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Creating a Not-For-Profit Website that Connects with Supporters

Creating a Not-For-Profit Website that Connects with Supporters
Your not-for-profit’s website speaks volumes about who you are, and it is becoming increasingly common for prospective supporters to use it as a platform for generating their first impression of your organization.

Posted By: Christian Miminis
Job Title: Business Development Manager

You are passionate about your organization’s mission and will do whatever it takes to effectively advance your cause. But how can you reflect the heart and soul of your organization within the framework of a website and stand out in today’s expanding online universe?

Take a breath, it may seem like rocket science at first, but you can find solace in the fact that creating a memorable website experience for your supporters is very similar to the type of experience you’re already accustomed to creating, whether it be through a fundraising event, an annual gala, or a monthly giving program.

Seeing as your supporters are the lifeblood of your organization, you know how they want to engage with your organization. This knowledge also determines what the end user is looking for when visiting your website. By focusing on a few simple elements when creating your not-for-profit website, you can get supporters to take action on your cause online.

Structure your Website. Your not-for-profit website should be structured with the end user in mind, containing multiple options and ways for them to navigate, so they can easily find their way around. This means that any information, content, resources, and tools found within your website should be organized in a way that enables visitors to interact with you. Website visitors want to get to where they want to go in three or fewer clicks. This level of interaction can be achieved by adding navigation tools such as a pull-down menu, search tool, and sitemap to your website.

Create Landing Pages that Convert. Landing pages are a necessary addition to any not-for-profit’s website and overall online strategy because they encourage visitors to take a desired action. A landing page can be used as the main point of contact for donors, volunteers, and sponsors to connect with your organization in any defined way. When presented as a focal point of your website, a landing page gets visitors closer to what they’re looking for and exposes them to valuable content that you intend to highlight.

Develop Content with Context. Including content that is relevant to your online visitors is what differentiates a website that can successfully connect with its audience. Undergoing a detailed content creation process through the use of a robust Content Management System will allow you to paint an authentic picture of your organization, your community of support, and most importantly your cause. However, do not be discouraged if you have an endless amount of content - this is expected. If it is organized in a way that makes it accessible, visitors can find exactly what they want with ease.

Each one of your current and future supporters has a goal surrounding how they want to connect with your organization. Creating a functional website with the building blocks mentioned today not only makes it possible for your supporters to donate, register for events, or volunteer, it also provides them with the flexibility to dictate how they engage with your organization.

Photo credit: Cores, Lara via Flickr 
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Posted by on 6/20/2014 9:26:22 AM

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