There are 1.5 million nonprofit and charity organizations registered in the United States. With an ever-increasing competitive market, it’s sometimes tough for nonprofit websites to stand out. I found myself in this very situation throughout my career at nonprofit organizations.
I knew the organizations I worked for were doing amazing things and people needed the services we offered, but the websites rarely reflected that. I often found that we would question what we could do for our website rather than what our website could do for us.
Instead of your nonprofit website being a pain point for your organization, it’s time to make it an asset. As a nonprofit professional now working with a website design and development agency that builds sites for nonprofit groups, here are my tips for nonprofit websites, including which goals you should set and the challenges you can expect to encounter.
Ensure your site is easy to navigate for your key audiences.
As a nonprofit, you most likely have many different audiences visiting your website: individuals seeking services, stakeholders, and donors. You don’t want any of your audiences to feel less important than another and you certainly don’t want them to feel frustrated trying to find what part of the site is for them. Having clear call-to-action on your homepage can alleviate that. Don’t know who your audience is? The discovery process will help you identify who you should be targeting.
Make it easy for people to learn how to get involved.
People feel significantly more invested in your organization if they can volunteer their time or their resources to your cause. Make it easy for people to find a way to do so on your site. Forms like Gravity Forms are a great way for people to sign up to volunteer or receive more information without ever leaving your website. And if you accept donations, consider an online donation form with payment integration. Remember, the more steps it takes for someone to complete an action, the less likely they are to do so.
Make sure your site is consistent in theme and content.
For people looking to use your services, donors, foundations, or community partners, it is important that your website consistently represents who you are as an organization. Think about the feeling you want to convey when people visit your site. Sure, it’s a must to have your latest annual reports for potential funding sources on your site, but that doesn’t mean that the page needs to look or feel any different. Think of each page and blog post as a way to remind your visitors who you are and what makes your nonprofit so special.
Keep up with those updates.
Great! So you’ve taken my advice and have a brand new website. Now, what? Your new site is probably going to be tricked out with some pretty cool plugins which are going to need a little TLC. Plugin and core WordPress updates are meant to fix any bugs and make your site even better, but without the proper attention, things can get out-of-date very quickly. Make your life easy by signing up for a reasonable maintenance and support plan like those found at Maintainn.
Overwhelmed yet? Trust me, I know. In the end, you will be thankful to be more than just a statistic while showing the rest of the 1,499,999 nonprofits just what makes you unique and valuable.