Best practices in nonprofit website design: Make it friendly
It is not uncommon for nonprofits’ websites to be neglected. Nonprofits are often understaffed or lack someone with the expertise to take care of it, but the reality is that this no longer acceptable. It is not an option to keep both content updated and technology current, it is a necessity. We all know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but it is 2013 and everyone judges a company by its website. If your technology and/or content are outdated, it reflects poorly on your organization, and can even scare away donors.
Web design can feel overwhelming, but we have made it easy for you by compiling the best practices for nonprofit websites.
Make it donor friendly
Donations make nonprofits possible, so don’t make it difficult for people to give. The top two ways to make your site donor friendly are to include a link to a donation page on all of the pages of your website and to make the payment page quick and easy.
Make it volunteer friendly
In addition to donations, nonprofits need volunteers in order run smoothly. You should have a section of your website dedicated to those who want to get involved. Make this section easy to find and navigate.
Address both those who want to help directly and those who want to help indirectly. Directly would include people who want to physically work for your organization through volunteering. Your site should include information on what volunteering entails (skills, times commitment) and who to contact about becoming a volunteer. Indirectly would include people who want to help your cause.
For example, if your organization’s mission is environmental conservation, share with people ways they can help from home – recycling, conserving water, etc.
Make it social media friendly
You spend a lot of time keeping up with social media, so don’t let that work go unnoticed. Have a link to your social media sites prominently displayed on every page on your website. You want people to be connected to you in as many ways as possible; social media is especially important because people check their newsfeed more than your website, and you update your status more than your website.
Make it mobile friendly
You can’t put it off any longer – 2013 means your site must be mobile friendly. More than ever, people are accessing the Internet via smartphones and tablets. You want to make sure people are getting what they need from your site no matter what device they are accessing it from.
Make your organization’s purpose obvious
It is an instant turn off when a website requires multiple clicks just to find out what a nonprofit does. Display your mission statement on your homepage and a quick summary of what actions your good cause takes to fulfill your mission.
The reality is that being a great cause is no longer enough to survive. You need to show donors that your good cause is aware of this reality by proving your dedication not only to your mission but to maintaining a great public image.