5 Digital Tips for Nonprofit Websites

As a nonprofit in a digital world, your best chance to get donors engaged with your mission starts with an effective website. Websites for nonprofits — like any other successful website — should be aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate and on-brand with your goals.

However, nonprofits have a few more hurdles to overcome than normal websites to make them successful. There are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States alone, and they include everything from public charities, private foundations and civic groups. Nearly all of those have some sort of website or digital support (i.e. GoFundMe). 

Want to help your mission stand out from the rest? Here are the key pieces for your nonprofit website’s success:

Compelling ‘About Us’ section

Any content you have on your site should be compelling, but it’s critical that your About Us section have the most motivating copy of your entire website.

Why? Because that’s where your audience will look to see why they should trust your nonprofit. Potential donors visit About Us pages to find a connection with a nonprofit, understand its mission and learn how their donations are applied to help the communities. 

When writing copy for your About Us page, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this encompass who we are as a nonprofit? Does it explain our “why”?
  • Does this language encourage people to get involved?
  • Is this language tapping into the emotions of our readers?
  • Is this content memorable?
  • Is this content concise and clear? Can it be trimmed down to enhance clarity?

Secure donation form

Online giving has risen 23% in the last year and continues to grow as more philanthropic giving moves into the digital realm. Donors across generations continue to say that online giving via a credit/debit card portal is the most convenient way for them to give. It’s imperative that all aspects of your website — especially your donation form — are secure enough to handle a high volume of online giving. 

When looking for secure payment partners, seek out the ones most trusted within your industry. Remember that positive, easy-to-use forms will keep donors coming back, but a frustrating experience or compromised data could lead to a loss of trust with your donor base.

Clear branding

When someone experiences your organization’s website for the first time, they should feel confident they are exactly where they’re supposed to be. By keeping your brand colors, language, and visual imagery aligned across all your outreach channels, you ensure donors give to the appropriate organization and not a similarly named competitor.

A great example of cohesive digital branding is Zebra Coalition. They maintain black, white and red colors combined with rainbow motifs across their platforms to let everyone know that they’re an LGBTQ friendly organization.

Mobile-friendly design

A successful nonprofit website allows you to meet your donors where they are, rather than making them wait until they get around a desktop to get involved. Having a responsive website designed with mobile in mind is a great way to put your organization at your audience’s fingertips. Online donations via desktop are still critical for donors, sure, but the number of transactions completed through mobile devices has increased 50% over the last year. Making donations on a mobile device is faster and easier to complete, and it reduces the risk of potential donors forgetting to donate to your cause.  

Don’t know if your website is responsive? View your donation portal (the most important page on your nonprofit’s site) on a desktop. Click and drag the right side of your browser window to make it narrower. Do the content, images and form adjust accordingly? If not, it might be time for you to reach out to a web development expert for help.

Footer with links to social media and contact info

Donors can be a diverse range of people, so offer them a variety of ways to connect with your mission. Younger audiences might gravitate toward following your organization across social media to learn more about what you’re doing. Older donors will likely lean toward contacting your organization by phone or email for the answers they want. By placing all of this information into a footer, you ensure that no matter what page a visitor is on, they’re sure to see a preferred method to connect with your organization.

Your nonprofit makes a difference, and that passion should be reflected across your website. Want to grow the impact of your organization? At Appleton, we’ve helped a variety of nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations reach milestone donation and volunteering goals. From social media outreach to paid messaging campaigns to complete website overhauls, Appleton’s experienced marketing and development teams have the skills to help your organization. At Appleton, we want to learn about your business, empower your marketing team and be your creative resource. Your marketing goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or info@appletoncreative.com

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