The fundraising-marketing gap in charity website development | Dreamscape Solutions

The fundraising-marketing gap in charity website development

A charity's website is more than just an online presence

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The digital expectations of the modern-day consumer mean that a charity's website is more than just an online presence; it is a pivotal tool for driving operational performance and income generation. Despite this critical role, many charities still fall into the trap of siloed development, where the marketing department alone spearheads the website's creation and management. This approach misses a crucial opportunity: the potential of fundraising and marketing departments working in tandem to build a website that genuinely serves the charity's multifaceted needs.

The Current Landscape: A Missed Opportunity

Our recent survey highlights the importance of a charity's website in its overall strategy. 81% of respondents felt their website was extremely important to their charity's future, while the remaining 19% rated it as important. This unanimous recognition underscores the website's potential impact. However, when delving deeper into confidence levels regarding the website's ability to improve operational performance and generate income, the numbers reveal a stark contrast:

  • 38% are somewhat confident
  • 29% are confident
  • 19% are not confident at all
  • Only 14% are extremely confident

These statistics indicate a significant gap between a website's perceived importance and confidence in its effectiveness. This gap can often be attributed to the lack of a unified approach in the website development process.

The Power of Collaboration

To bridge this gap, fundraising and marketing teams must collaborate from the outset of the website development process. Here's why:

Unified Vision and Goals: Though often operating with different immediate goals, fundraisers and marketers share the ultimate objective of driving and retaining support. By collaborating, they can ensure the website supports both donor engagement and broader marketing efforts, creating a cohesive and compelling narrative.

Integrated User Experience: Fundraisers bring insights into donor behaviour and preferences while marketers understand audience engagement and content strategy. Together, they can design a user experience that seamlessly guides visitors from awareness to action, whether donating, signing up for a newsletter, or attending an event.

Enhanced Analytics and Insights: Combining the analytical strengths of both departments enables more robust tracking and interpretation of website data. This holistic view can inform adjustments and improvements, enhancing fundraising outcomes and marketing effectiveness.

Right Tools and Functionality: Without the involvement of fundraising teams, a website may lack the essential tools and functionalities needed for effective fundraising and stewardship. These can include features such as integrated events and peer-to-peer capabilities, email automation and segmentations, and in-memory dedication capabilities, to name just a few. Ensuring fundraisers have a voice in the development process helps create a website that supports comprehensive donor engagement and retention strategies.

Resource Efficiency: Collaboration ensures resources are utilised effectively, avoiding duplication of efforts and leveraging each team's unique skills and insights. This can lead to cost savings and more impactful use of the charity's budget.

A charity's website is a cornerstone of its digital strategy and can be a powerful tool for both fundraising and marketing. By breaking down silos and fostering collaboration between these two essential departments, charities can create websites that not only enhance operational performance but also drive significant income generation. It's time to embrace a centralised approach, ensuring your website is dynamic and impactful across all facets, from branding to donor engagement.

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