A good website is a requirement for any institution in this day and age. It increases an organization's reach, attracts new viewers through the world's most popular channel and serves as a major point of information. While nonprofits are primarily focused on giving back to the community, it's vital for them to devote time to establishing a successful online presence. Below are tips for creating the perfect nonprofit website:
Accept online payments
A nonprofit's site serves two purposes. The first is to provide information about the organization and how it operates. The second is to simplify the giving process by allowing visitors to send in donations. Online payments are everywhere these days, and any organization that doesn't accept them is considered old fashioned. That's why it's best for nonprofits to accept a variety of electronic options, including credit card, debit card and direct debit.
It's best to have a link to your donation form on every page of your website so users are only one click away from submitting donations online, Salsa Labs suggested. A simple donation link in the main navigation is all that's necessary.
Present your mission clearly
Everything on your website – from the logo to the color scheme to the words and images used – should tell viewers about your nonprofit's mission and goals. You want users to gain an instant understanding of your organization. If they can't figure out what you stand for quickly enough, they'll be tempted to leave.
Post relevant content
This idea is perhaps the biggest in online marketing today. Viewers want engaging information that applies to their interests. They don't want to be sold a product – they want to learn something new. Nonprofits can adapt to this demand with blog posts and other updates on their accomplishments and the people they've helped.
Content isn't just limited to words. Images and videos are quicker to grasp and a great way to show your organization in action.
Set your site up for scanning
Few people take the time to read every word on a website. Most people scan pages, picking out key words and topics as they quickly come to an understanding about what they're reading. That means big blocks of text are out – they're too cumbersome. Instead, ideas should be broken down into categories with headings, subheadings and lists. Any paragraphs should be brief and relevant to the subject matter.
Test the site
Even the greatest Web developer needs help when it comes to writing the most efficient code. That's why it's important to test your nonprofit's website through various stages of the design process, as Web Marketing Today suggested. Google's PageSpeed tools help designers create faster-loading websites, and its Mobile-Friendly Test indicates how a site looks when viewed with a smartphone. Meanwhile, the World Wide Web Consortium offers a variety of tools for developers, including a link checker, markup validator and more.
Incorporate social media networks
Young donors in particular are more likely to discover a website through their Facebook and Twitter profiles. A good social media presence gets organizations more online exposure and engagement from their fans. Signing up for every network stretches nonprofits a little thin, and the return on one website might not be as strong as the return on another. If your nonprofit doesn't want to be on every platform possible, it should integrate buttons from other social media sites onto its pages. Doing so lets viewers quickly and easily share updates from your nonprofit on whatever site they choose.
Nonprofits are capable of accomplishing amazing things through the help of their contributors. Their websites should serve as a central point to provide information and attract new donors.
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