In today's hyper-connected digital world, more than 90 percent of all nonprofits, NGOs, and charities on the planet accept donations on their websites.
This statistic illustrates the importance of having an online presence. More specifically, it underlines the absolute necessity of building a dedicated, well-designed, and user-friendly nonprofit website.
This isn't just an option—it's a vital lifeline for generating support and facilitating engagement. But if you're just getting started or planning to revamp your current site, where do you begin?
To make things easier for you, we've written a guide. Keep reading if you'd like to find out more.
Essential Non-Profit Website Design Elements
Before you start to build your nonprofit website, you'll first need to understand what types of elements are most important to include.
If you don't understand what these elements are or how to add them to your site, it is essential to get help from a skilled web design company. Here are the elements that you cannot do without.
Expressing Your Community Value
Demonstrating your value to the community isn't just about showing what you've done. It's also about conveying what you can do moving forward.
Explain how your actions address community needs and how community support will enable further progress. This isn't just about self-promotion.
It's about illustrating the symbiotic relationship between your nonprofit and the regions you serve. This element can be strategically woven into your mission statement, about us page, and project descriptions.
The cornerstone of your nonprofit organization is your mission statement. It's the heart of your cause, the reason why you exist.
You need to present it clearly and prominently. The most impactful locations are the homepage and the about us section.
On your homepage, consider including a succinct, impactful version of your mission statement. You should design it to grab immediate attention.
On your about us page, you can delve deeper. This will provide a comprehensive overview of your mission, vision, and values.
Effective Call-to-Action (CTA) Button
A website's primary goal is to inspire visitors to take action. As a nonprofit, this often means attracting donations, rallying volunteers, or signing up supporters.
To do this, your website needs a persuasive and clear CTA button. Website builder services usually offer a variety of customization options for CTAs.
But remember, while it should be eye-catching, it shouldn't be overwhelming.
Choose a contrasting color that stands out. At the same time, it should still fit your overall color scheme.
Make sure the text is clear and concise. It should communicate exactly what visitors are being asked to do.
Contact Information and Relevant Links
Visitors to your site should be able to find your contact information quickly. Usually, this is located at the footer or the header of every page. You can also dedicate a specific "Contact Us" page for more detailed information.
Also, by making your social media icons noticeable on various pages, you will provide visitors with additional channels for communication.
Showcase Your Work and Projects
Transparency is key in the nonprofit world. Stakeholders want to see where their money or time is going and what impact they're making.
To this end, your nonprofit website builder should include sections. These sections should detail your work, ongoing projects, and services.
Use compelling visuals, engaging stories, and clear statistics to show your positive impact on the community.
Newsletter Sign-Up Form
A crucial element to include on your nonprofit website is a newsletter sign-up form. This fosters ongoing engagement. It also keeps supporters updated on your organization's work.
Position this form on several of your site's pages, perhaps as a pop-up or in the website's footer. Your goal should be to make sure that visitors can't miss it.
Keep the sign-up process simple. This should involve asking only for necessary information such as names and email addresses. If you ask users to provide too many details, they might feel overwhelmed.
A regularly updated list of upcoming events serves dual purposes. It keeps supporters informed about ways they can engage with your nonprofit. It also shows the active role your organization plays in the community.
This list can be showcased on a dedicated Events page. You can also integrate it into your nonprofit's homepage.
Use an easy-to-read format and provide enough details for interested parties to learn more. Don’t forget to include an option to add the event directly to the visitor's personal calendar.
This is a small convenience that can greatly increase participation.
Choose a Platform
Choosing a platform for your nonprofit website involves careful consideration of a few factors. You will need to consider ease of use, performance, price, and security.
As a nonprofit, you need a platform that is cost-effective, easy to manage, and most importantly, secure for your donors and supporters.
You have several options when it comes to selecting a platform. Major players include WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace. Each of these services has its unique advantages.
WordPress is known for its flexibility and extensive customization options. Squarespace shines with its polished, user-friendly design templates. Wix is praised for its easy drag-and-drop interface.
When selecting a platform, first consider ease of use. As a nonprofit, your focus should be on your mission, not website management.
Therefore, a platform that's user-friendly and doesn't require extensive technical knowledge can be a huge asset. This is where hiring a nonprofit website designer can also be beneficial.
Nonprofit web designers are experienced in these platforms and can assist you in setting up and maintaining your site.
Performance is another important factor. Your website should load quickly and run smoothly. Platforms like WordPress offer various plugins to enhance site performance and user experience.
You should never compromise security. Make sure the platform you choose complies with the latest security standards to protect your data and that of your donors.
Price plays a crucial role, too. Nonprofits must be careful stewards of their funds. Therefore, a cost-effective platform that delivers good value is essential.
