The Book On Fundraising Chapter 4 Have Your Own Domain Name

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The Book on Fundraising was created by the team at DonationTo.com. Today we announce The Book on Fundraising available 100% for free, in blog form. As the months progress we will work quickly to make these pages available on our blog - DonationTo.com/Blog. Below is Chapter 4 – Have Your Own Domain Name – This is a key element to know as you start any type of fundraising!

Have Your Own Domain Name

Having your own domain name is absolutely integral to maximize awareness about your fundraising cause. If you take a moment and imagine that your website has a real-life storefront facing your favorite Main Street instead of sitting abstractly on the World Wide Web, you might think of the domain name as a shiny storefront sign displaying your cause to the world. However, on the Internet, your domain name is so much more: it serves as not only your name tag but also your address — it tells people both who you are and where you are, in addition to providing many other advantages.

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Having your own domain name is a great way to be found!


A domain name serves two main purposes: 1) it helps people to remember where they can donate, and 2) it allows people to easily find you through search engines.

Once you create a domain name that is relevant to your cause, people will be able to pinpoint and remember the location where they can donate. If your cause is building a water well in Tanzania, examples of relevant domain names aretanzaniawater.com or tanzaniawell.com. These domain names are specific enough to distinguish your cause from other initiatives, such as drilling a well in Somalia, and simple enough for people to remember without much effort. Furthermore, people who are already interested in your cause can also spread the word to others by including this simple yet specific link in emails, websites, and social networking posts.

Having a simple, specific domain name also helps people find your website through search engines. These people are both those who already know about your cause and need to re-find your address, and those who are new to your cause and stumble across your site in their search results. Google and other search engines will list your website based on how closely a user’s search matches your site’s domain name, so if someone searches “Tanzania water,” then Google will list a domain name like tanzaniawater.com at the very top of their search results — a great reason to create a domain name relevant to your cause.

But how do you choose the domain name that is most beneficial to you? A major part of choosing the best domain name is choosing a URL that will appear most frequently and most prominently for relevant searches. The following tips will help your cause’s website climb the mounting pile of search results:

1) Use real words in your domain name to make it even easier for search engines to find you.

2) If you want to have a space in your domain name, use hyphens (-) and not underscores (_) because Google registers characters separated by dashes as two words and characters separated by underscores as a single word. For example, tanzania-water.com will show higher in ranking when users search the two words “Tanzania water”, but tanzania_water.com will show up in higher ranking when someone searches “Tanzaniawater” as a single word, which wouldn’t happen often. The ideal URL in this case is still tanzaniawater.com or similar variants like tanzaniawell.com or tanzaniawaterwell.com. While acceptable, punctuation tends to complicate URLs; many of the most popular multi-word domain names do not contain punctuation, such as nytimes.com.

3) Try to stick to .com, .org, and .edu as extensions to your domain name. It is not necessary to have a fancy foreign international domain extension unless you are from that country.

4) If you are using a service like DonationTo.com to accept donations, your domain name will be something like this by default: DonationTo.com/YourCause. At best, DonationTo.com will allow you to reference your own domain name, which means that if you owntanzaniawater.com and users type in that URL, searchers can be automatically redirected to your page created by DonationTo.com.

There are many compelling reasons to have your own domain name; all of them have to do with leveraging your cause’s site over the billions of other websites also seeking attention on the web. Following the tips above will give you an edge to gain additional supporters.

Having a personal domain for the crowdfunding cause will focus a special attention towards your campaign. Find out how to create your own page and crowd fund handily by following our donation website tips.

Looking for additional fundraising tips check out these other links: How to Raise Money Online with the Book On FundraisingHow to Receive Online Donations in 6 TipsHow to Know Dos and Don’ts of FundraisingHow to Hit Your Goals Faster with Email TipsHow to Hit Your Goals Faster with Email Tips part 2

Thanks again! From the DonationTo Team!!

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