A website is a crucial part of your organization’s presence. It needs to have an overall design and structure that effectively represents your company and engages with your target audiences. Here are the essential elements to consider.
1. Excellent overall design
A website is one of the most important tools in a nonprofit’s marketing arsenal. A poorly designed website will reflect badly on the reputation of your organization.
A cluttered, complex or slow-loading design can more harm than good.
These days, people are impatient, and they will not be interested in waiting for your page to load.
Create a design that has a simple appearance with easy-to-use features and loads quickly. The professionalism and credibility of your organization should be reflected across the entire website.
The way you present your website is just as important as having a website in the first place. If your website isn’t attractive and easy to navigate, then it won’t be worthwhile.
You want people to take notice, but not be taken aback by the design.
In a nutshell, your website is the online representative of your nonprofit.
Want more details about design?
Check out Podcast Episode #18 – The Ultimate Guide To Create or Redesign Your Non-Profit Website
2. State your mission clearly
Your mission statement should be clear, concise, and specific. It should be easy to find on your website.
You want to have a clear call-to-action that tells visitors what you want them to do next.
You also want to be upfront with what the impact is of the work you are doing.
3. Your mission in action
As a campaigner, you want people to take action.
One of the most important things to do is appeal to emotions.
You can use infographics or share last year’s annual report, and thank donors for their help and support. This way, you can highlight the impact of their actions and also show your professionalism.
You can also invite your visitors to make a difference by making their first donation online. You should also provide them with clear action steps, so they can take the next step.
It’s important to share evidence of the impact their donation will have, so people are convinced to donate.
A ‘Thank You’ is a nice way of showing your appreciation for your donors.
4. Accessibility for all
Remember to always approach your website with accessibility in mind. Make sure your website is not just for those who can see.
It’s important to think of how people with disabilities, such as deafness or blindness, can access the content.
You want to make sure that your website is inclusive and open to all.
Building an inclusive and accessible website is a part of the design process. It’s important to consider how your website will look and function on different browsers, such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.
There are also screen readers that help people who are blind or have low vision use the internet.
If your website isn’t accessible, then you’re not serving your community properly.
5. Don’t forget the fundamentals
Nonprofit websites are designed with the goal of raising awareness about an issue or campaign.
Consider your nonprofit website, was it designed with a target to achieve a specific set of goals?
Attention span is short and if you want to capture people’s imagination, your website needs to be clear with an easily understood message.
It’s also important to make the site easy to follow with its navigation panels. It is always best to remember usability is key in these situations.
Nonprofits deal with socially important and really outstanding in their impact activities. Sometimes this social responsibility and those issues you have to face aren’t that positive. Do not impose that “heaviness” on the visitors of your website too much. Add some interactive media features, and let people feel that despite dealing with something serious, they still can help make a change. For example, if they came to your Donation Page then while it registers a donation or proceeds with the payment they could watch a loading line, that in the end shows some numbers about what exactly their donation will be used for – convert this very donation into real action!
You should also evaluate the actions your visitors take after visiting your website, such as did they:
- Sign up for a fundraising program?
- Sign up for the newsletter?
- Apply to become a volunteer or a career posting?
- Share your content or like your website on Facebook or other social media platforms?
In addition to that, you should provide your visitors with information in a multimedia format to create a personal touch.
Video is a great way to convey your message and tell the world about what you do, why you do it, and who you do it for.