Image by Angela Waye for BigStock
How to turn your nonprofit’s website into an engaging, high-traffic destination
Target audience Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, businesses, brands, Web publishers, Web programmers.
Guest post by Al Lunt for TechSoup
Holding the interest of new visitors and encouraging them to explore the website is important for nonprofits for a simple reason: They are an idea, an encapsulation of your nonprofit’s mission and goals. And that requires careful consideration of the visual factors that will keep users on your website long enough to absorb your intent.
According to award-winning multimedia designer and producer Mike Schmidt at mowhawkstreet.com, creating an “emotional connection is often the driving force behind these sites, but is also the driving force behind most marketing.” With limited financial resources and regular reliance on volunteer help to build and maintain websites, nonprofits face a daunting challenge in creating sites that can make those emotional connections with users.
Below are five basic tips to help nonprofit Web builders create visually enticing websites. Successfully implementing them could turn a mediocre but usable nonprofit website into an engaging, high-traffic site through enthusiastic word of mouth.
Create a clutter-free home page, encourage exploration
1 A cluttered home page that is overwhelmed with too much text or too many graphics may drive away prospective donors. The home page is often the first impression of a nonprofit that a user sees. It should never be thrown together haphazardly just to establish a Web presence. Network for Good, a nonprofit that provides fundraising ideas for other nonprofits, recommends striving “for simplicity and clarity in design. Your home page should be attractive and engaging, but uncluttered.”
Girleffect.org targets younger people sympathetic to the plight of young girls in developing nations. The home page above the fold has only four navigation choices: Home, Learn, Give, and Mobilize. Scrolling below the fold reveals the call to action “3 Things You Can Do Right Now” – Donate, Spread the Word, and Learn. Fewer choices encourage exploration. Continue reading