6 Keys for Nonprofit Website Design, Part 1
[Editor's note: This is part 1 of a two-part series. Check back next week for part 2.]
Year after year, online giving grows both in the United States and worldwide, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Further, many offline donors spend a considerable amount of time online researching nonprofit organizations before they decide to give. So having a clean, professional website is vital for every fundraising professional.
"For a lot of small businesses, the website is somebody's first impression, and then they might go into the actual retail or store or get the product," says Ben Rugg, co-founder of website solution company Clover. "A lot of times with a nonprofit, unless there's events someone is going to, you're giving to them online and your entire interaction with them is their website and print media. So it's not just the first impression — it's your entire impression.
"It has as much importance as an actual brick-and-mortar store or headquarters looking good or looking legitimate," he adds. "The website is such an important facet now, and it's constantly becoming more and more important."
Below, Rugg and fellow Clover co-founder Jim Elliston share their keys to ensure your website gives donors and visitors the best possible online experience.
1. Clear messaging
Clear messaging is the No. 1 need, according to Elliston.
"We tell people to focus on what really makes them who they are and why you should care, why you should donate, why you should be part of the movement," he says. "One of the problems with so many websites from a design perspective is that there's so much clutter and so much happening that you're trying to figure out exactly what people do. You try to say too much and end up not saying anything at all."
"Part of it is just simplifying and making sure that your key message is what immediately comes across," Rugg adds.