Nonprofit organizations thrive when they provide all the right information to supporters and potential supporters, and the best way to achieve this is through a well-designed and informative website. Before we dive into the specifics of how to build the perfect website for your nonprofit, let’s look at all the ways a website may benefit your organization.
- Central information repository: Your website should be your central repository for all things you want to tell your donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders. All your social media posts, email signatures, flyers, brochures, etc that include partial information about your organization should direct your readers to your website for the complete story and all actions they can take.
- Great tool for inbound queries: In addition to the promotions you push, optimizing your website for SEO can bring you increased organic traffic over time.
- Timely and relevant: Unlike other marketing collaterals in which the information may expire after a certain amount of time, your website is easily updateable and shows all your viewers the latest information.
- Accessible anytime, anywhere: As long as your users have a connection to the internet, your website can be accessed at all times and from all locations.
- Online fundraising: You can set up online payment portals to receive funds from across the globe, thereby enabling your nonprofit to even reach geographies you physically aren’t present in.
- Establishes trust: A website is usually the first place a person checks to test the credibility of any organization.
- One-time investment: You should only need to pay for a well-designed website once. From there, your team should be able to make all content updates. This makes websites incredibly cost-effective.
With so many advantages to having a website, we believe in the long-lasting benefit of investing in a well-design, highly functional website for your nonprofit. Before you build or update your website, keep these best practices in mind:
Optimize it for mobile
In the third quarter of 2020, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 50.81% of global website traffic and this ratio is only going to skew further towards mobile. With this being the truth, optimizing your website for mobile becomes one of the most important practices.
Optimize it for speed
Nobody enjoys waiting, and for this reason alone, you should be optimizing your website for speed. Not having your website load quickly will cause your viewer to lose interest or question the credibility of your nonprofit. Studies further prove this with the following report: “visitors begin getting anxious after waiting two seconds for a webpage to load. After three seconds, 40% of those visitors will head elsewhere.” Work with a web developer to ensure your site is optimized for speed. This may mean avoiding overly large files on your site.
Make things easy to find
Perform tests to understand the most critical aspects of information your donors will want to view and make sure to have all this information easily accessible to them. Creating a streamlined user experience is essential to converting visitors into donors. The architecture of your website should naturally lead them on a journey of information gathering, supporting impact stories, and ways that they can get involved.
Read more about creating an effective website user experience here.
Show what matters
Start with understanding all the objectives you want to achieve with your website and include the most powerful content that will help you achieve these objectives. For instance, if you want people to donate, you need to show the ways in which their donation will help you achieve your mission. An “Impact” page is a great place to showcase the tangible outcomes of your work and motivate users to donate.
Add powerful calls to action
Let your viewers know what you want them to do by including a Call To Action (CTA) at every possible section in the website right from your header. A few CTAs may be ‘Sign up for our newsletter,’ ‘Donate now’, ‘Learn more’, ‘Request a call’ etc.
A website needn’t necessarily attract known visitors. In order to build a database of all the potential supporters, include content that will encourage people to leave their details with you. One way of doing this is by including an email sign-up for your newsletter. Another could be creating PDFs with pertinent information and requiring users to provide their email address to access the link.
These are a few best practices to keep in mind while developing a website. If you already have a website, use this information to audit your current site to ensure an effective user experience.