publication date: Jun 22, 2011
author/source: Ryann Miller, Fraser Green
month, Ryann Miller
and Fraser Green
review the website of a
selected Canadian charity, focusing on its fundraising effectiveness. It's a
chance for the charity to receive personal coaching from two experts on online
communication and fundraising. This month's site is Canadian African Partnership on AIDS
Hi Ryann. I
hope you and baby Julian are well and happy!
we've been asked to look at the site of Canadian African Partnership on AIDS.
I've been to the site and must say that I really like it!
Now as you
know, I don't look at sites from an online giving point of view. Rather, I look
at them through the eyes of a potential donor using the site to decide whether
or not to make a first gift. My question is simply, "does this site motivate me
Why it works
answer in this case is a definite yes, for a number of reasons.
Where it needs work
really like the look and the energy of this site. It's colourful. The fonts are
funky. It's visually appealing. This site just gives me a positive and eager
vibe. It makes me feel like something can be done.
love the fact that there's a "stories" tab on the home page. (You know I'm
obsessive about great storytelling in fundraising.)
site makes the organization look very grass-roots and small - and I tend to
like that type of charity.
like it very much that the site has a "making a difference" page with summaries
of successfully completed projects. Donors love to see results!
however a few areas that could use real improvement.
I click on the "stories" tab, I only get one story. And that story is a little
dry to me. I'd like to read about one person whose life has been transformed.
think the site needs to go further describing the cause. I want to experience
the transformation from the despair of HIV/AIDS to renewed hope and optimism in
the future - the joy of life renewed. Great soul just isn't there, in my view.
"donate" page should definitely have a section on gifts in wills. Any charity
that doesn't invite donors to consider bequests is missing a huge opportunity.
think the photos could say more. Shots of groups of people standing in rows
really don't tell me anything. How about showing me donated dollars at work?
All in all
Ryann, I'll give this site a B+. I like it very much despite its weaknesses. If
CAP AIDS can inject some more emotion, storytelling and soul, I'd be happy to
upgrade it to an A.
What do you
I are great thanks, Fraser! Let me get right to the point - I really really
like the CAP AIDS site. It's engaging, colourful and action-oriented. For a
one-staff-person operation, it's quite impressive.
people to their donation form! Everywhere! It's a great example of best
practices in online fundraising. They encourage donations as a way to get
involved - also great. The donation form itself is fine, though I'd love to see
images of people, and as you commented, Fraser, descriptions of what donation
amounts can accomplish. I'd also like to see more info on why to become a
monthly donor, since they have that as an option on the donation form.
offers a number of ways to get involved, including social networking and
events. For a small organization, they've done a great job of welcoming people.
I have to say that having an e-newsletter with a staff of one is an amazing
feat! The e-newsletter is so important for the long-term goal of building an
online donor prospect file. While I recommend most organizations create one for
that reason, I know it can be hard for a small organization to do it every
month. So hats off to CAP AIDS for seeing the value and investing in the
I think the
site could use more emotion. I'd like to learn about how the organization came
to be. While I love the "Stories from Africa" page, I agree with you, Fraser,
that I'd like to read about one or two individuals CAP AIDS has helped. It
would be even better if those people could write or dictate a piece themselves.
I love the "Making a Difference" page that describes CAP AIDS' projects - this
is so important!
Some of the
content is a bit dry and could use more emotion. I wouldn't say the site has
much of a distinct voice. For a small organization, though, CAP AIDS does a
very good job of communicating the important information clearly and
website gets everything right, using all the best practices for online
marketing, communications and fundraising. It's engaging and fun, has great
design and clear layout, drives to online giving very well, and makes a great
case for support. I give the CAP AIDS site a solid A. These guys are an example
for other small organizations!
To submit your site for review, contact email@example.com.
Ryann Miller is director of nonprofit services at Care2, where she helps charities and nonprofits recruit online
supporters. She is the former managing director of DonorTrends and was a senior fundraising consultant at HJC New Media.
Fraser Green is chief strategist at Good
Works, a consulting firm that teaches charities how to tell their stories
with more passion, emotion and soul. He specializes in donor listening and
coaching charities on how to meet their donors' expectations, wants and needs.
Ryann's web site is www.Care2.com and Fraser's is www.goodworksco.ca - in case you want
to pronounce your web jury judgment on them!