When it comes to analyzing the strengths and weaknesses your own website, it helps to analyze, compare, and learn from competitor websites. Below is an analysis of A Gift For Teaching’s (AGFT) website compared to two other nonprofits with similar missions: Give Kids the World (GKTW) and The Salvation Army (SA).
In order for a visitor to have the optimal experience from the second they land on a site, the home page should be able to answer a few key questions within about 30 seconds of visiting it. The first pieces of information that a visitor should see are who they are, what they do, and what visitors can do on the site. If visitors can’t identify what it is an organization does within seconds, they won’t stick around long, so it’s important to offer this information from the get go and then present them with an easily navigable website to answer all of their questions and give them everything that they need. All three websites offer this information quickly, briefly, and with a striking visual.
Since 88% of local search engine searches are done on a smartphone, it is essential for organizations to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. All three nonprofits have a mobile-friendly version of their website to make it easier for smartphone and tablet users to navigate through the content.
The sites for A Gift For Teaching and The Salvation Army prompt website visitors to subscribe to their email newsletter with either a popup or a very visible banner ad. They use a Push Marketing technique here to grab the attention of the user and encourage them to voluntarily provide their information. Give Kids the World doesn’t really take advantage of this onsite Push Marketing technique. Instead, their email signup button is integrated organically in the same format as the rest of the information on the Homepage.
While they don’t all take advantage of online Push Marketing strategies, these nonprofits optimize the user experience with similar Pull Marketing techniques. They update their websites with relevant information and events, like current campaigns, and integrate that into their social media with posts and cover photos. Here AGFT shares how many dollars worth of supplies they’ve distributed to promote during their Back-to-School Drive event, GKTW shares a #GivingTuesday cover photo to promote donations, and SA changed their cover photo to promote their #RedKettleReason campaign. These cover photos are accompanied by posts on all of their social media channels and backed up with information on their websites.
Their most user-friendly Pull Marketing strategy is their website organization. All three sites have their information split up based on its users. They all have menus with options for volunteers, donors, and for those just interested in learning more about them. And to complete the integration of their online presence, all three sites provide all social links in an easily accessible location.
Below are just a few examples of offsite Push Marketing that these organizations worked on to push on to their target market.
A Gift For Teaching promotes itself Offsite through in-kind donations of TV slots, radio time, signage, and physical flyers. For instance, Moira from Real Radio 104.1 promotes events via her radio show and commercials on Bright House Networks, which is another corporate donor. News 6 promotes AGFT’s impact with stories in between other news, and AGFT promotes their mission with flyers when tabling or during events, like on this supply donation bin in Starbucks.
Like A Gift For Teaching, Give Kids the World and The Salvation Army use direct mail and local businesses for Offsite promotion. Orlando Locals receive letters giving them information about Give Kids the World and asking them to join their efforts. Give Kids the World also markets in local Perkins Restaurants. At the restaurant entrance, they will find a tall glass container filled with change and cash with the Give Kids the World mission, logo, and a donation call-to-action on it.
Similarly, The Salvation Army sends out direct mail pieces in hopes that people will donate, volunteer, or simply spread the word. They also ask local businesses, like this pizza parlor, to advertise for them free of charge to spread the word about their mission and campaigns. Lastly, and most recognizably, they have volunteers wear red Salvation Army aprons or shirts and ring a bell while collecting donations in a red kettle next to a sign with their slogan. While this is done as part of their brand, it ends up pushing their message out to their target market, making it another successful Push Marketing technique.
Room for Improvement
The A Gift For Teaching site is comparable to the Give Kids the World and The Salvation Army sites. While it has many good characteristics in common with these sites, there is always room for improvement. IMC-wise, the messaging and related imagery is the same or very similar across channels. While the website header photo differs from the social media cover photos, all of A Gift For Teaching’s online sources that have the ability to have a header have one related to the nonprofit. Their online presence is very consistent because across all of their online sources they have the same logo, tone, and mission statements. In addition to that, all of their social sites link to the main website to send traffic to it, creating a seamless online integration. While the majority of the sites pages have a balance of photos, links, and text, there was one page filled solely with information. The page that has details of A Gift For Teaching’s programs is very text-heavy and only contains one photo. The explanations of the programs are brief and descriptive, which is a good thing, but the lack of photos about the programs or helpful infographics to present the data, it is unappealing to the eye and not easy to read over.