Designing a Non-Profit Website

We posted this on our Facebook not long ago, but thought it worth-while to share in our newsletter as well.

With the influx of information and the flood of social media and mobile technology, the manner in which information for non-profits is shared online has been changed to be sure to catch the attention of easily-distracted online donors. The key? Simplicity.  Here are 5 important things to keep in mind when designing your non-profit website.

Photos and Videos

Limit the amount of words you put on your home page. Instead, fill the top section with photos and maybe a video to capture the attention of browsers and are relevant to your mission. Keep the bulk of your text on secondary pages which can be easily connected to from your home page.

Consistency

Traveling from one page to another on the same site, only to find a completely different set up can be so jarring that a potential donor may just click out and not come back.  Keep your secondary pages consistent with the home page. This means, match your color scheme, font style and size and layout and be sure to place your social media links and “Donate Now” buttons on the top right corner of each page. The eye travels to that side of a website naturally, so capitalize on that tendency.

“Donate Now” Button

Branding your “Donate Now” button with your website and even logo will make it more appealing for passing-through donors.  But that won’t do any good if it’s not easy to find or if your donation page is cluttered or the 2nd or 3rd page a person has to click through. Set up your button to go directly to the page that collects contact and credit card information and be sure to put your “Donate Now” button on every page of your website.

E-Newsletter and Text Alerts

If your non-profit sends out an e-newsletter or group texting alerts, keep the sign-up for it prominently featured on each page.  The subscription process should be as simple as possible. Only require the individual’s email address and, at the most, their first name. You can provide the option for them to fill in other information, such as, last name, snail mail address, phone number etc, but be sure the only required field is for the email address. Also, only make it mandatory to enter a zip-code if you plan to email or text message based on regional location. And by no means should you require an individual to create a user-name and password to sign up.

Page Titles for SEO

If the acronym “SEO” is completely foreign to you, check out this quick, descriptive video for the basic idea: What Is Search Engine Optimization / SEO.  Now that you have the basics under your belt, you can see just how important it is to making sure your website is being found through search engines.  Because tags and key words have been abused by so many SEO specialists, search engines are giving more and more priority to page titles for their results. Be sure to give each page a unique title. On your home page, include your organization’s name and your tagline.  This and having fresh content are increasingly important for good search results.

If you would like some more pointers, go to the original article found on Nonprofit Tech 2.0 Blog.

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This article was featured in our monthly newsletter, Bridgeworks Connect.
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