Charitable institutions and organizations are known to use the best practices in website building as the need to exude a reliable and worthwhile site is tantamount to its success.
Aside from the usual elements of being easy to navigate and appealing to the eye, there are other factors that non-profit websites utilize to guarantee that their cause is recognizable and their appeal for donation and volunteer are likewise inherent.
Here are some great tips for anyone who wants to design a non-profit website or create something similar.
1. Make the Site Donor, Volunteer and Media-Friendly
Making the act of donating easy and straightforward is perhaps the key of a good non-profit website.Â Someone who wants to shell out money for a good cause may change his mind if the exercise seems too complicated or if the safety of the process is doubtful.Â So make it easy by placing a Donate Here Button that is visible and requires no time consuming set-up. GreenPeaceUSA for instance has easily noticeable links to its donation page.
Similarly, the site must also be volunteer-friendly as one of the main requests of organizations aside from financial donation is to find active participants who want to donate their time and skill to the cause. Making this registration as painless as possible helps in maintaining interest and avoiding frustration from the volunteer’s part.
Provide as much information as you can on how volunteers can participate in projects and give out contact details such as telephone and email addresses that people can inquire to. Furthermore make the volunteer page appealing by including photos of past programs and group photos of happy and fulfilled volunteers. The AmnestyInternational website’s Volunteer: How You Can Help page is a great example of a simple sign-up process which only consists of 5 steps that are clearly indicated.
It is also wise to make your site media-friendly as there will be many occasions when people from newspapers or television may want to know more about your organization or mention you. This is a great opportunity to get exposure and one way to make this easy is by making sure all critical information about the non-profit is readily available for the public to learn about.
Having an About Us page or What We will help in making your site media-friendly. Include the roster of important personnel, news articles featuring your non-profit and even notable quotes from famous authorities saying something nice about your group. Keep in mind that being featured by media and bloggers are important in bringing in traffic and possibly donations and manpower.
2. Make Your Purpose Obvious
You may have a mission and vision statement but remember that not all readers may have the time to read your group’s history just to determine what you are all about. It may be best to place an abbreviated version on the header or a logo or image that will instantly give an inkling to the viewer of your site of what your purpose is.
Witness for instance has the phrases See It, Film It, and Change It which instantly gives the idea of an organization that is open to first-hand experiences backed with film capture of something unpleasant that you want to stop from happening again. It is simple but intriguing and no doubt catches a person’s attention to read more and stay at the site longer.
3. Content Is Most Essential
As the nature of any non-profit group commands transparency and worthwhile matters, so should the website that represents it. Design is important but should only follow and revolve around the content which is the most important element of the site. Visitors coming to the site expect to find out plenty of information about the organization and therefore the design should not be distracting.
The Kiva website is one good example as its site design is quite simple and its content is readily associated to what it is about. Its main page features entrepreneurs that deserve commending and other articles that are inspiring and encouraging for viewers to join in and participate in the cause.
4. Keep Your Site Current
Including a news feed of relevant reading materials and events gives a sense of an active website and thus lets visitors know that the site itself is being maintained regularly.
This is most important as a non-profit relies solely on its credibility, so keeping its main page updated regularly helps in the brand issues. It also makes your website a go-to page for people who share the organization’s passion, thus increasing traffic and search engine visibility.
I am sure you have plenty of other tips of yours on how to make a non-profit site appealing and trustworthy.