Having a strong online presence has never been more important for a nonprofit organization. Be sure these critical elements aren’t missing from your website.
The twenty-first century has ushered in a new era of information and technology for all different organizations and nonprofit organizations are no exception to this trend. If an organization doesn’t have a website, its likely they will soon be in the process of making one as online presence provides access to new and exciting opportunities for collaboration not found through other mediums.
As you develop your nonprofit’s website, keep these six attributes in mind to ensure that you’ll have an effective online presence.
1. Clear Contact Information
Nothing is more frustrating to a website visitor than the inability to locate contact information. You must not forget that many users are visiting your website simply as a resource to contact your organization directly. When this information is difficult to find, many of them become frustrated. The UC San Diego Extension identifies “unclear contact information” as one of the top ten mistakes of web design. As a rule, your contact information should always be on the footer of the website making it consistently be visible on every page. If your organization has a physical headquarters or office space, make sure to include a clearly labeled section for directions of how to get to your facilities.
2. Event Highlights
As a nonprofit, one of the key areas of interests that your website visitors will have will be related to your events. If they are unfamiliar with your organization, your events will be a great way to educate them about your mission and who your nonprofit serves. To this end, your website should have a concise and easily accessible section that provides highlights of past events. Besides, your organization invests heavily (both time and dollars) in events, so why not make the most of them?
A nonprofit website should also do a good job promoting future events. Regular updates should present easy to find information about upcoming programs and developments, complete with ways to register and interact.
If you aren’t already, using analytics for your website is absolutely crucial. Analytics allow you to track user activity on your site, from the number of unique visitors to which content ranks the most popular your site. This aspect is incredibly important because it allows your nonprofit to receive instant feedback regarding your marketing efforts. Google Analytics is a free, easy to use program to help you get started that Social Media Today calls one of the top, most powerful tools out there for monitoring and analyzing traffic on your website.
4. Personal Stories
One of the key reasons people love to spend their time with nonprofit organizations is the personal experience and connections that involvement with nonprofits bring. Your nonprofit website should certainly reflect this amazing social experience. Tactics include featuring personalized stories detailing those your serve, along with information about staff, founders, and donors of the organization. Consider having a volunteers blog about their experiences working with your organization.
5. Calls to Action
As a nonprofit, your website should do everything possible to allow users’ to become involved with your organization as easily as possible. Forbes Magazine cited an unclear call to action as top 7 website design mistakes that small businesses make. In this respect, calls to action are incredibly important to nonprofits as well. Visitors should be able to sign up for emails, register for events, or donate with no barriers that are the result of poor design or planning. A properly designed website should maximize the opportunity for new visitors to become involved with your organization.
6. Engagement Opportunities
Perhaps most important, your nonprofit organization should be using your website as a tool for engaging your visitors as much as possible. Nonprofit work is intimately tied with a sense of experience and community – your website should be able to connect that experience to others. If you haven’t done so already, embed social media feeds on your website from social platforms you manage, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. This aspect of your website will provide a connective sense to your online presence. Updating social media feeds is also a great way to keep your website fresh with content, as any update to the platforms will populate the feeds automatically on the website.
Together, these steps can create a more engaging, powerful, and effective online experience for your users, and boost your nonprofit’s online presence in the digital age.