Tips for Creating a Great Non-profit Website

While social media and apps are great, don’t forget about your website! Recently, Nancy Schwartz wrote about how your non-profit’s killer app is actually your website. Here are some tips to make sure your website is working for you:

Get visitor input

User testing is an essential, eye opening and humbling process. Start in-house, with staff, board members, and volunteers. Then do some one-on-one interviews with key people outside your organization. They’ll love that you’re asking.

Put your most compelling content front and centre

If you have a great video showing the work you do, make sure it is prevalent on your website. Remember that people don’t always land on your website’s homepage, so make it accessible from everywhere, to ensure as many people as possible see this compelling content.

Make your “Donate Now” button prominent

Visitors shouldn’t have to think about ways to engage with you. You need to show them how you want them to engage. Can you lead them to the action you want them to take from any page on your site? If you put in all the work to make a compelling case for your mission, you need to make it obvious to them what the next relevant step is. If that’s to make a donation, you should make it easy for visitors to find where to do this.

Include fresh, relevant content

Your site needs to be well crafted, meet the needs of your audience(s) and have fresh and relevant content for them. A report last year about young donors is a warning: “Three out of four donors born from 1979 to 1994—a generation often referred to as “millennials”—said they were turned off when a non-profit’s Web site had not been updated recently.”

Have a good defining statement

The defining statement should be one of the first things a visitor sees when they get to your website. What’s a defining statement? It’s more than what you do, or your mission statement. It’s the statement that defines you; that sets you apart from other non-profits and tells donors why what you do is so great. This defining statement is responsible for capturing the visitor’s attention in those first few seconds and getting them thinking that your organization might be worth supporting.

More on creating a donor-friendly website and template here.

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