A website is the center-point of digital marketing strategy and often the first-impression a new visitor will get from an organization. Non-profit organisations have critically important missions to communicate, so it’s important your website is optimised for success. Here are a few of the features non-profit websites must have:
First of all, donations are a crucial part of nonprofit organisations, so it’s important to make it easy for visitors to contribute to your cause. There are many great, easy-to-use platforms that allow organisations to add a Donate Now Button to your website.
On average, those who volunteered in the last 12 months donate ten times more money to charities than non-volunteers. So, make it easy for people to get involved with your nonprofit.
- Maintain an updated list of volunteer opportunities on your website
- Include a volunteer link in your website navigation menu
- Designate a volunteer coordinator to connect volunteers to opportunities and stay connected to this key group
- Create online signup forms for volunteer opportunities.
- If your nonprofit is membership based, ask members to indicate in their profile what volunteer opportunities interest them.
Giving.sg is a good example.
Include Other Communications Outlets
If your nonprofit is up-to-date with current communications trends, then your website certainly isn’t the only component of your digital presence.
By incorporating other digital outlets, like email and social media, you can ensure that your entire digital communications strategy is integrated and cohesive.
Plus, your supporters have different engagement preferences. Including other outlets will enable you to reach more visitors through their preferred channels, targeting your communications and making them more effective.
The two most common digital communications channels are, of course, email and social media.
Your organization can incorporate email into your website by adding a subscription box that enables visitors to sign up for your newsletters. Your email marketing platform should generate a code that you can easily place on your website to get this feature.
As far as social media goes, include social sharing buttons so that supporters can forward your content to their networks. If you’re active on social media, you can also embed social media feeds to share current updates.
Despite their controversial nature, popup windows still increase conversion and engagement rates across the board by an average of 3% (with top popups increasing conversions nearly 10%). This means that out of every 100 visitors to your website, you can expect an extra 3 to engage with your website at a higher rate (become a donor, become a member, register for an event, give you their email, etc.).
There are three main types of popups I’ve seen nonprofits use to their benefit:
- Timed Popups: Timed popups display a popup after a certain period of time. For example, after a visitor spends 30 seconds on a page, you can display a popup that encourages the visitor to sign-up for an email campaign, or an event.
- End of Article Popups: If a reader nears the end of the article, you can show a window that recommends another popular, related piece of content, to keep the visitor engaging on your website. This can reduce bounce rates while continuing the conversation.
- ”Exit-intent” Popups: When the webpage detects a viewer moving the mouse towards certain areas of the page (like the exit button), a popup interrupts them with an offer designed to encourage a yes-or-no response. Examples include signing up for an event, or downloading a resource.
Overall, popups are a great way to boost engagement on your website with minimal effort.
The Blog on Non-Profit Websites
Blogging is a great way to keep people informed what you’re accomplishing in the field. Transparency is increasingly important to donors, and writing about your organization regularly is perfect for demonstrating impact, engaging supporters and sharing the work you’re doing with people new to your organization.
Not sure what to blog about? No problem! Here are some nonprofit blogging ideas for you:
• Letters from staff, volunteers or constituents in the field
• Photo essays from events or fieldwork
• Fact roundups on your specific cause or cause-sector
• News updates specific to your cause-sector or the region you’re working in
• Impact stories
• Behind-the-scenes videos or write-ups about your work – This post on Possible’s blog about how they manage projects in rural Nepal.
• Announce partnerships or matching periods
• Celebrate milestones and supporters
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The Subscription Box on Non-Profit Websites
Including a newsletter sign-up is just one more opportunity for you to stay on your visitor’s mind. Try to make the sign-up as simple as possible. Adding too much information to your sign-up form may lead visitors to bounce. It’s not as important to collect a lot of information about your visitor at this time, but rather to create a simple opportunity to form a new connection.
A newsletter to subscribe to – this attribute is related to the blog in the sense that newsletters increase transparency, deepen engagement and keep people up-to-date with how their support is directly impacting your cause.
Encourage supporters to subscribe to your newsletter by including a clear call to action on your homepage. “Join us” seems to be a popular call-to-action.
Desktop, Mobile and Tablets Friendly Design for your Non-Profit Websites
Half of visitors to nonprofit websites are using a mobile or tablet device. If people receive your emails and want to take action, be sure that they can complete the entire task of making a donation on their phone without having to scroll right or zoom in to read. Google also favors mobile-friendly sites in search results. While many organizations have a responsive website, some have a donation page that creates frustration with tiny, often unreadable text when viewed on mobile. Test your website to see if it is responsive:
- Open your donation or join page on a desktop computer using a browser such as Chrome or Safari.
- Grab the right side of your browser window.
- Make the browser about as narrow as a phone screen.
- What happens:
a. Does the content adjust to the width of the narrower browser window?
b. Or does a scroll bar appear at the bottom of the browser window to allow scrolling right and left?
- If the answer is A, then your site is responsive.