Website Tips for Organizations
The Sprocket Report
The IRS recognizes 1.8 million nonprofits. With so much competition, your organization needs a website that really delivers.
Take time to audit your site and note problem areas so you can address them as your budget allows.
An organization’s website is responsible for many important functions such as providing information, marketing the mission, encouraging feedback, processing donations and so much more. Often, you don’t even know what you really want from your site until you’ve been operating for a while, which is why it makes sense to start smaller and re-evaluate your needs at a later date. If this is where your group is at now, here are some common issues that you might want to reconsider:
When you are trying to appeal to everyone, you wind up appealing to no one. Who exactly are the people you are trying to reach? Donors? Volunteers? The press? How is the message different for each segment? Restructuring your website to bring the right audience to the right pages help you fine-tune the message and create appropriate Calls To Action that will resonate.
Members-Only sections of your website can provide specific information or benefits not available to the general public -- a terrific tool when used correctly. Too often, however, member privileges become more like member chores. If your members are not keeping up with their profiles, portals or whatever your website offers, then the whole site starts looking sloppy which affects everyone involved. Consider streamlining your members-only options or assigning members to a facilitator.
Spreading the News
Your website should be the authoritative source of all information about you, particularly your news, as that is the only source that is entirely yours to control. Sure, go ahead and make use of social media platforms, event services, news release outlets and whatever else is available for broadcasting your message. Just make sure it’s on your website first, under your management.
Also, try to keep your “news” from becoming “olds.” If folks only see outdated information, they won’t bother coming back to your site and your trustworthiness will suffer.
If an event calendar is one of the tools you use for news, consider whether it’s helping or hurting you. A big, blank grid with only one or two entries gives the impression that nothing important ever happens. Instead, you might be better off with a calendar list that proudly displays the next few events, even if they are scheduled in different months.
Every organization needs donations. Make it easy for folks to help you with obvious online donation options. Keep in mind that more people than ever use their phones to see your website and mobile viewing requirements are a little different than desktop. Use your own phone to walk through your organization’s website to see whether the path to donation is intuitive or frustrating. You may even find that your website isn’t mobile-friendly at all, which you will want to fix as soon as possible!
Today’s websites are built much differently than in the old days. Rather than starting over from scratch, you may have lots of options for updating, rearranging and adding to the site you currently have. Instead of putting up with a sub-par website because you think you can’t afford to fix it, talk it over with a web professional and make a plan for improvement. We’re happy to help – just give us a call!