Non-Profits, especially small non-profit organizations, need to look seriously at their website. It is the center of all the organization’s marketing. This doesn’t mean that a non-profit’s website needs to be over-the-top. In fact, an overly designed, over-done website can work against an organization with potential and existing donors. A non-profit website should look great, but not like too much of the organizations resources are being spent on it.
Here are 10 tips for creating a great and effective website:
Include social media links on every page of your website. Encourage sharing of your photos, videos and other content. The more your content is shared, the more people will see it. This sharing will attract visitors to your website to learn about, and ultimately support, your cause.
Video or photos showing the work you do will go a long way to tell the story of your organization’s mission. A picture is not just worth a thousand words, it could be worth thousands of dollars. Strong imagery will help build a connection that words alone cannot.
If you were visiting your website for the first time, would you get the organization’s mission? Is that message delivered in a way that gets attention?
Is it clear what actions you want your visitors to take? Is the navigation easy to follow? Can information be found quickly? Is it organized in a logical way? In general, anything on your website should be available in 3 clicks or less.
If you don’t have an email newsletter, start one. It is not that difficult. Build your email list and strengthen relationships with regular communications from the organization. Your newsletter should be relevant, interesting and personal. The mood and tone should reflect the organization’s mission.
Describe your organization in 10 words or less. Now reduce that to 5. That is the message your website visitors should see the moment they land on your home page. It should be backed up with compelling visuals that help tell the story without any words at all.
Over half of all web searches are done on mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. In addition, computer screens come in all sorts of sizes. Your website should be responsive to any device that your visitors use to connect with the internet. That means each page on your website automatically responds to look its best whether it is viewed on a small phone screen, a large computer monitor and everything in between.
A donate button should be on every page of your website. If a visitor is moved to be a supporter, they should easily have a way to donate right away. Get them while they are motivated. Even thought monetary donations are important, it should also be easy to find other ways to support your organization through volunteering, in-kind donations, etc.
Don’t hide your contact information. Make it obvious and easy to get in touch with you. Readily display your phone number, address, email, and web forms to contact you through your website.
Writing and maintaining a blog is not an easy thing to do, especially in a smaller non-profit. However, it is one of the most effective ways to share the latest news and developments in your organization. Blogging requires commitment, but provides a great way to maintain engagement with your supporters. A blog will also keep your website’s content fresh and evolving, which will help you rank better with search engines.