We are living in a digital world. More often than not, potential donors and participants are researching nonprofits online. While a newly updated website may not seem that important when you’re creating your yearly budget, but your website can be a hub of engagement, bringing in more donations, participants, and volunteers. A well-designed and up-to-date website can make a HUGE difference in the overall amount of impact your organization is making. These are four common mistakes many nonprofits make with their website.
Especially with tight nonprofit budgets, many nonprofits create their website and leave it for years without a design or content updates. An outdated website can leave people wondering if you’re really professional or if you’re still relevant. Remember: your website is a digital representation of your organization. Is it telling the right story? If you came across your website, would you be inspired to take action or work with this organization? Even if you update your content, an outdated design may lead people to think your content or ideas are outdated too.
You're Missing a Call-to-Action
It’s great and necessary to tell everyone what you do, but what do you want THEM to do? You need to give your audience a clear next step, whether it’s to “donate now” or “participate” in your programs. There should be a clear call to action on each page of your website. Making your call to action a button goes one step further to help your audience take action. If your goal is recieve more donations, a “donate now” button that brings them directly to your donation portal will lead to more donations than making them find it themselves. MAKE IT EASY FOR THEM!
You Don't Have a Clear & Accessible Mission Statement
I can’t tell you how many nonprofit websites I’ve seen that don’t clearly display their mission. As a nonprofit your mission is #1 and your supporters are there because they believe in that mission. But you can’t recruit new supporters if they can’t find your mission! It doesn’t need to be on your homepage, but it should be the first thing on your about page, along with your vision and core values.
You Talk A Lot About Yourself
Obviously you are doing some pretty awesome stuff and you should totally tell people all about it, but if your website is page after page of just talking about the organization and what you do, you are losing potential supporters. Why? They want to be able to see themselves in what you do. If you want to recruit volunteers, talk about the volunteer experience and use testimonials from previous volunteers. If you are looking for program participants, talk about their experience; not just what you will do but what they will do.
Talk about the people behind the why of what you do; the participants, the volunteers, the constituents, the donors, and the beneficiaries.