Nonprofits are often tasked with building and maintaining websites that resonate with a broad range of stakeholders, which can run from advocates and elected officials to funders and volunteers. With so many audiences to serve – and clarity and positive user experience both of the utmost importance – determining what assets and information to lead with can be a challenge for any organization. Factor in one common goal for many nonprofits – using the website as a central hub for online fundraising – and building out the perfect information hierarchy can seem even more overwhelming, which raises the question: What exactly are donors looking for when they visit a nonprofit website?
Success Stories and Proof Points
What is your organization doing to uphold its mission? How is fulfilling this mission benefitting your clients and the community-at-large? Simply put, donors want to align themselves with successful organizations and they want proof that supporting your cause is a worthwhile investment.
Whether you share your success stories in text, through votes, via video or through some combination of the above, the key is to ensure the format is easy for your prospective and current donors to consume, that it motivates them to donate and that it can be easily found within the confines of your website.
How Dollars are Put to Work
While operating expenses are a real cost of doing business, for nonprofits, donors crave transparency when it comes to how their dollars are put to use. Make sure visitors to your website can easily see how donations to your organization as a whole – and its specific programs and services, as appropriate – help to fulfill the mission and make a meaningful impact on the lives of clients and other relevant stakeholders. This can often be accomplished within your Annual Report or simple, easy-to-read charts on a financial or “About Us” page.
Long gone are the days when websites could make an impact by functioning as static online brochures. In a predominately digital and increasingly social environment, the need for nonprofits to consistently push out a steady stream of relevant, high-quality information about what they are doing – in the community, at the legislature, etc. – is augmented significantly.
This objective can be achieved by embedding social media feeds on the homepage of your website, featuring a sliding gallery of images touting news and events on your homepage and/or through an online newsroom.
While rebuilding your nonprofit’s website to deliver a better donor experience requires an investment of time and resources, a beautifully designed and well-written website that renders in an engaging format on all devices (responsive design) can help to further educate existing donors, inspire, engage and cultivate new donors and positively impact an organization’s bottom line.