Mark Morris Dance Group
Quotes praising the organization from notable publications like The New Yorker and The Boston Globe reassure donors that they’re supporting something worthwhile. However, this section also feels very print-oriented. For example, rather than telling me about the DVD I can purchase, why not show me a clip of it online?
One big form-over-function faux pas this site makes, from a fundraiser’s perspective, is burying the list-generating and online-giving tools too far below the fold. The Mailing List and Donate Now buttons on the homepage reside in the very bottom, right-hand corner — the area eye-scanning studies have shown gets the least attention from visitors. Why not move them up? I suggest these critical buttons reside on the top of every page so MMDG can maximize all opportunities to convert its Web site visitors to e-mail list subscribers and/or donors. (For a good example of this, check out the Buy Tickets button on the New York City Ballet’s Web site.)
There are a few other opportunities this organization has to use its Web site to increase donors’ confidence and likelihood to give. New subscribers to the e-mail list receive a welcome message in their inboxes which tells them more about the organization and invites them to click on a link to celebrate the group’s 25th anniversary. However, I got a “page not found” error when I clicked on that link and then later read that the group’s 25th anniversary season was in 2006. Oops!
Overall, though, MMDG finds a nice balance between function and form on its site. The navigation is accessible to the novice Web user, and the design is sophisticated enough for the aficionado. Considering Mark Morris’ choreography, that seems perfectly appropriate. FS
Sarah Durham is founder/principal at New York-based consultancy Big Duck.