Tips for Building Charity and Nonprofit Websites

The web plays a vital role in the non-profit sector. It is a way to connect with potential donors and members. Additionally, an organization’s website can be a difference maker when it comes to communicating a message.

Therefore, building websites for charities and non-profit organizations is different from a normal business site. Unique goals and responsibilities create a highly specialized process. Perhaps that is why some web designers and agencies tend to focus on these types of clients.

And although there are many tools aimed at this market, it still takes a keen understanding to use them effectively. For example, it’s one thing to have a WordPress theme that claims to be designed with nonprofits in mind. But that won’t help without a well-thought-out content strategy.

Today, we’ll share some tips for building charity and non-profit websites that stand out. On with us!

A great Website starts with Research

No two clients are the same. And that is especially true of charities and other non-profits. Each of them has a story to tell and one or more actions they want to perform. The web designer’s job is to find out what that is, then help achieve these goals as effectively as possible.

In practice, this means gathering information from a variety of sources. If the organization already has a website, it is worth reading through its content. This will give you an idea of ​​where they were. In addition, it is a great opportunity to discuss any improvements that could be made.

It’s also worth having a conversation dedicated to the client’s goals. Priorities and messages change over time. What was relevant last time may not be as relevant today.

In some cases, a client may have difficulty communicating with their audience. Smaller organizations come to mind where stakeholders play multiple roles. They may be so busy that they may not have taken the time to clearly articulate their mission.

It begins by asking questions, such as:

  • What is your core mission?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is the most important thing you want visitors to know?
  • What actions do you want your visitors to take when they visit your website?

Once you have solid answers, you can formulate a strategy that takes this information into account.

Find Other Success People

In the world of nonprofit websites, there are many places to find inspiration. Regardless of size and location, browsing similar websites can reveal what makes a great user experience – and what doesn’t.

As we mentioned, everyone is unique. Therefore, it is not advisable to simply copy what someone else is doing. However, you may find specific features that are suitable.

This type of exploration is recommended for both designers and clients. It can facilitate a conversation about what makes sense for their particular use case.

For example, clients can be infatuated with the way a shopping cart works or even a flashy slide. But it is important to determine whether or not they are the most effective solution. If it doesn’t help get the message across or requires a radical change in their workflow, it might not be worth implementing.

Still, you’ll find plenty of great ideas out there. Find the right ones, and they can provide a solid foundation to build on.

Get inspired by what other nonprofits are doing online.

Aim for a Streamlined User Experience

When you think about it, user experience (UX) can be a huge factor in the well-being of an organization. Consider a charity that relies on online donations. If the process is too difficult for potential donors, they may miss out on a significant amount of money.

No one wants this to happen. But certain factors can unintentionally interfere with a streamlined user experience.

When it comes to subscriptions, some clients may be a little shy about asking for visitors. Their content might include a donation link buried deep within a page, or a link that requires a lot of clicks to access. This not only makes it difficult for users, but also conveys a lack of urgency.

That’s why it’s crucial to guide users to the actions we want them to take. Whether that’s making a donation, signing a petition, or sharing a blog post on social media. The idea is to make participation as easy as possible.

It’s an area where clients may need a little hand-holding. Again, this is where studying other websites can come in handy. You can demonstrate good UX in action and explain what makes it effective. This should get you and your client on the same page.

Work with clients to make the user experience as smooth as possible.

Promoting Investment in Technology

Budgets are a concern for all projects. However, they can be very significant for non-profit clients.

Therefore, clients may tend to skip certain features. Sometimes it is necessary. But when it comes to technology, it might be worth taking a closer look. The benefits may outweigh the costs.

Going back to our streamlined UX goal, let’s consider a shopping cart. It may require three or four steps to check out successfully.

That’s fine – but what if we could make the process even easier? A plugin that allows single page checkout may have some upfront/recurring costs. But if it has the potential to significantly increase a site’s conversion rate, it’s worth implementing.

Clients do not always see the long-term benefits of such technology. But we can help them imagine the possibilities. There may not always be immediate results, but at least you helped educate them. This could lead to improvements down the road.

Smart investments in technology can produce measurable results.

Help Your Non-Profit Clients Build a First Class Website

Certainly, nonprofits and charities share some characteristics with businesses. But they are also a distinct market segment. Their needs are unique, and web designers must adjust accordingly.

The key to these projects is listening to clients and understanding what is important to them. From there, it’s about introducing them to best practices in both UX and technology. Last but not least, implement and deliver a great website.

And the more you work with nonprofits, the better you get at understanding the finer details. We hope this guide helps you on your journey!

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