We’ve all seen it. Nonprofit organizations believe that they can’t (or shouldn’t) be expected keep up with the updates of the technological world leaving their websites looking like something from the mid-90s when dial-up was all the rage. However, in this day and age of online interactions, an effective charitable organization needs to be capable of functioning in the places where their donors are: the internet. And an organization that thrives and grows will create an online presence that draws interest, provides information and motivates people to get involved.
These are some of the most critical ways to make your nonprofit website donor-friendly:
1. Home Page
Just like the entrance to your business should be inviting and warm, the home page of your website should feel welcoming. With an attractive design including relevant photos or graphics, your home page is about offering clear and concise information. It’s all about the basics, including clear and concise information about:
- What You Do. A transparent, defining statement that encapsulates your mission and mindset should be easy to find and simple to read.
- What’s Happening. Access to regular updates on the home page gives a sense of activity and news-worthy stories.
- How to Get Involved. From the very beginning, a visitor to your website should be just a click away from getting involved, whether by getting more information, offering to volunteer or making a donation. Make this easy for visitors by having navigation items for volunteers and donors.
2. Images and Branding
Your logo, color scheme, font, icons and images, all add up together to create a brand for your organization. Even as a nonprofit organization, you seek to inspire your website visitors with a certain feeling or sense of who you are. Sure, words are involved, but you can say a lot with just a few words combined with images (and we all know that a picture paints a thousand of them).
3. Donate Buttons
If someone gets to the point that they’re visiting your organization’s website, they are at least somewhat interested. Don’t lose out on opportunities because your “donate” button is hard to locate! Make it easily accessible and include these factors:
- Online Donation Option. As the rate of online donations increases, nonprofits are learning that the option to donate online is critical for maximizing fundraising efforts. Hosting platforms such as Classy offer help specific to nonprofits. Through all-in-one fundraising resources, not only including a donation button but also crowd-funding, events, registration, and community support, Classy keeps everything organized and at your fingertips.
- Security. Of course your donors need to know that their private information is kept safe. Clearly communicate to the donor about the security measures your site uses to protect them.
- Explain the process. Make the process as simple as possible, and tell the donor what is happening throughout. Ask them only for the information you need, and tell them why you need it. If they have to click to a new page, tell them. If they are waiting for confirmation, tell them so. If you carry your donors along on the journey with you through communication, they’re much more likely to become repeat donors.
- Immediate Acknowledgement. You’ll go far to endear your organization to your donors when they immediately see a confirmation page and email receipt following a donation. They’ll rest easy knowing there is no question about whether or not their donation went through, and they have an automatic receipt with further instructions for tax purposes.
4. Social Media
Shareable pages are likely to inspire people to motivate friends and family to get involved in what they are passionate about. Social media is also an excellent way to provide “social proof” to your website readers that others have gone before and done the same thing. It allows donors to feel part of something by seeing that others also support the cause. When feasible, provide fundraising information to your potential donors by including statistics such as goals, amounts raised, number of supporters, and other pertinent data.
5. Email Communication Opt-In
Making it easy for people to stay in touch works to create long-term relationships with donors. Regular email communications serve as a gentle reminder to donors by telling the story and reminding them of your organization’s ongoing need. Be sure that your website contains a call-to-action for readers allowing them to opt-in for email updates. You never know when an interested party might become a donor, or a donor might become a repeat donor. Keeping in touch is the first step.
To schedule a marketing consultation for your non-profit organization to consider how to make your website more donor friendly, contact us.