So, this is an interesting non-profit web tips blog meme which is being started by Elizabeth Able. Her concept is that we should write up one tip — just one — on how nonprofit organizations can take best advantage of an online presence.

Just one tip, eh? So it better be a good one.

Make it easy for people to give you money.

There’s nothing like visiting the web site for a nonprofit organization you really care about, wanting to give them some help, and not being able to figure out how. A nonprofit’s website, ultimately, has the same needs as any other online business: to convert visitors into “purchasers,” or, in this case, donors.

It’s not just about making sure your contact information is obvious, or that you have a convenient, highly noticeable “Donate” button plastered all over your site. If you’re a nonprofit accepting donations, you have other important factors to take into consideration.

First of all, be sure to list your legal non-profit status: if you have 501(c)(3) status, you need to say it. If you don’t; you also need to say that. Most donors want to know right away what kind of organization they’re dealing with. (And if they don’t; they should.)

Second, make sure you provide the practical information: will you send a receipt? What name should be written on checks? Can you accept donations via credit card? Over the phone?

Third, and most importantly, be explicit what you will do with the donor’s private information. Your privacy policy is very important to your donors. I want to know whether giving you money will cause me and my descendants to receive junk mail from you and your “charitable partners” for the next 150 years. If there’s an option to contribute without getting on any mailing lists, tell me. If there isn’t, tell me that — and start planning to create one.

Visitors to your website must have confidence that you are an organization that they can trust. They need to know that you will handle their information in good faith and that you will handle their money effectively to build on your mission.

Check out the Charity Navigator “Donor’s Bill of Rights”. If your web site can’t answer these 10 issues in the affirmative, it’s time to revisit your online presence.

Here are my tags

So, I have to tag three additional people to participate in this meme. So, here goes. First, I’d like to tag Jack Pickard, to get the voice from over the big waters.

Second, I’m going to ping Rhea Drysdale, a person I finally met in person just last week at Pubcon2007. Hope she’ll run with the topic.

Last, I’m going to tag Mike Cherim. Why? Because I always tag Mike – he’s usually got something worth saying. That, or I’m just sadly lacking in creativity.