Websites are a crucial part of your nonprofit’s marketing strategy. Whether it’s providing more information about what you do and who you serve, encouraging donors’ generosity, or sharing information about specific programs and services, every modern nonprofit needs to have an up-to-date website.
With that said, here are the top five must-haves every nonprofit website should have:
1. Donor page
This might seem obvious but if you’re a nonprofit and you don’t have a donation page, you should get on that ASAP! At Redstart Creative, we believe less is more. Don’t fill the page up with tons of links about different initiatives or projects — all that’s doing is deterring a potential supporter from finding the giving form and completing the action.
Similarly, don’t place a call to action button that says “Click here to donate” and then require an individual to keep clicking on buttons to finally reach a giving page. All those extra clicks might turn the prospect off because now it’s become too hard to make a gift.
They’ve already made it to the page — now make it easy for them to make the gift.
2. Social links
Websites are meant to be the premier source of information for a given organization. However, prospective donors, volunteers, and staff likely aren’t visiting your website daily. That’s where social media comes in. Social media allows you to highlight different initiatives and fundraisers on a daily basis, strengthening your organization’s relevance and enhancing the important work you’re doing.
The best way to do that is by displaying your social media profiles prominently on your website, whether it’s in your header, footer, or both. Make it easy for individuals to stay engaged with your nonprofit on the social channel they use most frequently.
3. Accessibility and responsive design
We’ve written before how important it is to make sure your website is accessible — and that fact hasn’t changed. If anything, it’s become even more important because it’s now easier to create accessible content and websites. Captioning your videos for the deaf and hard of hearing? Easy! Adding alt descriptions to images for the blind and visually impaired? Easy! Consistently and clearly labeling forms, buttons, and other content parts for those with cognitive, learning, or neurological disabilities? Easy! Not only do these serve specific disabilities, they also make your site easier for all users across the board.
Similarly, making sure that your website includes responsive design is an important component of any successful nonprofit website. If someone looks up your website on a mobile device and finds they can’t navigate your site easily or they have to use multiple fingers to scroll around, they’re less likely to engage. It’s also important from a search engine indexing standpoint — Google’s search algorithm prioritizes websites that are mobile-friendly. Give your prospects more reasons to visit your site — and stay on it — by making it both responsive and accessible.
4. Calls to action
While your website is meant to be a source of information, that doesn’t mean it needs to be passive. Make sure that every page of your nonprofit website has a clear call to action. Maybe it’s learning about a specific initiative. Maybe it’s making a gift. Maybe it’s registering for an upcoming event or signing up for your newsletter. Whatever it is, a clear call to action tells your user what you want them to do next and allows them to make their own choices in their journey throughout your site and with your organization.
5. Use compelling content and images
It’s been said before and it will be said again: a picture is worth a thousand words. Stop a reader in their tracks with an arresting image that demonstrates the impact of your work. Then follow it up with specific, brand-friendly language to create an emotional connection for your reader. (Not sure how to do that? Refer back to your organization’s brand voice and tone! If you don’t have one, we can help.)
The pairing of compelling content and images on your website will spark the reader’s interest, inviting them to stay longer and explore.
And that’s it! Set your nonprofit website up for success by taking advantage of these five must-haves. Want to go above and beyond? Redstart Creative can help by designing and developing a beautiful website that incorporates all of these elements and more to attract and engage your donors, clients, staff, employees, and more. Get in touch with us today at https://www.redstartcreative.com/contact. We’re here to help!