A nonprofit’s website often forms prospective donors’ first impression of the organization. It’s where existing donors look for information and updates. It is also where many of your donations will be coming from with nearly half of all Millennials giving through nonprofit websites.
Keep these 6 key points in mind when developing a new website for your nonprofit organization:
Identity. Right away, viewers should be able to see who you are, what you do, and where you operate geographically. Provide clear insight into your structure, mission, and accomplishments. Try to do this in the least amount of words possible, since the average Internet user only initially reads about 20% of the words on a web page.
Accessibility. Keep menus and navigation logical, visible, and readable so that visitors can quickly find what they need – including your contact info. Remember that users often leave Web pages in 10-20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people’s attention for much longer. The longer your visitors are on your page, the more likely they’ll be to donate.
Convenience. Include buttons, or links throughout your website to be sure that your supporters can make online donations easily and simply. Be sure to include clear and compelling calls to action for volunteers, donations, and other gifts. Each call to action should be relevant to the content on that page and should provide an easy way for people to help out.
Sustainability. Clearly illustrate how and where contributions will make a difference. About 63% of your donors want to know where the money that they are donating is going. Send out reports on a regular basis highlighting what is going on at your organization. The more specific you can be; the more confidence your supporters will have.
Relevance. Don’t get stale. Keep visitors engaged and interested with fresh news, stories, photos, or other content. Blogging is a great way to do this, since you can invite staff, volunteers, or even donors to tell their stories, share their opinions, or write about their expertise.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With any content you produce, be mindful of SEO. SEO uses relevant keywords to tag your web pages, content, and images, and keeps your organization easy to find online. Web pages with no SEO are difficult, if not impossible, to find unless visitors already know the direct URL.
Your website is the place to tell your nonprofit organization’s story and build a relationship with your donors.