4 Tips for Creating a Powerful NPO Website
Success as an NPO today is highly dependent on having a strong online presence. This means setting up a captivating website that’ll help you to raise awareness, recruit new volunteers and attract new donors. This also entails engaging in digital marketing efforts. Fortunately, Google offers a number of free tools to help in this department, including Google Ad Grants – and using social media effectively to create community.
But when it comes to building an online website, it can feel like an intimidating task if you don’t have the know-how. Never stress, there are DIY platforms out there that make the process a lot easier – Wix, Weebly and Squarespace are a few of the best. It might also be worth recruiting the help of one or two young tech-savvy volunteers to help you out. Regardless of how you approach it, there are a number of key considerations to keep in mind when creating an NPO website.
Follow these four tips to craft a powerful site that does a lot of the branding and marketing work for you.
1. Prioritise Clarity
If you run an NPO, you could probably speak for hours about what your organisation stands for and aims to achieve. But no outsider wants to spend hours wading through information to get to the bottom of what your foundation actually does.
According to Forbes, oversharing and overwhelming the reader with elaborate descriptions and lengthy blocks of text are two of the most common website design mistakes that nonprofits make.
It’s important that you state your mission on your homepage clearly and succinctly. Visitors should be able to land on your site and understand exactly what you do, how you do it and what impact you’re having within a matter of seconds.
2. Tell a Story (And Make It Visual)
While brevity is critical, you still want to champion storytelling over dry fact-sharing on your website. We’ve spoken before about the power and potential of storytelling and how it can be used to promote your cause and appeal to the hearts of your supporters.
When creating content for your site, weave together a powerful narrative that sparks empathy.
You should do this both on your static website pages (like your ‘About Us’ page) and on an ongoing basis, through a blog, for example. Posting regular content that’s interesting and unique is the best way to sustain relationships with readers.
Also remember that text isn’t always necessary to tell a story. It’s often more impactful, and more precise, to communicate visually using videos, photographs, slideshows, infographics, interactive maps and other elements. Just think about the last poignant TV commercial you watched…didn’t it make you want to take action and get involved?
3. Include Strong, Clear Call-to-Actions
A call-to-action (CTA) is any device that’s used to prompt people to engage in a specific action. On websites, CTAs often appear on clickable buttons, and they’re essential features for any NPO that wants to use its site to encourage supporters to take certain steps.
Make it easy for website visitors to donate money, sign up as volunteers, make a pledge or find out more by including relevant CTAs on every page, not just your homepage. And make sure readers can complete all desired actions in as few clicks as possible. Aside from asking for additional support, you can also use CTA buttons to prompt visitors to connect with you on social media and share your content with their networks.
Wherever the opportunity arises, ask users to fill out (very simple) forms in order to complete a step. This way you can build a database of names and email addresses that you can draw on to foster future engagement.
4. Optimise for Mobile Devices
Another common online mistake is failing to create a site that’s mobile friendly. But what does that actually mean?
Essentially, your website should display beautifully and function perfectly across all devices, including those used on the go, like smartphones and tablets.
There are a number of ways to optimise for mobile on a budget. You can build a version specifically designed for mobile browsing or you can invest in a single responsive website that naturally adjusts based on screen size and other factors. Fortunately, most modern DIY website builders (like Wix) are already designed to be intuitive like this.
Aside from the actual design of the site, there are also simple ways to make your content more mobile friendly. For instance, you can, and should, use lots of white space, employ a font size that’s easy to read on small screens, keep paragraphs concise and split chunks of text with imagery and subheadings.
The important thing is not to lose readers, and therefore supporters, because your site doesn’t load well on phones. An impactful NPO website will help you to reach as many people as possible across multiple platforms.
Still not sure you know enough to create your own NPO website? Why not hire a volunteer to help you out. There are plenty of young people with strong digital skills out there, and they could even assist you virtually from their own homes. If you’re struggling to find such a person, contact us at Brownie Points and we’ll do our best to connect you with someone stellar.
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