to our fantasy foosball league means we are easily convoluted by technical details We become obsessed with the perfect shade of red or the best typography often forgetting that branding means so much more Building a brand for your nonprofit is almost never a one step process The various stages of planning a brand strategy developing it and then executing it are all part of a thoughtful process to achieve the best results As part of your daily token of inspiration and in alignment with creating an incomparable brand identity for your nonprofit here are 5 of the best nonprofit brands 1 charity water 2 Livestrong 3 National Coalition Against Domestic Violence NCADV 4 R U 4 Children 5 Foster Youth in Action Building a nonprofit brand identity goes beyond web design It s the color typography imagery and graphic design but even the most perfect combination of these elements is nothing without the emotion or memory individuals align with your brand If you re looking for more inspiration on building your brand in specifics to logo design check out our blog on 6 essential graphic design tips for nonprofits Additionally check out some of our graphic design services to see if we can assist you with your nonprofit s brand identity Hillary Skeffington Hillary Skeffington is the Communications Partnership Manager at Elevation While Hillary started as a volunteer for nonprofits she has recently dived into the nonprofit web design industry

    Original URL path: http://www.elevationweb.org/blog/top-5-brands-in-nonprofit-web-design/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Top 3 Nonprofit Call to Actions - Elevation
    attention to these action icons However a few small changes with the CTAs and this homepage will be top notch The most noticeable being prioritizing one CTA over the other This can be done one of two ways 1 Make one larger and with a stronger contrasting color while the other stays the same or decreases in size 2 Place one at the beginning and one at the end The donate CTA is already placed at the bottom so place the other at the top of the fold to give the viewer more space in between each CTA This would also allow Global Oneness to take advantage of the white space at the top providing a more distinct contrast Strengths Contrasting color Clickable Verbiage Whitespace Weaknesses More than 1 CTA Placement 2 Housing Works Housing Works utilizes nearly all elements of a great homepage layout Color choice imagery and text compliment one another resulting in a complete and aesthetically visual home landing page Users aren t overwhelmed with too many Call to Actions and they ve taken advantage of whitespace in order to highlight the most important parts of their website While Housing Works CTA isn t necessarily working against it slight changes could be made in order to maximize its full potential The first being making it clickable which could be resolved by something as simple as contouring Furthermore they could use more actionable word choice to express urgency for example Donate Now would be a great way to boost the verb choice Strengths 1 Prioritized CTA Contrasting Color Whitespace Logical placement Weaknesses Not clickable Verbiage 3 Invisible Children I almost always applaud Invisible Children s web and graphic design elements so logically they are highlighted in this post Things IC does well take advantage of whitespace the donate button follows on the right side as users scroll through the page and all CTAs are clickable Additionally they ve been able to effectively use more than one CTA Contrasting colors and logical placement demonstrate the priority of one CTA above others Dare I say it I think Invisible Children could improve their CTA s As my own personal preference I think that instead of using 4 CTAs and repeating one of them I propose that IC uses better action verbs and cuts down on the number of CTAs to 2 or 3 I also move that they increase the size of the primary CTA Donate in order to set it apart from the rest further distinguishing its importance Strengths Whitespace Location Button Effective use of 1 CTA Weaknesses Verbiage Size As reiterated from the previous blog post you can use any combination of these elements to create a great CTA as long as it aligns with the goals of your individual nonprofit Furthermore as can be seen from the above examples some elements of a great CTA will come down to personal preference It s crucial to keep your mind open to the possibility of change Test various CTAs

    Original URL path: http://www.elevationweb.org/blog/top-3-nonprofit-call-to-actions-and-how-they-could-improve/ (2016-02-17)
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