Non profit websites share many of the same best practices as any typical corporate website. They need to have an easy user interface, simple navigable, and appealing fonts, colors, and other design elements. But often non profit websites needs to offer more than your typical business site.
A non profit’s website needs to make it easy to find out more about their mission, donate money, and to become more involved. The website needs to make contacting your organization simple for all those who wish to connect on a deeper level. And it needs to do all this in a way that’s inviting to the organization’s targeted donors and/or volunteers.
So here are the key’s to creating a great Non Profit Website:
MAKE YOUR SITE DONOR FRIENDLY
Non Profit organizations cannot succeed without the generosity and support of others. And in today’s internet era, a huge chunk of donations are going to be made online. So your website can be a great place to solicit donations, especially from new donors. It can also make it easier for recurring donors to make additional donations. In either case, you want it to be a simple and straight-forward process for people to give you money. And be sure not to limit the ways your supporters can donate. Provide the option for both one-time and monthly donations, as well as clear instructions for those who want to donate by mail.
HAVE YOUR ORGANIZATION’S MISSION IMMEDIATELY APPARENT
The most important information visitors need to know, is your organizations purpose. Visitors need to know why you exist. It is best to have a concise and clear statement on your home page that also links users to a page dedicated solely to your mission.
HELP YOUR SUPPORTERS TAKE ACTION
Your cause is moving, and your mission is exciting. But now, what can your supporters do to help? Make sure you make it clear for your visitors both what they can do, and how to do it. Providing multiple means of contact makes it easier for volunteers to get in touch, so include an email address, phone number, and a web contact form if you can.
HAVE AN EFFECTIVE BLOG
An effective blog is important for many reasons. First, it gives users a reason to come back to your site. No one will return if all you have is stagnant information populating your sites pages.
Second, it helps users stay connected to the current happenings of your organization. Blogs are a great way to keep your supporters updated on everything your organization is doing.
And third, constantly-updated content increases your search engine visibility. This makes it easier for people actively looking for information related to your organization to find your site.
KEEP VISITORS CONNECTED TO YOUR CURRENT CAMPAIGNS/NEWS
Having the ability to inform your visitors of the most current campaigns and more important news is high priority. Using a rotating slider on the home page is incredibly effective in accomplishing this objective.
MAKE SURE YOU CAN EASILY UPDATE YOUR SITE
When you need your site updated, you need it updated NOW! Waiting days, sometimes weeks for your “website manager” to finish his world of warcraft mission, or whatever it is that keeps him from getting what you need done, is just not acceptable. Having the ability to manage your content is a must in today’s internet world. Make sure you have a simple to use Content Management System (CMS) that will get the job done!
USE MEDIA STRATEGICALLY
Media is king. Pictures tell a powerful story, graphics help the mind make connections, and videos will fuel the emotional fire within your supporters. Integrating media effectively and often will help to take your site from “oh, right on” to “holy smokes how can I be a part of this?!?!” The latter is the goal.