It’s no secret that your website is quickly becoming one of the most important tools for fundraising. It’s where donors go to seek validation or specific information about your organization, and it’s important to concisely communicate how donated funds will be used and how you have effectively used past donations.
But there is one more website to keep in mind: the watchdog site.
Just as consumers might check out a product on Consumer Reports or CNET before making a purchase, they are also increasingly looking for third party validation of the charities they support. This has given rise to nonprofit watchdog sites, the two biggest being GuideStar and Charity Navigator.
There are plenty of arguments for or against criteria used to rate charities on these sites, but most important is understanding what your potential donors see when they search for your organization.
Much of the information is pulled from each organization’s 990, and you are at the mercy of the rating criteria selected by the site. However, GuideStar offers the chance to include more information, which often leads to higher rating levels. GuideStar recently reorganized the way organizational information and impact is displayed—learn how to update your GuideStar profile here and check out the American Cancer Society page for a robust example.
Once your GuideStar profile is updated, you can share a widget on your site that links to your profile. In addition to adding credibility and transparency to your organization, making research easier for your donors will lead to higher conversion rates.
Shocking Statistic: GuideStar reports 10 million visitors to its site per year.
AMPERAGE Fundraising Advisers is a full-service fundraising company whose mission is to move the needle for our clients. For more information on Amperage Fundraising Advisers or to make a recommendation for a future blog post, contact us today!