Another way the nonprofit maximizes its Web real estate is by featuring one of its fundraising programs on a prominent part of the homepage located beneath its four action tabs. For example, during the first quarter of each year, the ASPCA will use this space to promote its membership renewal campaigns. At such time, it posts an image of its member card alongside a message that reads: "ASPCA Members Click Here to Renew Your Membership."
At other times of the year, this space is dedicated to promoting its Guardian program, whereby donors are given the opportunity to commit to a long-term relationship with the nonprofit by pledging a monthly gift of approximately $10 or $15 billed directly to a credit card. The ASPCA has acquired approximately 4,000 Guardians by promoting the program on its Web site.
While the ASPCA Web site receives, on average, 225,000 visitors a month, it finds its Web traffic cycles mirror its direct mail giving trends. According to Sullivan, Web site hits are heaviest in the first quarter of the year. Traffic slightly tapers off in the second and third quarters, then spikes back up in the last quarter of the year.
Building a Base
Because an e-mail address allows the nonprofit to build relationships with constituents through frequent communications, Web site visitors are encouraged to sign up for the ASPCA's weekly e-mail newsletter through a link on the upper-right hand corner of the homepage. By clicking on the link, visitors are directed to a brief registration form that asks for some basic information such as their e-mail address and format preference (html or text). Once visitors complete the form, they receive a welcome e-mail from the ASPCA with their user name and password, which they can use to log into the site to complete a personal profile and special interest form.