It’s true: the Internet has become our go-to place for information about every-thing – from news, reviews, tips and travel, to learning, inspiration and research. It follows then, that a charity’s website is frequently the first stop on the supporter journey. Whether this is a captivating experience, or exercise in frustration, can influence someone’s decision to engage with your organisation more meaningfully – or make a hasty retreat.
So, how can you tell if your site is dressed for success and walks your cause’s talk? Let’s start with a scan of the most common mistakes we see. Some of the usual suspects include:
Now let’s consider what makes for a winning website. For instant inspiration, you can check out the 20 best non-profit websites identified by TopNonprofits (https://topnonprofits.com/lists/best-nonprofit-websites/). Stunning sites like these share some common features, such as:
Perhaps most importantly, great websites (non-profit or not) are designed from a visitor’s point of view. This is why, if you’re about to dive into a website redesign, it’s important to set aside personal preferences (and the opinions of everyone else from the secretary to the CEO) to ensure that your site architecture is keenly visitor/donor-focused.
Even the most gorgeous site is no good if its functionality is not user-friendly. Great sites are easy to navigate; clicking from one page to another is a smooth journey – and you don’t feel lost in a tangled web of wilderness.
This need for a seamless transition applies equally to donate pages. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of clicks to conclude an online donation process. Make sure this is set up to be safe, speedy and satisfying – and of course, an immediate thank you for all donations is non-negotiable.
Forego the temptation to ask your prospective donor for too many details. If you want someone to abandon the entire donation or newsletter sign-up process, present dozens of fields all begging to be filled in. Ask for only essential information and keep it simple.
If your website measures up, well done– and continue to keep your content fresh, engaging and sharply aligned to your mission. But if your site needs anything from a little to a whole lot of attention, get the right help to ensure that your website works hard – and works smart – to fulfil your communication and fundraising needs.