Not all websites are created equal, and as a nonprofit you especially have to focus on your website design in order to succeed
Here are our ten best tips to ensure your nonprofit website really makes an impact:
1) State your name and purpose on the homepage
Visitors should never be left to figure out who you are or what you're trying to accomplish. Make sure these details are among the first things they learn when they visit your homepage.
2) Make a good 'About' page
This page is one of the best resources for explaining more about who you are.
This information should be accessible and easy for the reader to relate to - tell stories, explain how you've made the world a better place, and talk about your goals for the future and how you plan to reach them.
3) Think about conversion
For websites, "conversion" is the point where users take some kind of action.
Even if you're a .org instead of a .com, there should be a reason for your website (like getting people to help fund your operations or get involved with your mission). Your website's design should encourage this.
4) Keep it up-to-date
Nonprofit websites need to seem fresh and relevant. If people think you're no longer active, they're going to assume there's no point in sticking around. How you'll do this depends on the kind of nonprofit you are - find something that works for you and use it for your website on a regular basis.
(If all else fails, try talking about current events and how they might impact your mission. Remember to emphasize the actions you want people to take - your goal isn't just to inform people, but to convert them and get them to do something.)
5) Make your contact info easy to find
Contact information is often the only way people have to get involved.
Whether they're interested in making a donation, getting involved, or even asking for your help, it should never be difficult to figure out how to reach you. That means having the information on every single page.
6) Pay attention to SEO
Most of your visitors are probably going to come from search engine results, not pamphlets or direct mail.
Nonprofit websites absolutely must pay attention to SEO because it's the only way people interested in organizations like yours are actually going to find you.
This can make the difference between getting enough support to accomplish your mission or only making a small ripple instead of a big splash.
7) Use plenty of visuals
It's often said that pictures are worth a thousand words... and that's wrong.
They're worth more.
The simple truth is that people process pictures faster than text - one good photograph can show them more about who you are and what you do than entire pages of data and explanation.
If necessary, invest in professional photography to get the perfect image (and don't hesitate to ask your photographer about what they think will work best). Ideally, the picture will showcase your logo and show the main focus of your organization.
8) Have a modern, responsive design
If your website looks like something from the ‘90s, people are going to assume you have no connection to the modern world. The site should look clean, efficient, and professional - and don't forget about responsive design, which will help ensure it displays well on any device people access it from.
That's a major consideration these days, as smartphones have been widely adopted and are often the preferred method of accessing the internet (especially among teens and young adults).
9) Use social media
Nonprofit websites may not have the time to post on social media every day, but you should try to reach out when you can.
Be sure the platform you're using is appropriate for your target audience - if nobody you're trying to reach is there, then there's no point in posting to begin with.
Social media is also a great way to connect with visitors on a more personal level - if you come across as the kind of organization people actually want to support, they're far more likely to get involved at some point in time.
Besides, many people need to encounter your message more than once before they convert, and social media is a good way of contacting them multiple times.
Want to become a social media master? Learn the 7 Starting Points for Small Business Social Media Success
10) Get as many email addresses as possible
More than 2.5 billion people have email addresses, which makes it the single best way to communicate with people.
If they use the internet at all, they've probably got an email account. Send them a newsletter (or a similar email update) on a regular basis so you can stay in contact with them and talk about your mission.
We've made email best practices easy: Email Marketing: A How To Guide
Following these ten tips to improve your nonprofit website may seem like a dauting task at first, but once you make some changes you'll see a huge impact.
Thanks for stopping by,