Having a nice looking website is good, but having a website that inspires trust and motivates people to give is much better. The key here is to make your website more “sticky.” This will keep visitors on your website longer and will help build trust. Below are several simple features and strategies that help make your website more effective:
1) Have a registration page or “newsletter sign-up” link clearly visible to all website visitors. This will help you build your email mailing list, keeping your visitors informed of success stories with a weekly newsletter. It will also be useful for fundraising or online donations.
2) Have an active blog on your website. Make sure it is updated 2-4 times a month with information that stays in step with your product or service. A blog discusses topics of interest to those who visit your specific site.
3) Set up social media networks such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Brand them all with your logo and colors to match your website. Fans and potential connections know they are within your sphere of influence.
4) Actively work your social media with interconnecting messages and encourage a steadily growing fan base on all your social media network nodes. Be active and make sure everything in your network is linked to your website and blog.
5) Include a ”Sponsor Page” which helps generate income and recognizes your corporate donors. This also helps establish trust and lets foundations know you have a variety of income generating strategies.
6) Also include an “About Us” page which talks about the founder and mission but also has links to a board bio page with information on your board and advisory committees. This helps communicate annual reports, accomplishments, new objectives, and past 990 tax returns. This helps establish trust, transparency and confidence.
7) Have a “Donation Page” with multiple options to give such as used items such as computers, property, a used car, etc. Include information regarding the donation of time and talents through volunteering. Finally, provide means for donating cash by check or credit card.
8) Add a store which can help you sell items to raise funds, collect donations or set up pledges, sponsorships or installment giving.
9) Add short videos communicating your mission, services, success stories or testimonials. This is very effective in connecting with people and getting them to take action.
Having a website is necessary; however it is critical that the website continues to grow with your organization. By providing up to date content with useful information about your services successes and needs, your website can build and retain a faithful group of supporters which will contribute to the growth of your organization.
A nonprofit website serves as an informational resource to potential grant funders, donors, future board members, and constituents; therefore it is critical that you continually improve this valuable communication resource.