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How today’s CMS can help Charitable Organizations

Date Posted: Monday, 25 February 2013 18:05
Posted By: Kerry Butters

The web has evolved into a powerful marketing tool, especially with the rise of social and mobile, which has meant that almost everyone is connected. For non-profit organizations, this has led to an unprecedented opportunity to share their message with a lot more of the world.

However, once a non-profit organization has become reasonably well known, or even before, some help is going to be necessary to help manage what can become a huge workload.

Volunteer Group

So how can a CMS help organizations in this sector to take control of workloads and manage websites, social media, donations and more? Well, to begin with, many CMS are incredibly flexible and can be put together to suit a variety of industries. For not for profit organizations, this really begins with the ability to build and manage a fairly complex website.

CMS can help:

  • Organize volunteers
  • Accept donations online, safely and securely
  • Manage social media campaigns
  • Create and manage events
  • Create an online community effectively

More than six million Australians volunteer every year for non-profit organizations, which equates to a sum of over $14.6 billion in unpaid work. Just as a CMS can help manage staff rotas in profitable enterprises, so can it for non-profits.

This allows managers more time to get on with the important work of raising money. Of course, volunteers don’t just walk the streets looking for donations, they also work within the organization on a variety of other project, whether it be retail, social or even developing the website.

Not-for-profit websites

As a non-profit organization, it’s vital to have a dynamic website where people can make donations and become involved in events and the community. In order to manage this, a CMS really is the only viable option. Whilst of course there is an initial outlay, CMS will, in the long term, save considerable amounts of time and cash for volunteers and managers alike.

A multi-functional website gives long term value and it’s from this hub that a complete, ongoing marketing campaign can be launched at a fraction of the cost of hard copy advertising. Add social into the mix with blogs, forums and various social media platforms and this marketing campaign can prove incredibly effective.

A CMS can help to manage this; not only can SEO optimized content be created easily, with little technical knowledge, but social can be managed effectively without spending huge amounts of time.

For social, a CMS can:

  • Create analytics on who is using your community in order to fine tune campaigns and expand to reach bigger markets
  • Create a standalone portal where fans can discuss your work
  • Help to schedule posts, events, campaigns etc. so that you can automate the process
  • Keep branding across all media consistent

Of course, this will be complemented with a great website which is available across all OS’ and devices. Content for the site can be written and easily adapted for mobile and tablet (a vital requirement these days), so that your fans can access your site at any time.

The goal of any non-profit organization is to drive action and for this you need engagement. Websites should be fully optimized to ensure that they are search engine friendly. Further to this, a good CMS should allow you to design your site so that it’s fully searchable itself, so that people can quickly and easily find the information they are looking for.

CMS can help you to build a focused site which is a long term investment and gives value to visitors so that they interact with the community and donate. Using a CMS, organizations can create a secure payment area which does all of the work itself. This can be further automated within the CMS by creating reports, which tell managers what was donated, when and by whom.

This, of course, also gives managers a valid and useful email marketing list which can be kept on the CMS database and used for events, marketing initiatives, raising awareness and more.

One of the most important aspects of a non-profit website is its friendliness and ability to connect with people in order to generate funding and sponsorship. With a CMS, this is easily carried out across the entire site and volunteers can collaborate as they work, in order to create great content.

This can all be fully supervised by using CMS permission and workflow settings so that nothing is ever published to the site without being approved. All of the tools necessary to create newsletters for email campaigns, blogs, press releases and social marketing should be at your fingertips with a good CMS.

An important feature for a non-profit website is often that events can be mentioned on each page along with a high-visibility donations button, calls to action and contact information. Again, this is something that can be easily achieved with a CMS, as well as giving web publishers the ability to quickly change the information site wide, without having to alter each page manually.

Video is becoming a more important feature of any social campaign this year, and with the help of a good CMS, these can also be easily created and posted using the system. Let your followers know all about how and who your work is helping using video. It’s a very powerful way to get your message across so that people engage with it and are encouraged to volunteer or donate.

All-in-all, investing in a CMS if you’re a non-profit organization is an investment into the future. Not only can it streamline a plethora of work processes, donations, events and more, it can help you to see where additional funding can come from with the help of analytics.

A good CMS gives organizations the ability to create dynamic, modern websites which can be used as a central hub for all of your online marketing efforts. Its ability to manage people, payments and social means that any non-profit organization can cut down on long term costs and optimise the donations that they receive.

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