Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Your Profile: Look & Sound Great Online

By Angela Bevacqua, Senior Communications Specialist, Community First Foundation

Time to Update
During open enrollment each year—from March to August—we remind nonprofits featured on (formerly that it’s time to update their profiles. We ask you to do this annually so donors know that the info shared on the site is current and reliable. And we have a handy dandy guide to help you know what to update, along with suggestions on when to do it. Required updates include noting changes to your management, financials, and programs.

Content & Presentation: Both are Important
Short, concise appeal.
Content is the meat-and-potatoes of your ColoradoGives profile, but presentation is important, too. Many people come to to “shop” for a nonprofit to support, especially on Colorado Gives Day. Your profile is like a digital brochure; you need to give it the same amount of attention you’d give a printed piece. Here are some tips for both sounding good and looking good online:

  1. Write a compelling “appeal” The appeal is a short summary (Up to 30 words or 200 characters with spaces) of your organization. It appears in several places: 1) in the ColoradoGives home page when you get a donation, 2) in search results, 3) in the checkout cart, and 4) on your profile page. Make your appeal short, concise, and interesting. Avoid jargon and too much detail. After you write your appeal, look at it in the various locations. How does it sound? How does it look? Please note that if your copy is too long, it will not lay out well. If you don’t write an appeal, your mission statement is the default.
  2. Upload your logo Posting your logo will help donors quickly recognize your organization in search listings. It also reinforces your brand. When you upload a logo, it appears hand-in-hand with your appeal on the home page, search pages, checkout pages and, of course, your profile. If you don't upload a logo, the space will be blank. Here’s what the search feature looks like when an organization doesn’t include a logo (we’ve blocked out the organization’s name, but you get the idea).
  3. Upload some great photos and video After your logo, the next most visible item on your profile page is the photo and video section. Draw people in with interesting pictures and video if you have them (and make sure you have necessary permissions). Those that help illustrate your organization’s story will be the most appealing to your donors. Crop out distracting backgrounds in your photos and focus in on faces. If you don’t have photos, consider sharing some “selling points” such as facts about how many people you have helped.
  4. Background, Impact and Needs Statements This section of your profile gives you a chance to tell your story. Make it interesting. You are not writing a grant proposal, so use more narrative to draw people in. Put yourself in the mind of a prospective donor. What do they want to learn about you? What will they find interesting and relevant? Focus on your best achievements. Ask your board members, a new employee, or someone who doesn’t know anything about your organization’s work to give you feedback. Ask them if they understand what you do, if the writing and photos pique their interest, and what impression they are left with. 
Good luck!
Who am I? What happens when you don't upload a logo.

Great photos draw people in.

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