The who, what, where, when and why of website development for IFE Events.

In a nutshell, what is website development?

Effective website development is a very broad topic, but there are some basic principles that can be applied almost universally to ensure that you’re reaching as many people as you possibly can in a manner that will be most beneficial for everybody involved. Today, our focus is on best practices for effective website development for Independent Fundraising Events, but these concepts are applicable across the Internet.

Who is doing this extremely well? 

At Charity Dynamics, we’ve helped a number of clients build IFEs from the ground up, and we’re extremely proud of our results. From The Humane Society of the United States’s  myHumane program to The ALS Association’s One Dollar Difference to The Canadian Cancer Society’s Fearless Challenge, these programs are helping to raise funds and awareness for a wide variety of causes and they’re all benefiting from a few basic website development principles.

  • Be responsive – Responsive website development allows for a single website to effectively present its content no matter which device the user is using to access it. Since an increasing number of people are doing more on the go with a mobile device or on the couch with a tablet, it’s important that their experiences be simple and efficient if you want them to recommend your site to others and to return to it in the future.
  • Have standards – Web Standards is a term that refers to a set of tools and a way of developing that allow your website to look and behave similarly across browsers and devices, including old systems as well as devices that don’t yet exist. By developing your site with HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and keeping your code as efficient as possible, you’re guaranteeing the best possible experience for the most possible users. You’ll also be making it easier for users with disabilities to access your content and for search engines to digest your code.
  • Hook ‘em – An important way to help your IFE succeed is to make it stand out from the crowd. The Canadian Cancer Society’s Fearless Challenge invites participants to challenge themselves to face a fear once their friends and family have donated a user-chosen amount of money to the organization. Through skilled design and creative use of photos and video, the Fearless Challenge invites people to raise funds in ways that might never have been used before. (And yes, we are based in Austin, so Hook ’em is part of everyday language.)
  • Sell it – No matter how great your IFE site, if you don’t spend some time, energy and money making sure as many people know about it as possible, you’re unlikely to get the results you’ve been dreaming about.

Why does it matter?

There are a million different ways to build a website, but if you’re not making every decision with your users in mind, you’re going to end up disappointing some users and missing out on some donations. Give your users what they want and need, when they’re open to it, in a format that’s easy for them to digest.

Where should I start on execution?

Begin by investing some time checking out the IFEs that have come before yours. What do you like about them? What would you do differently? What do they do that you’ve never seen before? Then, contact us so we can help take your ideas and build a solution that meets your needs, the needs of your constituents and those who benefit from your services.

How can I learn more?

To learn more about the general principles of effective website development, we recommend getting to know some of the masters of the domain: