In the U.S., even the concept of goodness inspires competition. This is evident by the number of socially responsible sites that come and go through the revolving door of good intentions. You can help your social good cause gain popularity and avoid the whiplash of this door by following a few basic tips.
Consider Going Nonprofit
Going nonprofit will give your cause the added benefit of receiving monetary and supply donations. The heap of state and federal forms that you will file on the nonprofit trail are more tedious than difficult. If you do find yourself in a pickle, search the Web for completed examples of the problematic form as there are plenty online.
- Caution: There are many types of nonprofit organizations. You will need to receive a 501 C3 status from your state, as well as from the IRS before you can acquire donations.
- Narrow down the demographics of your cause. Nonprofit organizations are highly competitive and those similar to yours will be on the prowl looking for similar benefactors.
Ironically, some of the most important links on your site are those that lead away from your page. Link exchange – adding links from other sites to your site and your link to theirs – is an important ingredient in gaining site traffic.
- Link exchange is easy to accomplish as it just involves searching for similar sites and contacting them.
- Try to choose sites that are already bringing home the bacon. You can pin on their tails by going to Alexa.com, entering their URL and then viewing their statistics.
Utilize the Public
Harvesting the goodwill of those in your community is usually just a matter of reaching out and sharing your intentions.
- Contact editors from local newspapers and magazines and offer up your story. There is no doubt a story behind your social good cause and sharing it with your community offers your neighbors an opportunity to bond via getting inspired and getting involved.
- With social bonds come social acts. Think of creative and fun ways to bring people together whether evenings of white elephant where all of the gifts are somehow related to your cause, or selling baked goods every Sunday morning to local churchgoers. You are limited only by your imagination.
- Embark on relationships with local schools and city officials. These two public sectors are really the “face” of your community and, therefore, have a great amount of authority in shaping its direction. Schedule meetings with professionals in these areas where you discuss your cause and engage their help in organizing fundraising, another benefit of going nonprofit.
There really is no better way to get your website and cause out there than to literally get out there. For the timid at heart, remember that public speaking does not necessarily mean you sweating bullets and creeping into cardiac arrest in front of a crowded auditorium of people. Public speaking also means billboards, radio messages, television and Internet advertising and really your overall knack of schmoozing with the public. A few additional tips:
- Scan the local nightlife of your community. Consider organizing a charity event showcasing the top local bands – good publicity for you and them.
- Theme contest. Gather the talents of the best poets, artists, writers, authors and musicians. Offer emerging artists a night to show what they can do and of course invite local radio and TV stations to attend. This really is about exposure: you get your cause out there and the winners get their artistic visions of your cause on your website.
For those of you who don’t know, SEO – search engine optimization – is the paramount tool for landing your website in the top pages of Google search results.
- The content on your website is deciphered as keywords by Google, which are then categorized by their popularity. While Google acknowledges brilliant displays of adjectives on your site (mellifluous and befuddlement ringing any bells? Wait, that’s me…), odds are not many people are searching for these words when they plop down in the morning to poke around on the Web.
- Popular words drive traffic to your site, so choose wisely. Google Adwords is a great tool to see just what people are searching for on the Web.