• Dr Samantha Hardy

Would a Philanthropist Find You When They Go Fishing Online?

When a donor gets inspired to give big, he or she will often do some research online. When they research the issues that matter the most to them, will they find you? Moreover, what will they see when they do?

Do you make is easy for a donor to find you online?

I have helped donors given millions of dollars to charities and non-profits just like yours. I know the steps that philanthropists take.

It all starts when someone gets 'sparked' to make a difference. When they do, will they find you online?

Philanthropists sometimes ask me to research social or environmental issues to find the right solutions and the best people. I love scouting on behalf of donors, but it isn't easy. I usually have to do LOTS of digging to find the information I need.

"Surely giving money away can't be this hard?" my clients will often say.

Major donor's don't always have the time to do lots of digging, and they don't always employ researchers like me to do this for them.

Would a donor find you during a quick 'Google'?

Given this, are you making it easy for big donors to find you online?

Whatever the spark, when someone is inspired to give big, they will likely do some issue research. A donor will 'Google' the issue, and they will probably reach out to contacts to see who knows an expert.

You want to be that “expert” recommended by their friends, or the first organisation they come across when they first look online. 

Ask yourself:

  • If your hypothetical perfect major donor was to get sparked by your cause, would they find you online?

  • How do you rank when you search for your keywords?  

  • Would they come across videos and articles by your CEO or your campaign leaders?  

  • How quickly would they find your information that explains the importance of the issues you are tackling and your solutions?

  • Do you explain and justify your solutions? 

  • Would they get a sense of your achievements in tackling the issues and making an impact?

  • Overall, would they be touched, moved and inspired to give to you?

OK, let’s look online and find out!

I did a little experiment. I put my funder hat on and spent 10 minutes searching on Google (from my laptop in NSW, Australia) for charities and non-profits working on subjects that concern me, and I know little about from a solutions perspective. 

I have provided a link to the non-profits that impressed me the most based on my quick review of the content they provide about the issues and their proposed solutions.

ISSUE: Small particle pollution

American Lung Association

My search engine is skewed to Australian non-profits, and yet I could not find an Australian non-profit actively working in this space (I am sure they exist). The American Lung Association ALA has excellent content that explains the nature of the problem, and they appear to be actively lobbying for political solutions at the State and National levels. 

ISSUE: Marine plastic pollution

Boomerang Alliance

A few different non-profits had pages on the subject given the media profile of the issue at the moment. Of all the organisations that I looked at, The Boomerang Alliance provided the highest level of detail. They appeared, on the face of it, to be leading efforts to find solutions in Australia.  

ISSUE: Online bullying

Bully Zero Australia Foundation

I had to sift through many government department links before I found Bully Zero. I note that they provided valuable 'what to do' information targeted at different groups impacted by online/cyberbullying and they deliver programs to children in schools. While I was impressed by their practical advice to different groups, I was left wondering what more could be done by governments.

How would you present to a funder with 10 minutes to spare Googling keywords from their mobile phone?

Why don’t you try it now? Please leave a comment and let me know how you go!

Remember, when a donor gets inspired to give big, you want to be the person they call for initial advice. If you can impress them when they first come looking, you are a big step closer to your first or next major gift.

Here are some resources to help you refine your online content:

Increase Donations With These 5 Words

This article is a quick read and provides some useful advice.

25 Copywriting Tips for Fundraisers

What a fantastic list of tips. This is one to bookmark.

My Proposal Feedback Service

Let me help you get 'major donor ready'. I offer a feedback service where I review a proposal or your website as a funder would. I explain the questions they will ask themselves and how you can best answer them through your online content. Interested? Just click here to be taken to my booking page, or send me a message.


PO Box 739

Woy Woy, NSW 2256




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