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Robert Callahan

3 Essential Steps to a Great Nonprofit Website

Every nonprofit organization, large and small, needs a website (and a good one at that).  Whether you are a one-person show with a tiny budget or a nationwide organization with an abundance of resources, you owe it to yourself, your organization & your cause to make your website an asset. That won’t be the case if you don’t consider the following:

  1. Who is your target demographic and how will they find you?
  2. What is your desired conversion?
  3. How can you make that conversion as easy as possible for users?

However, if you don’t have a strong background in web design, UI (user interface) and/or marketing, this is most likely easier said than done.  Luckily we are are to help point you in the right direction!

Step 1:  Who is your target demographic and how will they find you?

I’m willing to bet you already know who your target demographic is so we’ll skip through that.  But how do they find you?  The answer:  Exposure.  As a nonprofit organization, there are undoubtedly people who want to support your cause but you have to get your name out there and get in front of them in the most efficient way possible.

Different demographics are more accessible through different channels so you should do some research to make sure you aren’t wasting time, energy & money.  For example: if your target demo is millenials, you probably won’t see a strong ROI from sending snail mail.  Instead, try social media blasts that direct users back to your website.

When in doubt, remember that everyone is on the internet.  Strong SEO is a fail-safe area to invest.

Step 2:  What is your desired conversion?

Every nonprofit is different and as a result, the desired resources can vary.  Some organizations want clothing or food.  Others want volunteers.  Most are looking for a combination.  Regardless of what your organization needs, there is a desired conversion once a user comes to your website.  

Once you’ve determined your desired conversion, take that into consideration when building out your website.  Different conversions will require different CTAs, which leads me to my next step.

Step 3:  How can you make that conversion as easy as possible for users?

No matter how badly people want to support your cause, we‘ve all got our limits.  No one is going to spend 30 minutes navigating a clunky website, waiting for 14 different pages to load, just to make a donation of $10.  For smaller conversions especially, you should have clear, concise, easily accessible CTAs.

Tip - Put a CTA on every single page of your website that will redirect users to the page a conversion can be made (i.e. donation portal, contact form, volunteer sign-up page, etc.).  The easiest way to do this is with a highlighted tab in an anchored navigation bar.  (Ex: bbbsatl.org).

Last but not least, don’t forget that the majority of website traffic is done through mobile devices.  Having a website that doesn’t look good or that is hard to navigate because you have to pinch & zoom to read it, will lose you a ton of conversions.  Your website should be responsive ideally but should be Mobile-Friendly at the very least.  Not sure if your site is mobile-friendly?  Check out Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to find out!