The importance of making a good first impression, especially on the web cannot be understated – especially when it comes to nonprofit organizations. Did you know that 60% of people report the first thing they do before deciding to make a donation is check out an organization’s website? To build the most effective and informative site for potential donors and the general public alike, HMG Creative recommends nonprofits consider the following features when thinking about creating or redesigning their website.
6 Things to Consider When Designing A Nonprofit Website
Tell your story.
Visitors should be able to quickly ascertain your mission and how you work toward it without leaving your home page. High-quality photos or videos are a great way to help spread your message. However you decide to express it, create an online experience that aligns with your purpose.
Easy-to-use management system.
Utilizing a program that can be easily taught to new volunteers or employees is a must in this industry that has historically high turnover rates. Choosing a system that can be easily updated, easily taught, and easily managed by an internal team allows the organization to stay on top of updates – spending less time on training and more time on sharing their work with the web.
Conscious of the generally smaller budgets that most nonprofits have to work with, HMG recommends utilizing the accessibility of an open-source platform to build a website. The alternative – creating a custom site from the ground up, tacks a hefty price tag on creating features from scratch that are already accessible for free via open-source software such as WordPress. Using open-source software has many perks, and smaller price point for clients is just one of many.
Supports a blog or news section.
Give your supporters and followers a reason to revisit your site on a regular basis. Having a place to post recent news about the organization is key for keeping your audience up-to-date with your work. Apart from connecting with your fans, publishing original content on your site or working with one of the Best SEO Company also helps organically increase your page’s SEO ranking – win! When it comes to competing for clients as a local business, you should make use of photos (go to https://blog.localviking.com/using-photos-for-google-my-business/).
Social media integration.
We all know that people are spending more and more time online these days, checking their social media accounts up to 50 times a day on multiple devices. Why wouldn’t you want to connect with your audience where they’re already hanging out? Including your organization’s social media links on your home page allows supporters to easily connect with you through these additional outlets, giving you yet another touch point to spread your message and awareness of your work.
Make your site donor-friendly.
Okay so, you’ve got a great story, your audience loves your mission and decides they want to support you. Now what? Don’t make your audience search too hard for a way to support your organization. Prominent call-to-action buttons should be included in a way that compliments your site and should be available on any page that urges or invites action.
When HMG Creative builds websites for our nonprofit clients these 6 factors are some of the first we consider in our initial conversations and designs. In our experience, WordPress offers a dependable foundation to build these sites upon. It’s an open-source, easy-to-use CMS that offers scalable solutions for each of these various factors and any others that may be needed. For a more in-depth look at why we use WordPress for these websites, check out our previous blog post: Why WordPress is a Win for Nonprofits.