May 21, 2019
by Lori Shecter
How to make your non-profit website better…
… a website checklist.
And you need a lot of coffee to get this done. This article can help ANYONE with their website large or small, but non-profits in have specific needs when it comes to donation and funding, so the use scenario can be a bit different. If your website is not helping your non-profit ’s goals and missions, maybe it’s time for a change.
- What do we want our website to do?
- Does it help you reach the goals of your mission?
- Does it do what you want it to do?
- How do you know if it is doing what you want it to do?
- Google analytics: Tells you how much traffic comes to your website, where the traffic come from
- Do you get registrations to events?
- Do you get donations?
- Do you get grants?
- Are you attracting volunteers/ employees?
- Do you get press?
Ok, so that is a checklist for you to answer. My guess is if you are reading this article, that perhaps your non-profit website can use a bit of help.
Your homepage is your living room.
Often it’s the first place they see when they come to your website but not always. If you have good blog articles with keywords, then sometimes people can come to an inner page, but let’s start from home.
- Does it have good imagery?
- Is it cluttered or clean?
- Too much text: People don’t read. Not enough text – can I tell who you are from the very first time I land on the top?
- An amazing video telling your story?
- Easy to understand who you are, what you do, and why you need their support?
- Does your website tell your story? Here are two recent examples that we are in the process of creating that I think do a really good job
Does your website address your audience?
As a non-profit, you have more than one goal with your website and of course, the main one is how do I best help the people (or puppies or giraffes or fish) that are at the center of my mission? No matter how simple this might sound, it often is more complex than you think, because there are many target audiences that can help you achieve your goal AND your goal can be multi-faceted. So first, let’s think about who your website target groups can be:
- Funders: Funders can be government bodies, local corporations, large corporations, foundations
- Volunteers: We know what volunteers are
- Researchers: Does your organization conduct research or have academia associated with it
Design and Page Types
A lot goes into your design, but at the very least it should be:
- Mobile optimized
- ADA accessible: This is a bit complex and needs to be address with both your content team as well as your web development team. Here is a link to the latest ADA compliance rules.
- Clean and easy to follow
- Top navigation that makes it easy for people to find what they are looking for
At the minimum, pages that should be included in your website include:
- About us page that includes mission, what you do, bios of leadership and who every use, who you help,
- Success stories – videos are VERY powerful
- Program descriptions – with links to success stories
- News Updates or a blog
- Event Pages and registration
- Donation Page – Easy to donate pages
- Contact Us Page
- Integration with your social media
Easy and safe donation
Does your website have an easy to find donate button and easy to find donate page? If not, you could be losing out on micro-funding. It’s also super important is that your website is SSL secured (HTTPS on the URL). Lastly, all donation credit card collection should be managed through your payment gateway (i.e. PayPal, Stripe, authorize.net, etc.) so that NO credit cards are ever collected on your website.
Does it help you with administration?
- Does your website integrate with your accounting software?
- Can you easily run an event?
- Does donation happen on your website
- Can people become members of your organization easily?
- Does your website make MORE work for you or does it HELP you with your administration?
- Is it easy to content manage? Add images, text, and video?
Websites can be built inexpensively, but sometimes spending a bit more money can help you tackle a bunch of technical issues all in one. If you are looking for an all in one solution, please set up an appointment with us from the link to our calendar found at the bottom of this page.
Do you refresh your content at least weekly?
Putting new articles on your website at least once a week with appropriate keywords can help you get found through organic search engine optimization. Success stories and news updates about your cause are a perfect way to be driving organic traffic to your website. Ok, we don’t either. SHAME ON US !!! I’m just going to drink another cup of coffee now.
If you didn’t know you, would you donate to your organization?
The best way to find out if your website needs some shaping up is to have an objective friend (not spouse or child) take a good look at your website and tell you if they trust you. OR you can have a team member from We Are Immediate take a look and give you an unbiased viewpoint. If you are interested, please email me directly! firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to hearing from you.