Some platforms offer discounted rates or special packages for nonprofits, so keep an eye out for those.
One more thing: if you plan to include multimedia elements on your website like videos, consider outsourced video services. They can handle your multimedia needs professionally, freeing you to focus on your mission.
Create Your Layout
Designing the layout of your nonprofit website is a crucial step. It's about creating an experience for potential visitors.
First, think about the color palette. The colors you choose should reflect your organization's identity and mission.
For instance, a youth outreach nonprofit might go for bright, energetic colors, while recovery facilities may lean towards calm, soothing hues.
Color can evoke emotions and feelings, so choose a palette that aligns with your cause and connects with your audience. Always put yourself in the shoes of your potential visitors.
Ask yourself: Is the navigation intuitive? Are the important elements like the mission statement and call-to-action easy to find? Is the text easy to read?
A user-friendly layout enhances visitors’ experiences and encourages them to engage more with your site.
Looking at other effective nonprofit website examples is a good way to get inspiration for your own site. Don't just look at organizations similar to yours. Broaden your view.
What strategies are they using to engage their audience? How do they present their mission and projects? How do they tell their story?
Learning from these examples can provide valuable insights. And remember, you don't have to do it all alone.
Hiring a web design company can make the process much smoother. These professionals have the skills and experience to turn your vision into reality.
They can guide you through the process, making sure that your website is visually appealing, user-friendly, and effective in communicating your nonprofit's mission.
Design an Unforgettable Logo
Creating a logo for your nonprofit is like creating a visual identity that speaks volumes about your mission and values. There are easy ways to create a logo, such as using online logo design tools.
These platforms provide pre-made templates that you can customize with your colors, text, and images. The process is simple and user-friendly.
The downside is that you may end up with a logo that looks generic or similar to others, as these templates are widely available.
If you're aiming for an industry-leading professional logo design, you might want to get graphic design help. Hiring a professional graphic designer or agency ensures you get a unique, custom-made logo.
This could involve more time and cost, but the result is a carefully crafted logo that sets your nonprofit apart and resonates with your target audience.
Remember, your logo is a vital part of your brand identity—it's what people will remember when they think of your organization.
Whether you choose a DIY solution or a professional service, your logo will need to be clear, simple, and impactful, accurately reflecting your nonprofit's mission and vision.
Add the Right Content
Adding the right content to your nonprofit's website is essential. You need to balance text, images, and videos, using white space to ensure your site doesn't feel overcrowded or overwhelming.
White space is the unmarked space between different elements on your website. It helps to highlight and separate different parts, making your site easier to navigate and more visually pleasing.
When deciding on the type of content, consider your target audience and their preferences. Do they enjoy reading in-depth articles, or would they prefer listening to a podcast or watching a video?
Blogs are excellent for sharing detailed insights and stories, while podcasts and videos offer more dynamic and engaging content.
Improving Your SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means making your website more visible to people who are searching online for the services or information you offer.
A higher ranking in search results can significantly increase the number of visitors to your website. To boost your SEO, start by using relevant keywords.
These are words or phrases that people would use to find your nonprofit. Include them in your headings, content, and even image descriptions.
Next, focus on creating high-quality content. Search engines like Google favor websites that provide valuable and unique information.
Also, ensure your website is easy to navigate. If visitors can quickly find what they're looking for, they're more likely to stay longer, which can help improve your ranking.
Finally, consider linking to other reputable websites and seeking out opportunities for them to link back to you. This is known as "backlinking" and can enhance your website's credibility in the eyes of search engines.
Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Making your site mobile-friendly is a must in today's digital landscape, especially if you're focusing on marketing in Tennessee. A mobile-friendly site means that it looks and functions well on all devices.
To achieve this, you should ensure your website design is responsive. This means the layout and content automatically adapt to different screen sizes.
So, whether someone visits your website on a desktop or a mobile device, it will always display perfectly.
Also, consider the simplicity and speed of your website. On mobile devices, people prefer quick, easy-to-understand content. Make sure your text is legible, buttons are easy to click, and pages load quickly.
How to Build a Nonprofit Website
It is easier to build a nonprofit website than you might think. One of the easiest ways to do this is by choosing a user-friendly website platform such as Wix or Squarespace.
The downside of doing this is that your website will be less customizable and you will have to make sacrifices on quality and functionality.
This is why it is such a good idea to get help from a full-service website design and development company. That's where Cumberland Marketing comes in.
We can help you bridge the gap between what you want and what you are able to accomplish.
In order to help you in the best possible way, we'll take time to deeply understand your struggles and your long-term goals. Don't hesitate to contact us to get started today!