A website is the foundation of a nonprofit’s online presence. A good design offers your nonprofit a more professional appearance and makes it easier for supporters to learn about and get involved with your organisation. Good design can help nonprofits maximise reach, increase donor acquisition and retention, and generate more revenue. As a result, this will put your nonprofit in a better position to engage donors and attract more funding.
So how can you update or improve your nonprofit’s website? This article discusses best practices to leverage your digital presence for online fundraising.
1. Keep site navigation as simple as possible.
Make donations easy with a simple navigation format that features a donation button prominently on your site. The main menu is the primary way that most people navigate a website. You can improve your site navigation by including important links in your footer and a sitemap with a list of all of your web pages.
Use sticky navigation if you want your readers to be able to donate easily. This means the navigation stays in one place and moves with the reader as you scroll. That way, when your readers scroll down and find a compelling customer testimonial, it will be much easier for them to take action.
2. Optimise your website for mobile devices.
Although this depends on your target audience, most users prefer to access websites on mobile devices rather than desktop or laptop computers. Hence, you must create your website with them in mind.
Optimising your nonprofit website for mobile is beneficial for both user experience and your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO). Search engines such as Google prefer sites that provide an excellent mobile user experience and will therefore rank your website higher than a site that is not mobile-friendly. A mobile-friendly website makes your content and donation pages accessible to more people, which increases your funds.
3. Have a visible call-to-action
No fundraising website is complete without a call to action (CTA). This is the “what now” of all of your planning, communicating, and rallying. An effective CTA is a defined, measurable action aimed at converting your audience into a donor.
Make sure a “Donate Now” button is visible and prominent on your website to improve your online donations. Most of your donors will likely look at your menu and the top corner of your website to find the donate button, so that would be the best place to put the button on your nonprofit website. Using contrasting colours is a good approach to draw attention to your donation button.
4. Integrate social media
Social media is a powerful way to grow and engage your online community while increasing support for your cause. According to the Global Trends in Giving Report, social media (25%) is one channel that motivates donors to give.
Your online fundraising website should be able to integrate with prominent social media sites such as Facebook, Tiktok, and Twitter. Through this, your fundraising website will seamlessly reach your extended network of supporters.
Social media integration can range from simple ‘like’ and ‘tweet’ buttons to more complex automated publishing and data analytics. This strategy allows you to reach different segments of your audience and reinforce your message repeatedly.
5. Use high-quality photos and videos
Have you recently updated your images or videos? What about the stories you posted on your website about completing your missions? Make sure you do both. These photos and videos add visual interest to your site and allow your organisation to tell its story. In fact, 57% of people who watch a nonprofit video proceed to donate.
Donors want to know that their money is making a difference, and they want to see its impact.
Highlight photos showing your group in action, such as images of volunteers at work or past events or activities. You can also showcase individuals who have benefited directly from your nonprofit’s work.
6. Prioritise website security
Nonprofits must take website security seriously and take proactive measures because cybercrime is rising. How can you tell whether your website is already secure? Take a look at your URL. If your URL begins with https:// and includes the padlock symbol, you’re already using a security certificate.
Donors value trust and security greatly when it comes to online fundraising. This is especially true if you are collecting online payments or user details.
7. Update your blog regularly
If your nonprofit website design contains a blog that posts mission-related content, you can leverage this content to drive online fundraising. Blogs are a great way to provide donors with educational information connected to your nonprofit’s mission, to provide news updates, or to highlight volunteers and beneficiaries. You can also post an event calendar when you have a lot of events coming up.
To have the most impact, ensure the funding request is relevant to the content. An even better nonprofit website design best practise is to include the source content in the donation form so that the donor can support the part of your mission they were just reading about.
8. Track donor interactions
If you want to know how donors interact with your nonprofit website pages, you can set up a Google Analytics 4 (GA4) property. This allows you to collect data to understand better how your supporters interact with your content and, eventually, your donation page.
Having access to this information can help you make future website improvements, identify the times and days when your supporters visit most frequently, and identify the best referral sources. You can read all about this feature and how to set it up on your nonprofit website via Google Resources.
Nonprofit best practices emphasise your website’s usability and ability to communicate a captivating story about your work. Implementing these strategies help your nonprofit increase online engagement and convert more website visitors into supporters.
But in reality, website design can be daunting, especially if you’re a nonprofit professional wanting to grow your online donations but don’t know where to begin.
With the right web developer, you can implement nonprofit web design best practises. This allows your organisation to build lasting relationships with supporters and drive your goals online.