Part 2 of 2: What keywords do people use when they’re looking for a cause or non-profit organization to support?

If you’re doing a news release this holiday season – and many non-profits are, given that many organizations collect about 40% of their donations in November and December – you should consider keywords that play well in search engines.  My last post dealt with a hypothetical charitable organization that seeks to ease the burden of suffering dogs everywhere.


Like most non-profits, our hypothetical organization needs not only to provide services, but it needs to raise money to support its mission.  We want our website not only to attract people who would use our services – which are available as a community service – but people who want to give money to support suffering dogs.


Thought of the day:

Websites for charitable organizations can’t just concentrate on keywords related to their mission or even those they serve.  They also have to attract people who are actively “shopping” for a source for their charitable or volunteer impulses.


A lot has been written about the growth of the donor marketplace.  While there are websites that seek to channel the energies and interests of those who want to do good, but who are not already loyal to a cause or organization, presumably there are also people who will skip Charity Navigator and similar sites, and directly look for organizations related to their interests.


Using the same process described in Part I, which relies on the free WordTracker tool here are some findings about keywords related to charity that may be of help as you write website copy and news releases:


“Charity” received the largest number of searches in the past 100 days, with 7,809 searches.  Interesting that the top term within the related search group was for “charity ratings”, with 657 searches.  Potential new donors are out there doing their research.  “Rating charities” followed just behind that one in popularity.  “Charity” was searched for 651 times, and “charities” 400 times.  Some of these were phrases where someone was looking for a charity to donate something specific, like “charities to donate…” or “donate XYZ to charity.”


“Donate” was a close second, with 7,355 related searches.  Note that the most popular searches were “donate for…” where someone wanted to donate things like a car, furniture or toys.  Didn’t see “donate money” in the top 100 searches.


“Relief”, which might be a useful term for aid-related organizations, had 5,718 searches, but many of them were for physical or mental relief rather than charitable types of relief (and there are the dogs again – 121 searches were for “pain relief for dogs”).


“Donation” had 5,293 searches

And this was interesting.  Looking at the individual terms that were most popular, “donations” outranks “donation” in searches.  It’s wise to write copy with both singular and plural versions of the same term.


“Support” wasn’t very useful because most of the searches were for support groups of one type or another, or physical support, like ankle support.  Likewise with “aid”.   These terms might be included in a keyword phrase but they aren’t specific enough to be useful.


Charitable donation” was too specific – only 16 searches were conducted in the past 100 days.


And what about the way we refer to our non-profit organizations?  Those are keywords, too.


Charity, noted above, can be used in several contexts – as in “gift” or as in “organization.”  Charitable organizations” had 80 searches within the last 100 days.


Non profit without a hyphen received 1,690 searches, 89 of which were for “non profit organizations”


Non-profit with a hyphen yielded 1,372 searches, of which 189 were for “non-profit instiutions” (misspelled) and 124 were for “non-profit institutions.”  116 were for “non-profit”.


No, people don’t search much for 501 c 3 (49 searches) or variations thereof.



Keep in mind that WordTracker captures searches from only the last 100 days.  Since giving is highly seasonal, terms related to giving would likely be under-represented.


“Give” had a lot of matches, but they were mostly pornographic terms….


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