Your nonprofit website serves many different purposes. It empowers you to spread the word about your cause, collect online donations, promote your events, and provide updates on your programs.
Your website also communicates to visitors what your fundraising priorities and goals are. So, whether you’re preparing for challenging times ahead or trying to complete a year-end campaign, you should be mindful of what your web design is saying about your funding goals and how it empowers visitors to give.
In this guide, we’ll look at three areas of web design that influence your site visitors’ perceptions of your organization and its goals. Let’s begin!
Consistent branding shows visitors your organization is responsible with the money it strives to raise. Consistent branding does this by communicating two things:
- All of your organization’s operations are cohesive, with identifiable core values represented by your nonprofit logo and other brand-centric imagery.
- All content on your website comes from your organization.
Visitors are wary of viruses and scam websites masquerading as nonprofit resources. Fortunately, you can reassure your site visitors that your nonprofit is both secure and professional by adding brand elements such as your logo and brand colors to every page on your website, as well as on any buttons that direct visitors to other forms.
You can also invest in tools that integrate with your nonprofit CMS to embed core features like payment forms directly into your website, so visitors can feel comfortable donating without being directed to a third-party page or worrying where their money is going.
User-friendly websites are easy to navigate and contain informative, engaging content that leads supporters down the path toward donating, whether they’re a long-time major donor or someone who just found out about your cause and is considering giving their first gift.
You can improve your website’s usability by asking yourself the following questions:
- What are the most important pages on my website? For many nonprofits, the most important pages are the mission statement, donation page, and information on your current initiatives. Make sure these pages are accessible from your navigation bar.
- Is it obvious what visitors should be looking at on this page? If you have a lot to share, it can be easy to create cluttered and confusing pages. Limit unnecessary details, and keep content concise so your most important messages and tools will stand out.
- Can everyone use my website? Your website may be limiting your audience if you’re not following accessibility guidelines. Make sure your website has a high color contrast, legible fonts, and alternative text for images and multimedia elements.
If you’re unsure how you can implement these practices or need additional design help, consider seeking out a web design consultant. According to Cornershop Creative, these professionals have years of experience working with nonprofits, which means they are an invaluable resource for your design and technical needs.
Your audience wants to know that the nonprofit behind your website is active, healthy, and currently making progress in fulfilling its mission with the funds donors provide. This means that after creating your website, you’ll need to make regular updates to your content to reassure visitors your nonprofit is still going strong. This can encourage them to give more support!
Regularly adding new content is great for SEO and also gives your long-term supporters more ways to engage with your nonprofit. Here are a few proven strategies you can rely on:
- Hosting a blog. Many nonprofits use their blog to share information about their cause, while also providing supporters with engaging content such as informative articles and news updates. However, you can use your blog to post almost anything, including team updates, volunteer spotlights, links to your podcast, and more.
- Integrating social media profiles. Maintaining multiple social media accounts and your website can quickly become overwhelming for small teams. You can reduce the effort and encourage supporters to interact with your nonprofit on other platforms by integrating your social media profiles into your newspage.
- Updating existing content. As your organization grows, your fundraising team becomes more experienced, and new information about your field comes out, you’ll need to update your current content to reflect these changes. Doing so keeps your website current and also helps you eliminate broken links, which can be a sign of a defunct website.
Also, make sure your website remains secure to prevent cybercrimes. Conduct regular maintenance, updating and removing out-of-date content and links, and also be sure to install any new security updates your web developer or software integrations might need.
- Explore Cornershop Creative’s rundown of the best nonprofit websites to get inspiration for how your own website can better communicate your funding goals.
- Assess your website for opportunities to include more branded elements and mentions throughout your content or on tools that might look like they are hosted by third-party sites.
- Do one thing to improve your website’s usability, like adding alt-text to your images or optimizing your navigation menu to spotlight your most important pages.
- Make a game plan for regularly updating and adding to the content on your website so that your online presence is healthy and active.