In today’s world, having a website is essential for any business. For a nonprofit, it’s not only mandatory to have an online presence, but to have something that is effective in connecting constituents to your cause. In order to design such a nonprofit website that drives donations and empowers supporters to be champions for your cause, you must:
- Understand your audience
- Provide an engaging experience
- Deliver the right content with an appealing design that’s true to your brand
- Insert the appropriate calls to action
Here are some specific design ideas and tips to improve the effectiveness of your non-profit website.
Go for a customized website design:
Most websites in the market currently are either built upon plain out-of-the-box website designs, or freely available templates. This makes it very difficult to make it stand out from the crowd and establish a unique identity for your cause. A quality design depends upon the visual appeal and the user experience. Therefore, it’s wiser to get complete control over that aspect and choose a custom web design for your non-profit organization. Typically, you have only 10 seconds to engage supporters once they land on your website, so make it interesting and interactive. This will make the website completely ‘yours’.
Make a visual impact:
A picture really does say a thousand words. Use imagery to draw in supporters and tell the story of your mission. If used correctly, images will have a much stronger impact than words when encouraging people to donate and join your organization. Live photos always make your approach more appealing. Include pictures of those, whom you are helping to live a better life and videos of different events, conducted by your organization. Basically, this attempt will make your visitors feel more connected to the cause you’re working with.
State your goal:
Are you working for children, orphans, distressed people or some other cause? Naturally, each of the non-profit organizations have a certain purpose. Not all of your website visitors will be familiar with your cause or existence of the organization. So make sure that they can quickly get a notion of your goal as soon as they visit your website for the first time.
Connect with your volunteers and donors:
Most of the non-profit organizations are dependent upon the number of people, and their monetary donations, voluntary service or more. Fundraising is at the core of any nonprofit, so make it easy for your donors to donate from your website. A good rule of thumb is to try to keep supporters just one click away from your donation form no matter where they are on your site. If your organization uses lots of volunteers, then think about how volunteering opportunities are integrated into your website. Do you only have an option to volunteer from your homepage? How easy is it for volunteers to click to join from other pages on your site as well?
Share a story:
You have a mission or goal you’re working toward, right? A nonprofit’s website should “live, eat, and breathe your mission”. This means the images, text, and layout should all tell a clear and consistent story: what your organization does, why it matters, and how people can engage more deeply with your organization. When a supporter lands on your website, make that mission crystal clear. The goal isn’t to beat people over the head with your mission, but just to make sure your organization’s brand and identity is clear for folks who may be coming to your site for the first time.
Move your audience:
Let’s face it – Your website does not exist as a boutique just to show off information about your organization. Instead, it’s actually a tool that you have employed to mobilize your audience… As such, ensure that your content on the homepage is focused on three key items:
- MISSION: What does your organization do and why.
- SUCCESSES: What are the results of your actions or impact.
- CALL TO ACTION: How can your audience help?
Your audience has to be “sold” on why they should do what you want them to do. So, let them know who you are, what you have done and then create a path for them to perform an action!
Keep in touch:
Expand your connection with your supporters across all social media channels. From your website, give them easy access to your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. Integrating your social media buttons into your website increases engagement and awareness. Proactively send email newsletters and other communication to keep your potential donors and volunteers informed of your progress.