There several things charities can receive from organisations wishing to pledge marketing support for charities other than the obvious financial. Although we all love financial support as it’s immediately gratifying giving us and organisations the control and freedom to make decisions on how that financial support is spent. There is a lot to be said for non financial support, here goes:
Building a content network
Building a content network can be fabulous way of driving cause awareness in addition to driving conversions to the cause. From an organic search optimisation perspective, this could include that creating a network of publisher sites that tell the story from different perspectives of the different stakeholders involved in the charitable cause. For example if the cause educates kids in Kenya then you could create sites that address the issues of educating children in Africa from different standpoints – teachers, builders, donors, students, volunteers. People are searching for answers every day and thus may want to know which causes are worth supporting and how they could support the cause. Some people have time, some have resources and some have money. Our job is to unify these people towards a cause as rarely does a site successfully have a one size fits all website that successfully caters for these needs.
The purpose of these sites may also go beyond search also. Who says these site’s couldn’t collect enquiries or indeed email subscribers for people wanting further updates or stories about these great causes. They are interested, but maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but for the rest of your life! I digress into the Casablanca movie. A network of sites is not just a method of organising different voices and managing data center risks, but also has a purpose beyond traffic. It has a marketing purpose to cater for different needs – beyond organic search.
Corporate blog writing
Supporters and prospective donors want to see progress of the charity’s work. They want to see how the money is spent and whether the charity is working it. Writing blog articles for the website using information provided from volunteers on the ground so that donors and prospective donors can see the progress of the charitable work going on the ground. This could include reports of building projects completed, planning permissions granted, graduates finishing in one year, success stories of a child educated at one of the schools.
Social media outreach
If the blogs are set up correctly i.e. from an information architectural point of view then there is no reason why the blog won’t already receive traffic from seo. However, there is no harm or the shame of spam if the charity decides to reach out to would be interested parties in social media by asking them to look at content in the hope of a possible retweet. The content thus has to be relevant and of interest to the follower otherwise you really just spamming them like all the other people. The benefits are of course obvious, at least to me because – if they RT the chances are the’re thousands or hundred of real followers will take a look at it and if they like it – they will retweet to – which is real viral marketing.
Doing the above will help your charity build a relationship with target stakeholders (donors and volunteers) via the search engines and social media to drive converting traffic and brand awareness, whilst accumulating a database of people you can start relating to.