Building a nonprofit website is more than having a place where supporters can make online donations. By following nonprofit website best practices, you have a chance to showcase your brand in an impactful way, telling a story that encourages people to give. Shaping your nonprofit’s narrative through a website requires thoughtful content and user-friendly functionality. Below, we’ll walk you through eight nonprofit website best practices that cover these needs. We’ll also share some nonprofit website examples to inspire you to build a nonprofit website or revamp your existing one.
- Incorporate an Action-Oriented Modal
A modal on a nonprofit website is a pop-up box that temporarily deactivates the page a visitor navigates to and presents them with an action. The visitor can close the window and return to the original page or choose to complete the action, which returns them to the page.
There are many actions your nonprofit website could include in a modal, such as a:
- Link to registration for your upcoming event
- Streamlined donation form
- Subscription form for your email updates
And since modals encourage immediate action, customers can see a median conversion rate improvement of three points after implementing one on their nonprofit website, according to Classy’s platform data. This ultimately equates to 28% improvement in revenue per site visitor. This feature on its nonprofit website encourages supporters to attend who may not have otherwise known about it before. It does so while offering an easy way to navigate to more information.
- Optimize for Influxes of Mobile Traffic
Donors are most likely to land on campaign pages from a phone. Even further, all campaign types receive about half (if not more) of their traffic from mobile. Given these statistics, it’s best practice for nonprofit websites to be mobile-friendly. This is especially true on key event dates, where nonprofits likely see an influx of mobile traffic from social media campaigns, email marketing, and other outreach efforts.
To offer an easy mobile donation experience, ensure your nonprofit website has:
- Reduced required textbox fields when donating for easy navigation
- Decreased image sizes to speed up page load times
- Clear, bold buttons and calls to action for accessibility
- Increased font sizes and minimal text for easy reading/skimming
- Responsive web design that adjusts on any screen size
- Spotlight a Clear Donation Button
Your donation button is your primary call to action, so you want your supporters to identify and navigate to it easily. Some best practices for incorporating your donation button on your nonprofit website are to:
- Make it stand out by using a color that contrasts with the rest of your page
- Check that it links to the correct page and that page loads quickly
- Include it on every page of your website, typically as the top header
- Use brief, clear text, such as “Donate,” “Donate Now,” “Give,” “Give Today,” or “Support Our Work”
- Track Donor Interactions
To know how donors interact with your nonprofit website pages, you can set up a Google Analytics. This allows you to collect data to understand better how your supporters navigate your content and, ultimately, your donation page. Having this data can inform future improvements to your website, help reveal the days and times supporters visit your site most and disclose what your top referral sources are. You can learn all about the feature and how to set it up on your nonprofit website from our team.
- Include Compelling Visuals
Supporters don’t tend to visit your nonprofit website looking to read a novel. Instead, they want to see and feel your story quickly. You can accomplish a lot of your storytelling through visuals. In particular, you should aim to use:
- On-brand imagery:Use photos and graphics in line with your overall style. For example, if you typically use black-and-white photos, incorporate that same aesthetic on your website. Keeping imagery consistent with your design helps donors identify you.
- Informative infographics:Incorporate infographics to tell your story. For example, if you highlight the top five data points from the past year that show your impact, consider representing each of those measures with a simple graphic.
- Emotionally appealing photos:Choose photos that touch the hearts of your supporters. For example, highlight the people you’ve helped or the animals still in need. You could also select photos that evoke the emotion behind your mission’s work.
- Highlight the Problem Your Nonprofit Solves
When a prospective donor visits your nonprofit website to learn more about your work, one of the first things they want to know is what problem exists that makes your nonprofit necessary. By clearly stating the problem on your website, donors can quickly connect to your cause and whether it’s an issue they want to help make a difference.
- Center Your Nonprofit’s Solutions
Not only do visitors to your nonprofit website need to know what the problem is, but they also want to know what you do to solve it. Including highlights of your solutions on your homepage helps prospective donors understand the steps you take to make a difference—and where they fit into that process. The homepage then includes quick, colorful blocks to navigate for more solutions, including finding food, volunteering, and donating. This approach pulls donors in by showing them how they can be the solution to a problem. Nonprofit websites that take a solution-first approach draw in donors through evoking a sense of hope.
- Showcase Your Nonprofit’s Impact
Finally, supporters visiting your nonprofit website want to see that you’re accountable in how you say you address a problem. They want to see the impact you’ve already made and your plans for the future. By showcasing key impact data from your work, it helps visitors to your website see their donation to your cause would be a good investment.
Use Website Best Practices to Drive Traffic and Engage Donors
Nonprofit website best practices focus on the user-friendliness of your website and its ability to tell a compelling story about your work. By implementing these strategies, you can help your nonprofit increase engagement with your website and convert more website visitors into donors. However, don’t stop there—always thoroughly test your website after making any changes to ensure the user experience remains smooth.
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