Improve Your Non-profit Bottom Line With A User-friendly Website!

First, your website must be attractively organized and present your message with clarity. The viewer should understand immediately what your organization does and why it has impact and meaning. Use the headlines to educate, inspire and engage your viewer. It takes a skilled designer to make sure your site makes proper use of color, type and layout. Viewers decide within seconds whether they will look further or click off and move on. We are such an impatient society, but you can take advantage of that by displaying an interesting and captivating representation of your mission.

The odds of capturing your audience increase greatly if the page is appealing and to the point. Be sure your web designer understands your cause so they can convey the message explicitly with appropriate images, color and well-written content. Generally, clear, simple designs work best. Viewers don’t take the time to uncover hidden messages, nor do they stick with boring or confusing material. Make it eye-catching and engaging, and you’ll strike a chord with the viewer.

Professional web developers understand the importance of website aesthetics and will talk with you about your mission and goals so they can produce the mood and inspiration necessary for optimal results. Quality images are important. Your web designer will know how to use compelling images to your best advantage; and with a powerful image, the response will be empathetic and immediate.

It’s a mistake to use images that are too large and will slow down load time. People are too impatient to wait for a slow site. Web designers know this and will make sure the size and quantity are appropriate for an ideal user experience.

Second, the viewer will want to know more about the mission and vision of your non-profit. Be sure to give all the information and statistics that will create comfort and confidence in your group. Tell the story. Clearly describe the purpose and the benefit of your work. Give some history of why it’s important and who benefits by your efforts. Success stories and a list of accomplishments are effective ways of conveying the necessity of your mission and the impact of your work.

You can list members of the board of directors with bios and examples of their contributions. You can also quote donors (with their consent) to show why they believe in the cause and what it has meant to them. Including heart-felt thank you quotes from people who have received benefits will help individuals relate to the situation and increase their desire to help others in similar circumstances.

Third, in asking for donations, there are a few key considerations.

  1. Every web page should clearly show at least one Call to Action button. Viewers should not have to search for it. Make it bold and bright.
  2. Make the donation process easy and painless. It should be clear that the information requested will be secure. Only ask for personal information that is truly needed. Your web developer should know how to create a safe, secure payment process with multiple payment options.
  3. Be clear about the time it will take to donate online and explain all steps of the process.
  4. Make non-profit financial reports easy to find and read. Most people want to know that the cause is legitimate and that the money will be well managed.
  5. Let them know how their money will be used and send a follow up message thanking them and telling them how they have made a difference.

Donors who are appreciated and see the value of your program will be happy to tell others and promote your services. Your website will offer a multitude of ways for people to learn more, contribute more and spread the words.

Fourth, your website should be well written and create a story so vivid and compelling that people will naturally want to be involved and contribute to the success of your cause. Make it easy for people to get involved as volunteers. List all the ways help is needed and provide an easy method to sign up as a volunteer for a specific event or assignment.

Include an opportunity to ask for more information or join your mailing list, and don’t forget to add social media icons and links for further information and resources. Your social media and blogs will add another dimension to your family of supporters with updated information and more reasons to get involved, share, and contribute in ways that are available.

Be sure to show appreciation and publicly thank sponsors, donors, and volunteers. You can add photos and videos that express gratitude and show the positive impact of volunteer work and donations. You can also ask for donor feedback on your website and on your social media sites. The more information you receive, the easier it will be to improve your program and meet the needs of those you are helping, as well as those who help you.

Fifth, for best results and to reach a wider audience, be sure your web developer is professionally trained to design a mobile-responsive website. It is just as imperative for non-profits, as for all businesses, to have a website that displays beautifully on all devices. Whether you are using a desktop computer, a smartphone, laptop, or tablet, the website must load quickly and display perfectly. Not only does the public expect it, but also Google rankings depend on it.

Ask your web designer about their background and knowledge of creating a mobile-responsive site with effective search engine optimization (SEO). The quality of your online success relies on the development and design of your website, and your professional web designer will know how to create a site that can be readily found and accessed.

It must also be attractive and completely functional. It doesn’t pay to take shortcuts with these key components. The development stage is important and will serve as a well-laid foundation for long-term performance that meets your expectations and ensures successful results.

Your non-profit work is undoubtedly driven by passion and solid beliefs in the mission of the organization. A professional web designer will ask enough questions to fully understand the reasons behind your efforts and what type of participation is necessary to achieve your goals. With that knowledge, they will be able to help you create an impressive website that purposefully conveys your message and speaks to the hearts of others to join in your campaign.

A user-friendly website will befriend you as you so diligently work to make a difference in the lives of others. At the same time, your bottom line will reflect the benefits of your website, and you will be able to help even more people with your services! I hope you find this information helpful. If you do, please share it with others. Thanks!

Phong Nguyen

BA from St. Olaf College
MBA from University of St. Thomas
SEO from "the School of Hard Knocks."

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