3 Reasons Your Nonprofit’s Event Page Is Underperforming

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There is no denying that nonprofits, just like yours, have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been evident in a variety of ways, from companies stepping in to help nonprofits stay afloat to an overall decrease in donations, and even (as we’re going to discuss in this guide), the mass pivot of fundraising events.

One of the biggest mistakes a nonprofit can make when planning an event is not creating a contingency plan for when the worst-case scenario occurs. Many nonprofit organizations are feeling that pressure now and are faced with the decision to create a quick plan to pivot to digital or cancel the event outright.

However, simply choosing to hold a virtual event isn’t enough to actually be successful in the effort. Even after transitioning your event to the digital sphere, you may still discover that the effort isn’t as successful as an in-person iteration would be.

Why is that? Well, we would guess it has something to do with your nonprofit event page and its ability (or lack thereof) to draw supporters in and convert them into virtual event attendees.

At DNL OmniMedia, we work with nonprofit organizations to develop comprehensive tech strategies to reach their fundraising and donor stewardship goals. Recently, that has involved preparing nonprofits for the world of virtual fundraising events, such as virtual peer-to-peer fundraisers.

While doing so, we’ve noticed a few common obstacles that can get in the way of hosting successful virtual events. The majority of them are all tied back to the initial event page through which your supporters opt-in to participate. In this guide, we’re going to explore the following reasons your nonprofit’s virtual event page may be underperforming:

1. Your event page doesn’t tell a compelling story.
2. Your event page is not compliant or accessible.
3. Your event page is not set up to convert.

We know that, as a nonprofit event or outreach coordinator, you’re probably incredibly busy during this time of pivoting event strategies. That’s why we’re not just sharing these challenges, but also actionable steps you can take to overcome them.

Are you ready to optimize your nonprofit’s event page in preparation for our new reality of virtual events? Let’s get started.

3 Reasons Your Nonprofit’s Event Page Is Underperforming - tell compelling story

1. Your event page doesn’t tell a compelling story.

According to this OneCause guide to virtual fundraising, one of the most significant benefits of going virtual is the drastically increased reach your fundraiser can have. Now, rather than events being restricted to local supporters (and perhaps, those willing and able to travel), you can reach donors well beyond your community and even around the world.

If your virtual event isn’t attracting attention outside of your local community, turn to your event page. There are a few different reasons that your page may not be drawing the larger audience it should be, such as:

  • Potential attendees aren’t given enough information about your organization’s mission.
  • Your event page isn’t providing context around why you’re holding the event.
  • Your page isn’t intriguing enough to attract and acquire a new audience.

These elements add up to a single conclusion: Your event page isn’t telling a compelling story that inspires both current and prospective supporters to get involved.

Solution: Tell a compelling story on your event page.

Whether it’s shared via social media or simply stumbled upon by prospects, your event page may be the first resource seen by your new, extended audience. It provides their first opportunity to interact with your mission. Even if your event page has a clear call to action— to participate in the event— these new supporters aren’t going to get involved if that call to action is the only thing they know about your organization.

It’s crucial to back your event information with context about your organization and why you’re hosting the event at hand. Now, this doesn’t need to be a book-length dissertation on your organization’s full history. However, a clearly articulated mission statement paired with specifics about the impact of event donations can go a long way!

Beyond that, consider adding creative elements to truly make your story compelling. Images of your supporter’s donations at work and videos from past events (especially if you’re taking an annual event virtual) will help support an intriguing story.

3 Reasons Your Nonprofit’s Event Page Is Underperforming - even page is not accessible

2. Your event page is not compliant or accessible.

One growing concern for nonprofit web pages and online resources is accessibility and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. You’re probably somewhat familiar with this act, as your nonprofit’s physical premises should also be ADA compliant.

However, fewer nonprofits are aware of the digital aspects of compliance and accessibility. While your nonprofit’s website isn’t necessarily required to be ADA compliant just yet (though this may change in the near future), there are still major accessibility barriers for web pages that are built below compliance standards.

For your event page, lack of accessibility may be the reason why the page is underperforming. For example, while images of flyers are eye-catching and attractive, supporters using screen readers may be deterred from viewing the information. Or, your forms may be significantly more difficult to navigate due to a lack of text alternatives. As we’ve seen, tech issues can be incredibly frustrating for event participants— so if they’re experiencing these issues before your event, on your registration page, it’s understandable if participation is low!

Solution: Bring your event page up accessibility standards.

One great way to improve the performance of your nonprofit’s event page is to align it with ADA compliance and accessibility standards. This ensures all supporters can participate in your event, regardless of auditory or visual disabilities. In addition, it sets a powerful precedent that your organization prioritizes the inclusion of all.

According to this DNL OmniMedia guide, some of the primary accessibility considerations to keep in mind include:

  • Ensure all visual elements have a text alternative. Whether images, videos, or the aforementioned flyers and brochures, include alternative text that can be read by text reader devices.
  • Ensure that the page structure is intuitive and easily navigable. First, your event page should be accessible from your website’s main navigation for easy access. Beyond that, the event page itself should be easily recognized and navigated by assistive devices.
  • Ensure all form fields are clearly labeled. Any content on your event page that requires instruction should include a text alternative, ensuring all users will be able to understand the required next steps.

When each of your supporters can interact with your event page without issue, you’ll see a higher-performing event page in no time.

3 Reasons Your Nonprofit’s Event Page Is Underperforming - page not optimized for conversions

3. Your event page is not set up to convert.

When you’re completing a nonprofit website design project, motivating supporters to give through your website is a key consideration in design decisions. It’s widely recognized that how you design your website can have a major impact on whether a donor will choose to give digitally.

If your nonprofit’s event page isn’t designed effectively and doesn’t encourage conversion (ex: event registration, pre-event donations), then it will underperform.

If your event page doesn’t include a strong call-to-action— both in design and wording— you may experience the following:

  • Supporters that can’t figure out how to get involved.
  • Supporters that aren’t motivated to get involved or generally delay action.
  • Registrants that don’t share the page with their extended networks.
  • Supporters that distrust your registration process or are generally deterred from the effort.

Put simply, if your page isn’t set up to convert page visitors into event participants, it won’t.

Solution: Restructure your nonprofit’s event page for success.

If your nonprofit’s event page isn’t set up to convert, there are a few structural changes you can implement to increase its success:

  • Include event registration information directly on the event page, rather than linking out to a new window. This builds trust in your online registration process as attendees are assured that the page is related to your organization.
  • Include social sharing buttons directly on the page. This allows supporters to easily invite their friends and family members to participate.
  • Incorporate an effective donation form or link out to your donation page. This is important for those who want to contribute but can’t participate in the event itself. For tips to make the most of your donation form, check out this blog post.
  • Place the most important information “above the fold,” or rather, visible on the screen before scrolling. This ensures that even if they only view the page for a short time, donors are aware of all essential details.
  • Consider encouraging event attendees to give toward the event and beyond. In this guide to virtual fundraising, one of the most impactful tips is to include recurring giving options on your nonprofit’s event page. This is a great way to begin long-term relationships with one-time virtual event attendees!

Most importantly, you should clearly articulate what your supporters’ next steps should be. Whether you want them to register for the event or share the event page with their friends, you should make the next steps clear.

We know that when it comes to events, digital and virtual efforts are crucial for the near future. However, if your nonprofit’s event page is underperforming, supporters won’t interact with your event regardless of the venue!

With these solutions, you’ll problem-solve the biggest obstacles facing your nonprofit’s event page, capturing a larger audience and furthering engagement with your event.

You have a story to tell. We want to help.

Let’s create memorable content and reach tens of thousands of people.

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