With the rise of the digital age, more and more people notice things online than seeing the actual object. In line with that, the time people spend online has also been increasing especially with the rise of social media. Given that, it would be strategic to take advantage of that innovation. Especially for small NGOs, going digital can definitely boost visibility.
Going digital may sound costly if you talk about commercials and the likes, but there are many options available. The thing about going digital is the fact that many things can be acquired for free. Although paid advertisement is an option, many tools which can help NGOs gain visibility are available. Boosting advertisements will also be an option for small NGOs as this can cost as low as USD 5.00 (Brill, 2018)
1. Google Advertising
For small NGOs, visibility is essential, especially when seeking various grants. A good way to get recognized is to be aware of the websites the majority of the population visit every single day. Google, for one, is the most popular website people use to search for the information they need. Every day, Google gets about 3.5 billion searches (Gomes, 2018). To be noticed, it is recommended to be seen on top of the list. One way to get on top of the list would be by creating search engine optimization articles which would lead readers to your website. In doing this, make sure the articles you write about are the ones your target viewers are interested in and would answer their questions. Creating an AdWords account on Google will allow you to see what people search for most, and that way make you knowledgeable on how to cater to their needs.
Google also offers Google Grants specifically to help NGOs in the United Kingdom advertise free of charge.
2. Photo Gathering
Google advertising may be one way for internet users to notice you, but keeping them interested will be another story. You can be on top of the search list and people can click on your link, but how do you make sure they don’t leave your page immediately?
One way to keep viewers interested will be by speaking to them without them having to read anything. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Once you have caught the attention of your readers through a photo, the likelihood of them readings your articles and other portions of your website will be high. It would be best to share original photos to avoid being plagiarized. But if original photos may be a challenge to get, there are many websites which give you access to high-quality photos without you having to worry about intellectual property rights. Some of the websites that give access to high-quality photos for free include Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels, Stocksnap, and Rawpixel.
3. Funding Directories
Small grants for NGOs can be quite difficult not only to attain but also to seek for. Many NGOs spend many hours searching for grants to apply for and can sometimes even end the day empty-handed. For new NGOs, it may not be so easy to afford the charges many NGO funding directories require. But don’t forget to seek free trials or websites which don’t necessarily require monetary payments. An example of this would be the Department for International Development in the United Kingdom who has a list of grants which your NGO can apply for. Another alternative when searching for small grants for NGOs in developing countries will be to subscribe for directories that require payment. Often times, these directories have a free user option which can be optimized for the time being, and a paid subscription can follow once it is a possibility. Funding directories ultimately is a more effective tool in searching for various grants than just google searching.
4. Launching of an E-Newsletter
Launching an E-Newsletter may come with a cost which can be heavy for small NGOs, especially startups. But email marketing has been proven to be successful in terms of seeking grants and donations. In fact, consistency in sending out emails will have the capability to deliver double the return on investment (Campaign Monitor, 2018). Given the effectivity of sending out newsletter blasts at least twice a month, seeking for partnerships will likely come next. A number of corporations may be willing to shoulder the cost of launching your newsletter for as long as they get featured regularly. A contra-partnership to launch a newsletter will definitely bring about many good opportunities for your NGO.
5. Launching a mobile-friendly website
Almost all organizations today make use of websites to get people informed of their operations. Many take time into building a website which will attract viewers. That being said, numerous organizations, NGOs included are usually at a good start when it comes to building websites. The problem, however, is that many organizations don’t constantly update their websites which result in outdated information. That includes websites which can only be accessed through a computer. According to NP Source, 57 percent of people access the internet through their mobile devices. That’s more than half of the population you’ll be missing out of by not having a mobile-friendly website. Donations made through mobile accounted for 17% of total donations back in 2016 (Dupont, 2017) and that’s not something you would want to miss out on.
Multiply, for example, was a widely used social networking site but is no longer available as they failed to keep up with new trends including being accessible through mobile. Majority of individuals now use their mobile devices to search and access a lot of things. Having a website only accessible through computer devices limits the traffic you will receive and will limit the possibilities of getting people informed and likewise receiving donations.