The world today is highly digitized. Therefore, your ultimate goal to more donors and partners as a non-profit starts with your website. Your non-profit website serves as a public relation tool and a gateway to your organization – and how it’s built could make or break your operations. Among other things, your non-profit website should:
- Command confidence
- Meet the needs of various stakeholders, including donors, volunteers, and partners
- Be Easily accessible to all visitors
- Help you achieve your objectives
In order to achieve these objectives, your non-profit website should have certain features. This post will take you through the most important features that will make your NGO website stand out from the rest.
1. Intuitive, Multi-device design and navigation
One of the greatest features of a site, like any other, is the design and navigation. If you want to achieve great design and seamless site navigation, here are three main areas to focus on:
Visuals and Typography:
Right from the home page to the contacts page, your non-profit site’s design should be appealing. The visuals, colors, and fonts should go together. Generally, the site should adhere to modern and sleek design principles to make it stand out.
another important aspect of your non-profit website’s design is its ability to provide comfortable viewing experience on different devices, including on desktops, phones, and on tablets. Device friendliness of a site, especially its mobile responsiveness, has become so vital that Google gives indexing priority to sites with great mobile viewing experience.
a great feature that defines how long visitors stay on your site is your site navigation. Navigation has to be seamless, making it easy for users to locate important pages and call to actions. Site navigation acts as a map that directs users on your non-profit site, and an important part of your site design.
Beautiful coloring and typography, device friendliness, and seamless navigation are features that your non-profit site should prioritize if you want to keep partners, donors, and volunteers coming back to the site.
2. Great and updated content
One assumption many non-profits make is that since they have a lot of projects around the world, visitors to their site will automatically identify what the organization is about. The truth is, this assumption will kill your organization. As a non-profit, a great feature that should be a necessity for your site is your content.
Creating great content for your website, however, involves a lot of work. That’s why it’s advisable to be as detailed and concise as possible. Your website content should touch on almost all sectors of your organization, including:
- The mission and vision of your organization
- Your story and where it all started
- How you work and collaborate with donors, partners, and volunteers
- The programs and projects your organization has undertaken or yet to roll out
- Volunteer opportunities
Beyond creating great content, you should ensure that these are well organized and easily discoverable by visitors. Having well-written content on your non-profit website helps you spread awareness and inspire people and organizations to get involved.
3. Standard donation system – information and donation buttons
Whatever your goals are, you’ll definitely need money to accomplish them and there’s no better way than donations from individuals and corporations. The truth is, donors would love to see the outcomes of your projects before they decide to make contributions. This is where your information and donation buttons come in.
Your site should have a donations page packed with a lot of information, including where your donations come from, what they’ve been used for in the past, and how that has impacted your growth and that of society. Additionally, you need to ensure that there are donation buttons on every page to lead visitors to the right page whenever they want to donate.
In order to achieve this goal, you need to have a great donation system. Here are the elements that will make your donation system more effective:
- Addition of different payment solutions
- A donation form that guides members who want to donate
- A secure system to ensure neither your website nor the user’s payment system is hacked
Your number one priority as a non-profit is to get funding for your projects. With a proper donation and funding system on your website, you will be on the route to achievinhttps://www.qgiv.com/blog/donation-pages/g your goals in no time.
4. Provide great resources: blog posts, news, and newsletters
A great way to tell donors and partners that you aren’t just here to milk them is to provide resources such as educational blog posts, industry research pieces, news updates, and email newsletters.
This will require that you have a separate page where you post news and blogs, upcoming events and projects, as well as some industry trends. Additionally, you should create a weekly or monthly newspaper that reminds visitors whenever there are new resources available.
5. Provide a 2-way communication system on your site
Running a non-profit site, like any many others, may involve a one-way communication channel – where updates, blog posts, and announcements move from your organization to donors, volunteers, and the general public. If you’re a non-profit looking to make a big impact, such one-way communication won’t help you achieve your goals.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to create a two-way communication channel on your website. This means creating an interactive website where visitors can get involved in discussions on current issues or projects of your organization.
While this may take different forms, some of the best ways to create a two-way communication system on your site include:
- Allowing volunteers and partners to contribute to your blogs
- Allowing website visitors to comment on the latest news and blog posts
- Using online forms to gather opinions from your visitors
- Implementing a chat service where visitors can talk directly to your team when they visit your site.
While creating an interactive website would require extra efforts in order to monitor what is shared, it is worth the extra hustle.
6. Link your social media pages to your non-profit website
Social media is probably your best channel when it comes to keeping your community engaged as a non-profit. In order to increase your reach and engagement, it’s advisable to provide links to your social media pages on your website.
Apart from linking to your social channels on your website, every blog post and news update should have your social media icons in order to encourage visitors to share your content. Social media shares can increase your search engine rankings and help you reach out to more donors and partners.
7. Include stories and testimonials
Before they decide to invest in your course, donors and partners visit your website to assess your projects so far. This is why it’s important to include testimonials and stories from your previous donors and partners or from volunteers. These serve as “proof of impact” for donors to trust your organization.
Among other things, testimonials and stories could cover:
- How your previous donors felt about your transparency in managing funds
- Where has your organization reached so far, and how many lives it has changed
- How have volunteers felt working with your course
8. Create trust indicators on your non-profit website
Trust indicators on your website give donors and partner the assurance that you’ll make good use of funds when given the chance. But how do you inculcate these indicators on your website?
9. Include biographies – board members and staff
While your focus as a non-profit is primarily geared towards making a societal impact, one great feature you shouldn’t eliminate on your website is your staff and board members, as well as their stories. Thus, you have to talk about the people behind your projects.
Having a stand-alone page for staff and board members is a great way to start. The page should also include their experiences and what they’re bringing to the table. Apart from building trust, biographies show partners, volunteers, and donors how credible your organization is towards achieving its goals.
10. Make your non-profit website disability compliant
My non-profit doesn’t serve people with disabilities, so why should I worry about making my website disability friendly? This is what many non-profits say when faced with the question of disability-friendly websites. If you run a non-profit, this shouldn’t be an excuse.
While this might not seem urgent for your non-profit website, having a disability friendly and compliant website is a great way to give access to the disabled and equally tell the world how your organization is open to all.
Where do you start? The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) were designed for this purpose. The WCAG is made up of a set of universal standards that should be used to create accessible websites.
Another great resource is to ensure your website complies with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), especially if you operate within that jurisdiction. The U.S Health and Human Services Agency also has a great checklist to help you make your non-profit website accessible to persons with disabilities.
On a general level, there are great ways to make your website disability friendly, including describing your links, create transcripts and subtitles, use color controls, and use alt tags among others.