November 28, 2019
by Lori Shecter
10 Ways to Make Your Non-Profit Website Great
Also known as “Perception is reality”. What type of message are you sending out about your brand or organization? These 10 ways to make your non-profit website great will change your life. (Maybe not but…)
The instant you walk into the hallway of someone’s home, you get an immediate feeling. It is beautiful or is in need of repair. Something delicious is baking in the oven. Whatever your gut reaction is, it stays with you the entire time you visit. The same thing holds true for a visitor to your website. Remember this…you only have 15 seconds to make a first impression. An impression that creates a positive or negative emotion the minute someone lands on your home page (or any other page, for that matter.) At that moment someone will decide to donate, to sponsor, or to offer you that grant.
Personal story: We Are Immediate is a web development company that was too busy to redesign our website. The last redesign was about 3 years ago, but as a web development company, that is like saying “we bought this pair of shoes 25 years ago, and they still look great.” The WAKE-UP CALL came when we had a potential client tell us that they wouldn’t work with us because our website looked old, had broken links AND typos. Um. Hel-lo. We worked all summer and even that wasn’t enough because we still haven’t redesigned all our pages! That being said, our client response has grown 25% in the last 2 months that we’ve gone live with a new homepage and some inner pages. Not bad! Some things you will be able to do yourself. And somethings you might need We Are Immediate to help you with!
10 Ways to Make Your Non-Profit Website Great
1: Your homepage is the hallway to your home. Make it powerful! If you lose them here, you will lose them forever. Great imagery, powerful and simple words. Don’t talk about your mission or your 501 (c) status. Talk about what you do and the impact you have. Click Here for the live website.
2: Have an impact page. At a glance, this can tell people what you did this year or in the last 10 years. NO IMPACT IS TOO SMALL. An NP told me they only gave out a 1000 burn kits. ONLY? That’s 1000 people that they impacted. I don’t care if it’s one or 1 million. No impact is too small unless it is NO IMPACT.
3: Tell your stories. If there is any way on this earth that you can get videos of the people you impact, please, please do. HERE is a great example that keeps me donating every month. I want to help these families. Humble Design also mentions their impact right on the homepage. They helped 1300 families and I contributed to that.
4: Top image should have a call to action: learn, donate, register, join, etc.
5: Be provocative. Ask a question. State a fact. “did you know that 400,000 teens in the US are parentless? I didn’t. And I am pretty shocked about this. This example illustrates both points 4 and 5.
6: Don’t work in the blind. Add Google Analytics and a Facebook Pixel to your website. That way you can see the impact your advertising or SEO is having on your traffic. You can also see where people go on your website and the most important pages. CLICK HERE to learn how to set up your Google Account.
7: Make sure that your website is mobile optimized. If you are not mobile optimized, you are losing a lot of Google organic search. Google dings you for not being optimized. If you don’t take technology seriously, sponsors and donors may not take you seriously.
8: Stop Talking! Start showing! You don’t need a lot of text on the top half of your homepage. You need amazing imagery and short, powerful words. Text can come at the “below the fold” area to help with Search Engine Optimization. We Are Immediate can help with your content structure to make your website and messaging strongly action evocative.
9: Compelling Facebook Posts: I know that this has nothing to do with making your non-profit website great, but it does have to do with promoting how great your non-profit is. Don’t put text in the image. Make a powerful image and put text in the post area. Then boost that post to your audience. Here is the imagery I will use to post this article.
10: Don’t just set it a forget it: A website is a living breathing reflection of your organization. If you are not updating it frequently with new content and news, it will just be like that dusty old newspaper you found in some boxes in the garage ( ok, scrap the visual but you get what I mean). More importantly, in order to be found on Google, updating or adding at least one blog post a week is critical.
I believe these 10 ways to make your non-profit website great might just help you get your next big sponsorship. Need help? Please CLICK HERE TO SET UP your pro-bono one-hour consultation.