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10 Essentials for your Non-Profit Website

If you’re working or volunteering in digital at a non-profit, you probably have limited time and even less budget. Before you invest a week on your pintrest presence, it’s important to get the essentials right.

Whether you’re at an established organisation or a brand new social good startup, here’s 10 suggestions for your site.

 

1. A compelling “About Us” page

This page will get lots of traffic because it’s the number one place visitors will go to find out more about you. So it’s good to spend some time brainstorming your approach — how can you best communicate your org’s work? What sets you apart from other non-profits? What have you accomplished? Your fundraising costs? The content on this page is likely to be the most copied and pasted information about your organisation by the press, supporters, and critics.

If you’re stuck, check out these two pages from charity : water.

http://www.charitywater.org/about/
http://www.charitywater.org/about/mission.php

The “About Us” page is also a great spot for a short video.

 

2. Install analytics

Google analytics is a great (free!) tool that can give you heaps of data. With a few updates to your code, you can see where traffic to your website is coming from, what content is most compelling to your users by interaction, and how users are behaving. Set up eCommerce functionality to track online donations in real-time.

 

3. Tell me a story

Storytelling is the most powerful way you can reach your audience. People would rather read a story than your latest press release, so make sure your homepage features several good story-telling aspects — titles, photos, and descriptions. The “stories” don’t need to be long, but attractive either with great photos or excellent titles.

 

4. Subscribe/follow options

Ok, so you’ve piqued my interest, but I’m still not ready to give…

Opt ins are great ways for a user to follow your organisation around the interwebs. Email opt-in, Facebook, Twitter, and blog RSS feeds are standard.

BONUS: A separate RSS feed for your job offerings will allow interested parties to keep track of your vacancies.

 

5. Donate button with regular giving option

The donate button should be featured on every page in the navigation and go directly to a page where the user can support your org. Have a clear ask that  Provide an option for monthly giving: It’s easier and more convenient for their budget, and increases long-term revenue for your org.

“Make this a monthly donation” image: https://www.hollows.org.au/donate

 

6. Show your Impact

Change.org displays their victories.

When it comes to important web content, impact is near the top. It’s no longer safe to assume that your donors will be satisfied by giving you their hard-earned money and receive little follow-up. Charitable donors today are more connected than ever before, and expect reporting and proof of impact.  Be specific when you show outcomes: examples like “we helped pass a congressional bill” is better than “we lobbied during lobby week”. “We accomplished this” is better than “we raised money for that”. Share facts, figures, numbers, impact stories as often as possible.

 

7. Contact information

Simple really… Your phone number, address, and email to an email address that is monitored and replied to. Your donors and potential donors need to know you’re accessible. Providing your details shows this as well as giving visitors an open door to engage further.

 

8. Pictures!

On social, we know pictures are the number one way people are engaging with content. Apparently people like looking at photos. So have captions, tell a story, make it beautiful.

 

9. Search functionality

Even simple and lean websites expand from archives of campaigns and content. Whether it’s the 2006 annual report or that position paper on the Carbon Tax, built-in search functionality helps users quickly find what they’re looking for.

Added bonus: You’ll learn what’s most searched for and can make optimisation decisions based on real donor data.

 

10. Inspire

Everyone wants to make the world a better place… but we’re busy. And we’re not exactly sure how to help. Show me an example of what my donation, signature or support can lead to, and ‘ll consider signing on. But I might need a little inspiration first.

So always, always inspire. Inspire visitors with stories of your work. Highlight donors who are fighting for your cause. People are infinity times more likely to share your inspiring content then your “Donate NOWWW!” page. Infinity.

 

You might also like: Five reasons to think about the state of your website before diving into social media” by @Prarthb123, Digital Strategist at UNHCR

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