Your Nonprofit Website is a key component for your communications strategy. Use the Three Cs to evaluate your current website and as part of the planning process as you move ahead with maximizing the value of the Internet for building your organization.
Your website is a hub for your internet communications. In your newsletter, social media, email signatures, link back to your website to bring people to your website. Once the person is visiting your website they must see information that is engaging and valuable to THEM.
- Identify your target audience(s) and their needs
- Your home page must have your key message that speaks to the site visitor
- Have latest updates available from the home page – leading in to the specific areas of the site
- Update your website on a regular basis with news and changes. Assign someone to review the website on a regular basis to be sure that it reflects your current situation.
- Consider integrating Social media such as your Facebook page and Twitter feed with your website
- Provide methods for 2 way communications – see the Calls to Action section below
You have just seconds to grab and hold the attention of the person visiting your website. First impressions DO count. The person must see in a very short time that the website is of interest to THEM.
Here are a few suggestions on building credibility:
- Look professional – and appropriate for your target audiences
- Provide easy navigation to all areas of the site
- Proofread your content to be sure there are no typos, spelling errors, paragraph formatting errors
- Check that all the internal and external links are working. Remember that in your links to EXTERNAL sites – their link may change.
- Use graphics, photos, video, colors, fonts, layout for a professional look
Remember that the person is judging your organization and capability by what they see on your website. You want to create a professional and credible presence that encourages them to spend their time and engage with you in some way.
Call to action
What do you want people to DO when they see and like your website? You want the person not only to say “this organization looks like they are doing good work”. People see hundreds and thousands of websites – how do you engage them and have them return. You want to build a relationship with the interested person. Here are a few suggestions on engaging the user and building that trust and interest.
- Ask them to bookmark the site
- Encourage them to sign up for your email newsletter
- Add a contact form to let them ask a question or ask for help
- Give a link to download a report – and they give their email address to receive it
- Provide a method to donate to your organization – with a variety of levels
- Get them involved with information and form on how to become a volunteer
- Add a RSS signup to get updates on pages that you update often
- Integrate your Facebook page and Twitter feed and encourage people to join your social networks
Then be sure to follow up by
- Sending them a newsletter and announcements
- Provide updates on donations and how they are used
- Add new reports and news
- Add regular updates to the website so that a person sees new and updated information when they do return to the site
Denise Davies is an Internet and media consultant. She works with nonprofit organizations and small businesses to maximize their effective use of the Internet to build their organization and achieve their objectives. If you have questions or would like to learn more contact through the contact form