In a world where tens of thousands of nonprofit organizations compete for donor attention and dollars, it’s important to do everything you can to make your nonprofit stand out to attract donors and build client relationships with them to keep them on board. One of the most important elements of your nonprofit organization is your website. Your website appearance is critical; in a survey, 94 percent of people stated that the design of a website was a major factor in whether or not they trusted or rejected it.
Make Your Home Page Simple and to the Point
When visitors arrive at your website for the first time, they want to get a clear idea of exactly what your nonprofit organization is about. The Missing Children Society of Canada clearly understands this fact: Its home page is uncluttered and dominated by a simple, large headline announcing “We Reunite Families.”
Use Compelling Visual Images
Visual images, either photos or videos, generally make a greater impression on people than the written word. Prominently feature photos or videos that illustrate the work your nonprofit does. An additional advantage to using this tactic is the fact that visitors to your site are more likely to share your photos and videos than articles about your work. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with attaching an article to a photo or video.
Establishing Social Connections
One key goal of your nonprofit is to retain donors once you have attracted them and encourage them to continue supporting your organization. This makes it important to focus on engaging donors and building relationships with them that will increase their loyalty to your cause. A good way to achieve this goal is to establish social media connections with visitors to your website. Put links for social sharing on every page of your website and on every bit of content on each page. Post links to your social media profiles prominently throughout your website, and encourage visitors to connect with you. Post news about your organization on multiple social media outlets, including your nonprofit’s pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Effectively Encouraging Donations
To solicit donations effectively, your nonprofit organization’s website should make it as simple as possible for visitors to engage with you by offering financial support. Place multiple Donate buttons throughout your website, and include donation links in the call to action at the conclusion of every article that appears on your site. A donation request by your nonprofit is the same essential call to action as a for-profit business that urges visitors to make a purchase.
Donors have to feel that your organization is trustworthy before they feel comfortable sending money to support it. Display your organization’s address and phone number multiple times on your website, such as on a Contact Us page and on the footers of each page; providing this information goes a long way toward establishing the credibility of your organization.