Before we begin to delve into the secrets of designing an impactful nonprofit website, we want to remind you of Google’s recent algorithm change affecting all websites and organizations:
In April 2015, a new Google Algorithm launched making mobile-friendly sites vital to the very existence of your online presence. Whether you’re a nonprofit or any other organization, this recent change has a significant impact on your website’s visibility. See if your website makes the grade by using this Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
And, now, for nonprofits only….
In today’s digital age, an impactful website is your organization’s greatest opportunity to clearly communicate its cause. As you work diligently to improve the world around you, these ten tips will ensure a user-friendly website that works just as hard. Keep reading if you want to increase event/volunteer participation, engage your audience, and drive donations!
1. Tell Them How You Are Changing the World
Without a clearly communicated purpose, donors will never make the connection to your cause. Tell your story! Tell the stories of the people whose lives you’ve touched. Personal associations will create a genuine interest in who you are and what you do. Be heartfelt and sincere.
2. Be a Social Butterfly
Social media allows your nonprofit organization to engage directly and conversationally with potential donors, volunteers, and supporters. Get your followers excited for upcoming events, post photos of recent developments, or spread general information about your cause. All of your contact information- especially links to your social media accounts- should be clearly visible on your site.
3. Use Your Blog to Connect With Your Audience
Your blog is the engine driving your entire social media strategy. Use social media to draw visitors directly to your website, and, once they’re there and ready to read the full post, keep their attention with a carefully constructed article. To genuinely engage visitors in conversation, be sure to post at least once each week. Consistency is key!
4. Get Them Excited for Upcoming Events
Events are tremendous opportunities for nonprofits to connect with the community, and every great event needs a great landing page! First, pique the interest of potential attendees, and be sure to include the 5 W’s! (Who? What? Where? When? Why?) Also, don’t forget to provide photos of past events, links to purchase tickets, and an event schedule.
5. Show Them You’ve Got Nothing to Hide
Make your organization’s spending as transparent as possible- annual reports, financial statements, and form 990’s shouldn’t be hidden in some hard to find link. Feel free to post other highlights- like your outstandingly low administrative costs- where applicable.
6. Don’t Make Donating Difficult
To best serve your cause, your message needs to resonate with potential donors; once they’re interested, don’t turn them off with a poorly designed donation page. Be sure it’s easily located and user-friendly, and, for bonus points, provide a sidebar with a direct link to your financials and specifics on how their donation will be utilized.
7. Make Your Contact Form Work for You
Your contact form is the only place on your site where users come to you to connect directly. Keep it simple! Ask for only the basics, and let them know what to expect next. The less information you request, the more likely they’ll be to provide it.
8. Bring in the Experts
You want a professionally designed, user-friendly website, but your nonprofit isn’t willing to spend thousands of dollars? Not a problem! Plenty of high-quality web designers will work within a nonprofit’s budget to come up with a proposal that works for both parties.
9. Engage Unconventional Donors
Not everyone will be inclined to donate funds, and that’s okay. However, plenty of people would be willing to give their time if the right opportunity presented itself. Organizations are more likely to attract volunteers when they make sign-up simple and straightforward.
10. Media Kit
Fact 1: Journalists are always looking for stories. Fact 2: You want to promote your nonprofit’s message. Put together an informative, attractive press kit that includes your history, testimonials, FAQ’s, downloadable photos, press-ready quotes, biographies, etc. You can garner positive coverage for your cause by pre-packaging this set of promotional materials…just make sure it’s downloadable in several formats across multiple devices.
Do you have any additional tips that have taken your nonprofit website from good to great? Let us know in the comments section below.