This webinar is hosted by NonProfit 911 (www.fundraising123.org/training) and Sea Change Strategies (www.seachangestrategies.com/).

The NP911 Speed Consulting webinars are online, free consulting that highlights the content of the day applied to real life examples. Today’s content is website creation.

Katya Andresen, Rebecca Higman, Allison Schwalm, Outreach team, Network for Good introduced NP911 (Nonprofit911.org) and the panel members

Julie Stofer, Senior Manager, Operations, Network for Good

Alia McKee, fundraising consultant, Sea Change Strategies

Mark Rovner, fundraiser, consultant, blogger, audio member of Procrastinators Guide to Year End Fundraising
Content Theme: Focus on applying a simplicity principles to website design.

Key Principle: Don’t leave your common sense at the door.

Overarching Rules:

Don’t make them have to think: Don’t make your audience figure out who and what you are about. Communicating yourself is your job to help people connect to the stories and inspire people to action.

Don’t post anything just to make a collegue happy:

Don’t post a photo a 10 year old can’t explain to you without reading the caption: The photo image should be personal and relatable. Faces are the most compelling.

Don’t be boring: Fundraising is an emotional communication so aim for emotional engagement.

Examples of sites  that hit all the above rules: Alia McKee provided a brief analysis of several websites strengths and weaknesses, accessibility, and compelling engagement.

Live Sites: Deeper analysis of live sites. Elements such as rotating photos, clarity issues, consideration of audiences are discussed.

Q&A: Covered questions of budget, ideas for photos through community flicker groups, and organization, free templates and software.

Takeaways: Train your staff in photography. Reduce website choices to a maximum of 3. Have a kid navigate through your site and talk to you as they work through the pages and buttons. That is how website analysts find problems. You can do it for free.

Overall: This hands on consult applies the four rules presented at the beginning of the webinar. The panelists analysis of a wide variety of sites offered some great insights and the flexibility of the four rules. Issues of internal politics seem to be one of the “hot” issues that get in the way of creating websites that engage your audience. Money can also be a problem, too much money can give too many opportunities to mess up a website.

The panel member’s behavioral, economic backgrounds shape their focus on emotional response to tailor websites for audience engagement and inspiration to action. My response to this webinar is that a website forces people with a cause to think about how to present their cause to the public. That process hones the message, clarifies the purpose of the interaction with other people (what do we want people to do?), and builds communication to engage a wide audience in a functioning, responsive, interactive site. That is a process that develops a website through self reflection. It helps to have a service like Sea Change of NP 911 help with other eyes to give other opinions and guide.

Resources:

NonProfit 911 hosts archived webinars, future free webinars,  and informative training materials for nonprofits:  (www.fundraising123.org/training).

Sea Change Strategies (http://seachangestrategies.com/blog/home/) is a market research service and blogs based on the Sea Change Principles( I couldn’t find these specifically, Hmmmm…). This site offers  learning and interactive blogs on a wide variety of topics. Sign up for their newsletter at http://seachangestrategies.com/blog/about/

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