A Guide to Setting Your Nonprofit's Website Goals
Your website is the foundation of your nonprofit’s digital presence. From attracting new supporters to your website to strengthening relationships with existing supporters, your site can function as a powerful tool to engage your audience and deepen their involvement in your organization. However, first you need to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) goals to create a roadmap for success.
The SMART goal framework can help your nonprofit hone its web strategy to set reasonable, yet ambitious goals to create a clear path forward. With SMART goals in your toolkit, you can transform vague goals, like “we want to reach more people with our site” into actionable ones with defined metrics.
In this guide, I’ll cover how your organization can apply the SMART framework to your web strategy to turn your website into an all-in-one marketing, donor stewardship and fundraising tool. Let’s break down each element of SMART goal setting.
The more detailed your website’s goals are, the more prepared your organization will be to achieve them. For example, let’s say your nonprofit struggles with converting site visitors into donors when they land on your donation page. You might make the following specific goal:
Our nonprofit will update our donation page with our branding guidelines and use more direct language in our emotional appeal to give in order to increase donation form conversions.
This goal lets your team know exactly what you want to achieve and how you’ll achieve it, rather than creating a vague goal that you simply want to increase the number of donations. You can also identify the team members who will be in charge of rolling out this goal to foster greater accountability across your team.
To make your goal actionable, you’ll need to identify relevant metrics to track and measure your progress. Continuing with the SMART goal example of strengthening your online donation page, you’ll want to measure your donation page’s conversion rate.
Conversion rate refers to the number of supporters who visit your donation page and submit a donation. For example, if 100 site visitors land on your giving page and only 20 give, your conversion rate is 20%.
Once you know which key performance indicator (KPI) you’ll track, you’ll need to set a measurable goal. For instance, you might want to increase your donor conversion rate by 10%. Set a specific incremental increase that challenges your team, but makes sense based on your past performance.
If your goal seems unattainable, you risk overwhelming your team and slowing your overall progress. It’s critical that you set a goal that is appropriate for your nonprofit’s current state. To determine whether an increase in your donor conversion rate by 10% is reasonable, reflect on your current website metrics with the help of your content management system.
Let’s say that you determine that your conversion rate increased by 5% when you last updated your donation page’s design to be more user-friendly. You could then say that a 10% boost in our conversion rate seems attainable because we’ll be making more involved changes designed to inspire giving.
By setting a realistic goal for your nonprofit, you’ll be more likely to hit your target and keep your team motivated.
Your goal should not only be achievable, but relevant to your nonprofit’s mission and overarching goals. Set website goals that further your priorities and bring you closer to making your vision for the future a reality. Remember, your website can be a powerful tool to build a loyal donor base and drive meaningful fundraising results. You just need to wield it effectively to promote your organization’s growth over time.
Continuing with our earlier example, a higher donor conversion rate is relevant to your mission for a number of reasons:
- Leads to more revenue to power your programs, events and services.
- Indicates that more donors are passionate about your mission and eager to give.
- Allows you to collect donor contact information so you can lead stewardship activities and build stronger relationships, leading to a sustainable donation pipeline.
Think through whether your website goal is relevant and meaningful to your organization with the help of multiple stakeholders, including your board members, volunteers and staff, and even major donors. This will ensure that your goals align with your priorities and can help take your nonprofit to the next level.
Every goal needs an established time frame to fuel progress. By laying out when you hope to achieve your goal, you’ll be able to better rally your team around your objective and inspire action. Your organization should not only set when you want to hit your goal, but also identify milestones along the way to ensure you’re on track.
For instance, your team might want to meet its conversion rate goal by the end of this quarter. You could set a bimonthly or monthly goal that breaks your larger goal into smaller parts to ensure you’re making progress. When you reach these time periods and assess the relevant metrics, you can determine whether your nonprofit needs to adjust its strategies to increase your chances of success.
The SMART goal framework can help your organization strengthen its digital presence and attract more supporters. From optimizing your donation page to making your homepage more responsive, incorporating this goal-setting process into your operations will empower your team to meet meaningful goals faster.
The preceding blog was provided by an individual unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO.