TestinmonialChanel Johnson Whenever I do a training on effective websites, I always talk about constantly updated content and how testimonials are some of the best content you can have. 

I love testimonials because they are real people speaking in their own voice about why they like your organization and its work. It is one thing to hear from an employee about the work they do or what they have accomplished, but it is almost always more powerful to have a person who is not an employee speaking from their heart. It also provides an opportunity to showcase the diversity of supporters and stakeholders that like the organization. People don't just relate to concepts – people relate to people.

I often use the example of having someone with a digital camera that records video go around at an event and ask volunteers, board members and even donors "why do you donate your time/money to this organization?" "what do you love about this organization" . Once collected, these testimonials can be uploaded to YouTube and integrated in a variety of ways to your online presence. 

NancySchwartzlogo Last November Nancy Schwartz on her Getting Attention! blog, posted a great article "The Most Powerful Marketing Copy in the World – Testimonials" which provides examples, gives advice on getting testimonials and in part 2 of the article gives her "Seven Steps to Compelling Testimonials".

Here are some video examples I have run across lately from both small and large organizations using testimonials in various ways:

Autism Speaks:  On YouTube

Bishop O'Dowd High School: On their website (scroll down) ; On YouTube

Duke University: Video about annual giving on their website

Performing Arts Workshop: On their website ; On YouTube

Student Conservation Association: On their website  ; On YouTube

Texas Organ Sharing AllianceOn YouTube

Even the smallest organizations can benefit from using these in their marketing materials and in their online presence. They can even be included in social media plans, uploaded to YouTube or Facebook, linked to from Twitter, etc. I encourage all nonprofit organizations to read Nancy's articles and work on collecting testimonials. It is an effective and inexpensive way to augment your marketing and online presence.


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  1 Comment

One Response to “Excellent Website Content: Testimonials”

  1. Mazarine

    Thanks for writing about testimonials!
    As a nonprofit fundraiser, I feel it is SO important to have testimonials from community leaders as well as clients at your nonprofit.
    When I worked at a domestic violence nonprofit, it was hard to get people to come forward for testimonials, because of the confidential nature of our work. So we often had to take a conglomerate of stories and create one story, and just use a generic shadow to represent the person.
    When we had fundraising events, we had to get someone to tell the story of a survivor, but we could always find a donor willing to tell why it was so important for them to give.
    So videos for testimonials is a good idea, but you want to have other ways to connect to your cause as well. Graphs and charts showing how you’ve helped people, stock photos, etc. People respond differently to different forms of input, as shown in the 7 Faces of Philanthropy. I did a presentation on these faces here,
    http://www.wildwomanfundraising.com/whats-your-donor-personality/
    and I think it’s useful to remember that everyone has different reasons for giving, and not everyone will be convinced by a video testimonial.
    Sincerely,
    Mazarine

    Reply

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