My good buddy Roy Jones nails it once again with this great and timely read, 4th Quarter Check List – Pump Up Your Digital RIGHT NOW!

I’m especially pleased to see him focus on the value of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) in Q4. 

Most nonprofits haven’t even stumbled onto SEM yet, and that’s unfortunate.  Dollar for dollar, SEM delivers much higher ROI for nonprofits than social media does right now – but that’s where most organizations gravitate right now instead.

The bottom line is, if you want more year-end gifts, more online donors, and access to more middle and major donors, you need to follow Roy’s recipe for digital success.  It works.

If you aren’t a believer yet, just test it.  Put $2,500 or $5,000 into a SEM campaign between now and the end of the year to drive potential donors to your website.  I think you’ll find it to be one of the most valuable digital tests you have conducted.

Caveat: SEM, e-mail and other digital tools will do you no good if your website isn’t optimized for giving. If donors can’t find your donation page once they reach your website, if your site doesn’t clearly and quickly present a strong fundraising offer and reason to give, if you force them to go through a registration process before they can make a gift, or if they have to navigate 3-5 screens in order to complete a transaction, your SEM results won’t be nearly as strong.

Fix those things first.  One easy way to know whether or not your site is ready is to conduct some fairly low cost usability testing.  Get a few volunteers in and ask them to go through the process.  Have them point out where things were difficult to understand or hard to navigate.  And fix those immediately.

Wishing you much digital success!