Non-Profits Advertising on the Web by grapieroo10

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									Nonprofits Advertising on the Web


While non-profit organizations are not in the business to declare a profit, they try to
utilize technology effectively to help generate needed revenue. A way in which non-
profits utilize technology is through advertising online. While one may think this is
costly for a non-profit organization, it is not. A website can be designed and set-up for
under $30 and maintained for as little as $20 a month. While the cost to advertise on the
web may seem small, the benefits could be great. Advertising on the web could open up
opportunities for non-profits that they may not have been able to reach through
conventional methods. Nonprofit organizations website could offer a vast amount of
information about the organization. Through advertising on the web, these organizations
could solicit more volunteers and donors and be of help to clients looking for resources
they are offering.


While soliciting volunteers through mail or phone calls is the traditional way of doing
business, this approach should not be discontinued. Web advertising should be used in
conjunction with these methods to bring in more volunteers. Recruiting volunteers via
the web is “an effective, fast, no-extra-cost way to find volunteers”. 1 Since non-profits
have a limited amount of revenue to work with, volunteers are an important part of the
organization. Mail and phone calls may be limited to a local area while the web can
expand regions to reach more people interested in helping with the organization’s
mission.


Advertising on the web can also bring smaller organizations with a similar mission
together forming a larger group to support the mission. Volunteers do not have to reside
in the same area as the nonprofit organization. By having volunteers located throughout
the state, they can help in communities that the organization was unaware that needed
help. Volunteers also recruit more volunteers to “join the cause” and “lend a helping
hand”. Advertising on the web gives prospective volunteers information about the
organization so he/she can make a better decision about volunteering.


The website will also inform volunteers in what area help is needed. An organization
may need help with feeding the less fortunate, collecting clothes for the needy or
answering telephone calls in the office. Whatever the need is volunteers would know
exactly in what area they can help by getting information from the website.


Donors are the main source of funding to support the non-profit organization mission.
Grants may be available for some non-profits but the bulk of the revenue is generated
through donations. While these organizations try to reach as many donors as possible to
help fund their mission, the number of donors that can be reached through the web is
endless. “While the web hasn’t brought the windfall of donations some hoped for,
charities are steadily increasing the amount of money they collect online.” 2


Not all donors need to meet face-to-face with someone from the organization before they
will make a contribution. In today’s society, more people are using the Internet for
business transactions than ever before. A person can give blindly through the web to an
organization without having anyone influence his or her decision. Donors may be willing
to give more if they have a great deal of information about the organization without being
weighed down with papers. Giving to an organization or group through the web has
never been easier. Donors can use a secure site to submit a contribution with their credit
card or they can mail in their contribution. Whatever method a donor choose to use, their
contribution will be greatly appreciated by the organization.


Many people turn to the web searching for resources that may help them or someone else.
Nonprofits that advertise will have the opportunity to compete with other organizations
that offer the same resources. While many people are unaware of all the services a
particular nonprofit may offer, a website can enlighten them of these services. These
clients may also become volunteers or donors after utilizing the services offered. This is
a great first step to introduce prospective clients to a nonprofit organization. Websites
may also sponsor support groups online. Some people may be embarrassed to attend a
support group, but an online support group may be comfortable for them and their need is
still being meet.


Advertising on the web is a good way for nonprofits to provide information about their
services and mission. A well-informed reader will have enough information to base a
decision. Information about the organization can be provided to volunteers and donors
through newsletters via the web. Many of the questions or concerns a person may have
will be addressed on the website. A website for nonprofit organizations can also have
links directing people where to seek help in their communities or provide more
information about a specific topic.


Though websites should not replace phone calls, mailing list or door-to-door recruiting, it
should have added benefits for the organization. More volunteers, donors and clients can
be reached through the web whether near or far and more revenue can be generated for
the organization to continue to operating.


“A nonprofit organization can have clients, can offer products and services, will need
revenue, should market itself, and must be concerned about customer satisfaction whether
in those assisted or those who contribute donations in support of operations, programs or
services. It is a business that must serve the public interest and it will succeed or fail as
any business will, depending on how well it is operated.” 3
1
    Cravens, J. Can we recruit volunteers via the Internet? 10 February 2004.
    The Evergreen State Society. 23 February 2004.
    http://www.nonprofits.org/npofaq/04/19.html.
2
    Dean, K. Web Donors Help Nonprofits Profit. 28 November 2002.
    Wired News. 23 February 2004.
    http://www.wired.com/news/holidays/0%2C1882%2C56529%2C00.html
3
    Demartinis, R. What is a Nonprofit Organization? 04 December 2002.
    What You Need To Know About.
    http://nonprofit.about.com/library/weekly/aa120402.htm.




                                                                           Sharon Dukes

								
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