As discussed in recent posts, a website is the center-point of digital marketing strategy and often the first-impression a new visitor will get from an organization. Nonprofit organizations have critically important missions to communicate, so it’s important your website is optimized for success. Here are a few of the elements every nonprofit website should include:
1. About Us Page
This is a no-brainer, however having an “About Us” page is an absolutely critical component of your nonprofit website. This is your organization’s chance to tell a story and show off its personality. This page should also include your mission statement, location and perhaps a few milestones or facts about the accomplishments your organization has made. This is an opportunity for your organization to tell it’s story and create a connection with new visitors.
2. How to Help
Once your visitor has learned more about your organization, make sure they have a clear view on how to get involved. This should include volunteer opportunities, donation information and a link to career listings (if available). It’s important to be specific in the type of help your organization is looking for, and the results you are hoping to achieve. When a visitor has a clear understanding of the expectations of their involvement, they will be much more likely to reach out and make contact.
3. Donation Button
Donations are a crucial part of nonprofit organizations, so it’s important to make it easy for visitors to contribute to your cause. There are many great, easy-to-use platforms that allow organizations to add a Donate Now Button to your website. Network for Good, Donor Perfect, and Bloomerang are just a few of the well-known options available. Full-service advocacy tools such as Salsa Labs, Salesforce, Blue State Digital and Action Kit include fundraising as a part of their suite of services, along with CRM platforms, analytics, engagement tools and more.
4. Social Media Links
Although this is fairly common practice, there are still many websites that make it difficult to find their social links. These links should be visible throughout your website, and are best included in the header, footer or sidebar. Nonprofits should be working to drive visitors to add their social pages to their newsfeed, so that they may one day donate or volunteer for your organization. Nonprofit websites should also include a Share Button so visitors can easily share your content with their network.
5. Newsletter Sign-Up
Including a newsletter sign-up is just one more opportunity for you to stay on your visitor’s mind. Try to make the sign-up as simple as possible. Adding too much information to your sign-up form may lead visitors to bounce. It’s not as important to collect a lot of information about your visitor at this time, but rather to create a simple opportunity to form a new connection.
As we’ve discussed, visual stories have the power to transport us and make our words come to life. Apart from your beautiful graphic design, your website should include photos from your organization’s events, volunteer efforts and results. Showing off “real life” photos will help create a compelling visual story and show off what your organization is all about. Photos also have the power to help your visitors relate and empathize with your efforts.
Web visitors are still deeply influenced by third-party validation. Often, this is the justification someone may be looking for to convince them to take action and support your cause. Make sure your testimonials include personal experiences and impressions that give a “real view” of your organization’s work and results. Don’t forget to not only include testimonials from your volunteers, but also from the people you’ve aided (when appropriate).
Including a blog on your nonprofit website can bring many different benefits. By blogging consistently, your organization can help create awareness, increase engagement and drive traffic back to your website. The SEO benefits aren’t bad either. A blog is a chance for your organization to shine - include posts that involve your mission, events and success stories.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have about your nonprofit website.