Here’s a question: Is your nonprofit proud of its website? Do you feel good about directing people to your homepage? How about marketing tasks like communicating and fundraising—does your website make them easier?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, odds are your website isn’t helping your organization and may even be working against your mission.

Your website should be one of your nonprofit’s most helpful marketing and administrative tools. If it’s not, you’re only selling yourself short. Investing in a site that’s everything it should be might be the farthest leap you make all year.

Still on the fence about whether your site is up to snuff? Let’s talk about things a great nonprofit website should do.


1. It should represent your org. in the right light.

Other than your social media pages, your website is usually the first place potential supporters or grantors will go to learn about you.​​ An outdated or messy site is one of the fastest ways to damage your org.’s credibility and send visitors packing. On the flip side, an appealing, well-designed site conveys your trustworthiness and reliability.
Meanwhile, engaging design elements—like eye-grabbing visuals or a compelling short video embedded on your homepage—are also great for grabbing people’s attention and sending them further down the funnel, like to your donations page or blog.


2. It should be easy to update.

Unless you’re a computer person or have one on staff, keeping an older site current by adding new visuals, creating pages, inserting text, etc., can be difficult without knowledge of coding or web design. If that’s not high on the list of things you have time for, you’d be better off with a modern site with easy drag-and-drop, point-and-click features. These sites do all the work on the front end so that whoever’s in charge of your website doesn’t need to be a tech expert—it’s all plug-and-play.

Plus, with a plug-and-play site, you’ll no longer need to worry about mobile optimization. Your pages and content will automatically look good on handheld devices. With over 80% of modern web traffic happening on smartphones and tablets, staying functional on a small screen could be just what your site needs for a boost in traffic and clicks beyond your homepage.

Read more about how the right content management system can save you time and money.


Read more. 


3. It should be secure and supported.

Data security is a concern for organizations and donors alike. It’s important to choose a web provider that takes security seriously and who’ll roll out periodic updates to ensure your website’s functionality stays current. But apart from support behind the scenes, live customer support for you and your staff from a helpful expert—in case any questions or problems arise—is a must-have. Need help adding a video to your homepage? Someone should be there to show you how. Plenty of so-called “free” website builders advertise DYI like it’s an advantage—until you realize that making updates is complicated and help is hard to come by. You may even end up paying for functions you thought were free, but in reality, simply weren’t explained well.


4. It should make everything easier.

Is your current site making your life easier in tangible ways? Well, it should be. Any nonprofit website worth its silicon should have built-in, fully integrated features—aka, not third-party plugins you have to pay extra for (although they should be compatible with the ones you already have should you choose to keep them). These features should streamline things for you and your supporters. Things like:

  • On-site donation processing with the ability to accept multiple payment types.
  • Built-in event management so you can track attendance, send reminders or even handle guest meal preferences with online event registration.
  • Email marketing tools with automation (for example, imagine creating an engaging welcome email that automatically sends to anyone who signs up for your mailing list).
  • Intuitive donor management tools so you can see who gave, how much, when, etc.—all from one dashboard.
  • A simple and clear marketing analytics dashboard with instant report generation so you can track the progress of campaigns, fundraisers and web engagement down to the click.
  • The ability to easily create customized, branded landing pages for separate campaigns and initiatives.
  • Cloud-based storage so anyone in your organization who needs access to data has it.

Nonprofit websites have evolved a lot over the past five-plus years, becoming much more capable and powerful. While they’ve always been essential from a marketing standpoint, today, websites are like an extension of your staff—yours should be one of your best team members.

Dive a little deeper in our downloadable eBook “6 Website Tools Your Nonprofit Can’t Live Without”.


Dive deeper


5. It should communicate your message and inspire action.

If you’ve managed to bring someone to your website, you’ve already done something right. But that’s only half the battle. If you want them to click around (no pun intended)—and even better, engage with your organization through a donation, mailing list subscription, event sign-up, etc.—you need to give them what they came for: Info about your mission.

The instant someone visits your website they should be hit with visual and storytelling elements that spark engagement and lead them down the funnel. Things like:

  • Clear calls to action (think well-placed buttons and an eye-leading layout)
  • Compelling (and high-resolution!) photos and imagery
  • A quick-hitting mission statement
  • Client testimonials or success stories
  • Videos
  • Blog post previews
  • Event descriptions
  • Etc.

These elements should be presented in a way that makes navigating your site easy and intuitive while directing people to pages you want them to see. The result? People will stay on your site longer, visit multiple pages and perform actions you want them to take.


The Gist

Your nonprofit’s website is more than just a digital business card; when it’s geared-up to work on your behalf, it’s a powerful tool with the potential to be one of your biggest supporters. Investing in an up-to-date site with modern design features and capabilities will make managing your org. and accomplishing your mission a whole lot easier. You’ll attract more web visitors whom you can convert to supporters; launch more capable and effective marketing campaigns and save time and resources so you can focus on what matters most—your mission.


Ready to see how powerful your website can be?

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