Spiffing Up the Window to Your Nonprofit
When I turned 16, I was hired to work at a small department store. Once a month, the boredom of folding towels and putting price stickers on knickknacks was suspended while I helped the store owner "dress" the window. We featured our newest merchandise, sale items and other things that (we hoped) would get the passerby to stop, look, and come in and shop.
In today's marketplace, your website is often the "window" into your nonprofit. Regular donors check it out to see what's new and exciting, and potential "customers" use it as a means of determining if they are interested enough to engage with you.
So why are so many websites still so inadequate for the job?
There have been a plethora of articles lately about nonprofit websites. A recent online fundraising scorecard showed some deficiencies. I suspect more than one nonprofit fundraiser woke up this morning and felt some guilt about the sorry state of his or her nonprofit's website. But let's be honest — a lot of fundraisers are juggling so many balls that unless something is on fire, it's going to be ignored. And too often, websites just chug along in the background, not living up to their expectations but also not erupting into a fiery disaster.
So take heart — this is not another article chiding you for not having a perfect website. Rather, it's a two-step plan for those of you who work in a small to midsized shop without a dedicated website team, designed to help you upgrade your website without sacrificing sleep or critical work that keeps your nonprofit afloat. (The rest of you fortunate enough to have someone else to worry about the website can move on to the next article.)
First, do less well. Blaspheme! After all, your website needs to say and do everything that everyone thinks it should say and do. The list of what "should" be on the website is slightly longer than the IRS tax code.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.