…have we already been at university for that long? This week we discussed our ‘final’ choices and decisions on how we want to help our NGO. After much consideration, the SplitUnited came to the conclusion that creating a crowdfunding profile, creating a twitch account and revamping the already informative ConstruCasa website are of main importance!
After making this decision, we decided that we should write a summary of what crowdfunding is, where the most donations go, and why it is important and successful!
So what is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding, which has exploded in the last decade has become a very popular form of realising solutions to problems through monetary contributions from a plethora of individuals via the internet. Instead of financing innovations through the traditional financial system ( loans from banks), crowdfunding is a form of alternative financing- allowing all individuals from any cultural, or socioeconomic background to present their ideas to the world of web-surfers. The crowdfunding model is powered by three actors: the innovator, the supporters and the platform which brings all three parties together and launches the product.
Crowdfunding has reached a peek since its creation in 2006. In 2014 crowdfunding expanded by 167% ( raising $16.2 billion) and has nearly doubled again in 2015, raising an amazing amount of $34.4 billion. Interestingly enough, according to Statista, the most active and sponsored category within the crowdfunding world are social issues, contributing to 30% of all the fundings. Based on this information, which was quite a surprise to me and my group, we will utilise this source of funding and creating awareness.
The biggest advantage of crowdfunding is that ANYONE from ANYWHERE can support ANY project because they believe in the cause.
READY, SET, GO! THE STEPS IN CREATING A CROWDFUNDING PROFILE!
We found the YouCaring crowdfunding platform (www.youcaring.com) most useful and suitable for our NGO. It was founded in 2011, initially to help students to fundraise money to pay for their tuitions, but through the following 4 years it evolved and raised $ 281 million for individuals, communities and non-profits. It stands out from other competitive platforms because it’s free of charge. The only fee is the 2,9% and $0,30 per transaction taken by the donation processor.
Furthermore, creating a fundraiser is really easy – with just a few steps you can start fundraising: first you need to register at youcaring.com platform. You have the quick and easy option to create a profile by signing up to Facebook or by entering you name, email, and password.
After creating a profile…its simple; all you have to do is write an honest and heart warming story, upload interesting photos and wait for donators!
What makes a good website….
Website development and our ideas
After comparing HerFarmsNepal with the ConstruCasa website, we started to analyse how we can improve their website. The problem with the most non-profit websites is that they look unprofessional and hence shoo away their visitors. Our idea is to improve the total income of donations by creating a welcoming, user-friendly website.
We want to implement new sections within the website, a blog post, linking the social media to the website and so on. The ConstruCasa.org website is missing the footer section of what makes a successful website as well. In the footer section, there can be another column that can use with the latest stories and updates towards the help of the new visitors.
Why we want to do this
One of the most important platforms for any NGO is its website. If you want to be successful, you need a modern website. Over the last few weeks we have become acquainted with with WordPress, a multifunctional platform with endless possibilities. Every website built on WordPress platform is user friendly ( an important success factor!) There are five aspects of a user-friendly website: learnability, efficiency, memorability, errors, and satisfaction. By understanding these aspects, we can define what the term user-friendly means in terms of web design.
This is how easily people can find your website. Can they find what they want easily? Can they understand the structure and the design? If someone can’t find what they were looking for they are more inclined to leave than to continue looking. The aesthetic, and modernity of a website is also of great importance as it suggests to the user that the given company has invested time, energy, and monetary value into it. You know the saying, ‘First impressions are everything’- well that is exactly how it works in the online world. In our modern age, websites are usually an individuals’ first expose and experience with a company. If a website is plain, ugly and outdated people will search for a website which presents the same information in a clean, tasteful way.
In addition to learning how your website works, visitors must be able to to do what they came to do quickly. Having a website that visitors can move through efficiently makes their experience much better. Long page loading times and too many pages on the path to your website’s goal can diminish the efficiency of your website.
If you have many return visitors to your website, memorability is very important. Maybe you are a printing company with a file upload system, maybe you have an important notifications portal on your website. Whatever your situation, you want people to be able to navigate and use your website quickly and easily each and every time. Avoid changing your website’s structure too often, don’t implement huge updates and changes to the system all at once if you don’t need to, and make sure you get feedback whenever you make a change.
If your website is pleasant to use, your visitors will be satisfied. This means they are satisfied with your business, which is always a good thing. Make sure you are doing whatever you can to satisfy your users. By making your website focused on your visitors, your visitors will be much happier, giving you, in this case, more donations.
Every element is important in your website as stated earlier, but what makes it really memorable is the user friendly experience on the website. If someone’s aim is to donate money, they should be able to do it very fast, and as easily as possible.
Therefore, we believe ConstruCasa’s website needs a big mid-section button for donations. Maybe near the button, state the mission on a very basic argument, clean and modern. Let the visitors decide if they want to have a monthly subscription or just a one-time donation.
Keep all the visitors updated with your social media, with the help of a plugin installed on the new WordPress website. About the blogging part on the new website, our group was thinking that a blog post will be mandatory by each volunteer, to share their experience and post positive vibes about their time in Guatemala. Those things help a lot with the advertising and management of the new incoming possible donors.
Also the language barrier won’t be a problem, the easiest way to solve it is to install again, a plugin, that will copy your whole website, giving you the chance to edit everything in your own language. It is actually really simple.
WordPress templates that would work with ConstruCasa’s vision and mission:
Rise Template (you would really like this one):
Lots of love and happiness,