NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS: TIPS FOR OPTIMIZING YOUR WEBSITE

There is no better way to efficiently spread your message than a carefully curated website which effectively engages your target audience. At Insquired we also recognize that websites catering to nonprofit organizations can be hard to get right. The goal is to create a presence for you which maximizes your ability to gain advocacy for your cause, volunteerism and solicit critical donations. With that in mind we have highlighted below four key considerations to internalize as you approach launching your new website, or reworking an existing one which may not be performing for you.

MISSION STATEMENT

You know very well what the purpose of your nonprofit is. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that those who visit your website will automatically “get it”. The mission statement is the vehicle which conveys why your organization exists, how you are working to accomplish your objectives and what your core values are. These are the big three elements in an effective mission statement, and all must be included for the biggest impact.

While your mission statement should be well thought out, it does not have to be the next great American novel.  Keep it simple and brief. A great example is the mission statement from the largest nonprofit in the U.S. (with over $4B of annual revenue), the United Way.  Their mission statement is “United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good”. Short, descriptive and effective. All in one.

uniteway-mission-example

CALL TO ACTION BUTTONS

You have done a great job engaging your audience into buying into your cause.  Be sure to capitalize upon this by having call to action buttons.  These are friendly-looking icons which for a nonprofit website are typically some combination of three functions:  Subscribe, Volunteer or Donate.

While each of these actions are different, they have the same underlying common thread—asking the viewer to do something. A lesser used action button, but one still applicable, is asking the viewer to bookmark your website.  If the viewer does nothing else at least you have increased the likelihood they will return and subsequently engage with you in a more meaningful way.

subscribe donate volunteer advocate

SEARCH ENGINE FRIENDLY

So you have a great mission statement and very effective call to action buttons—now you need to make sure traffic is driven to your site.  Search engine optimization (SEO) is a large and deep field, often with conflicting viewpoints on exactly what works best.  Despite the chorus of disagreement that exists at times, there are three simple things you can do that are almost universally acknowledged to be effective for SEO.  The good news is these do not require any significant investment on your part!

  • Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does SEO. Ensure there are no pages on your website which have little or no real content.
  • For the content you do have, ensure you are using a rational amount of effective keywords. If you are a food pantry for example, ensure that phrases such as “end hunger”, “feed the children” and “food insecurity” are sprinkled throughout your content.  These are phrases people would frequently use when they are searching for a food bank.
  • Imagery is also important. Search engines are smart, and images without the proper optimization can hurt your overall results.  Those keywords we just discussed are very applicable here.  Ensure the file name and title text of your image is associated with one of your keywords.

INTEGRATION OF SOCIAL MEDIA

If you have a presence on other social media platforms be sure to integrate these applicable icons into your webpage. Connecting with the public on your website is awesome, but driving traffic to your other online presences can only drive additional positive outcomes.  The inclusion of other social media buttons should be seamless and clean – this is not meant to be a flashing billboard which distracts from the messaging on your webpage.  Benchmarking other websites to see what works is always a good idea. Check out our homepage an example.

For a nonprofit organization the website is often the first and best option to drive positive engagement with your target audience.  The introduction of the simple steps outlined in this blog post will drive more traffic to your website, and once visitors are there, help ensure positive actions occur.  Good luck!

IF YOU ARE SETTING UP A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION OR FURTHER ALONG IN THE PROCESS. THIS WORKBOOK WILL WALK YOU THROUGH BUILDING A COHESIVE BRAND. CAREFULLY CONSIDERING YOUR BRAND AND THEN IMPLEMENTING THE STRATEGIES OUTLINED IN THIS EXERCISE WILL BRING CLARITY AND COHESIVENESS TO YOUR ORGANIZATION AND BRAND-BUILDING EFFORTS.

Insquired is an inspirational design firm with a passion for social good. What does Insquired mean? It means a fresh, innovative look at your branding needs. We’ll give you sound marketing advice aimed at developing your brand. Insquired specializes in creating effective brands, print materials, and web experiences—all crafted to drive your message home to your audience and maximize the value of your marketing budget. Click here to see why we are a good fit.

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