Knowledge5 Design Tips for Creating or Updating your Website

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website_updating.pngWhether you have a live website or are in the process of creating a new site or event, there is always opportunity to improve the look and feel of your site and broaden your exposure.

The first impression donors get when they visit your site is often the basis for how much involvement and support they are going to give to your organization. Here are a few tips on how you can optimize your site in hopes of capturing current and potential donor’s attention and growing your support base.

1. Make your website mobile friendly or mobile responsive. Giving users the opportunity to participate and donate on the go will certainly help you reach your goals. Having a mobile friendly site will broaden your network of constituents, not limiting yourself to those who might access your site from a desktop. If a mobile friendly site is not an option, consider building a minimal website with as few photos, videos, and lengthy text paragraphs so that when visited on a mobile device, can still be navigated through with ease.

2. Keep the most important thing, the most important thing. Create easy to find and easy to navigate through calls to action. If a potential donor has to search for the donate button or has countless fields to fill out, you will likely lose their focus and with that, their donation. Keep the button or link to “Donate Now” front and centre, at the top of the page, perhaps repeated through the page if there is a lot of text, and static on all pages of possible. When designing a donation form, aside from the mandatory ones, keep additional fields to a minimum. Capturing just the necessities and not taking up much of their time will leave the donor with the impression that your organization is organized and easy to work with.

3. Never under estimate the power of social media. Not only does embedding any and all social media feeds into your website highlight your online presence and activity, but also gives visitors to your site a quick and easy way to instantly connect their network to yours. This is also why including social media sharing options is a great way to grow your exposure. Providing a donor or participant has an easy and instant way to thank a donor, emphasize their fundraising progress, or send out a call to action for donations or participation, will not only boost personal and event donation, getting you one step closer to reaching your goal, but will certainly grow your social media network and brand.

4. Focus on quality over quantity. While it can be easy to upload an entire album of photos from a previous event, an infographic downloaded from the internet, or a simple YouTube embed, there are a few things to consider that will significantly improve the way you capture a donors attention. Instead of uploading 10-20 photos, narrow it down to 2-3 that best capture your non-profits brand, mission statement, and what your events look like. Try to find high quality, vibrant and clear photos that draw a visitor further into your site and organization. If creating infographics and logos, try to maintain consistency to your branding and the message of the campaign or of the organization. Avoid downloaded stock graphics that can look pixely and might not be relevant. A YouTube video can be a great addition to any website and are easily embedded. If using a video that your organization created and hosts on their account, be sure to adjust the thumbnail image that will be the static image for the video before play is clicked. Find a point in the video where there is a flattering photo or frame that best describes the video about to be seen.

5. Update content often. Whether you create a “share your stories” page or allow for comments, showing how donors and participants are engaged in your organization keeps your page and campaign relevant and shows how active it is, enticing others to want to get involved as well. Updating your site with information about new events, accomplishments, non-profit news will highlight your involvement in the non-profit community and how active you are in the industry.
While these are just a few tips to get you started or inspiration for a site refresh, what remains most affective is that you are true to your organizations beliefs, mission statement and community. These tips and tricks are simple, and not time consuming, ways to enhance the impact non-profit organization websites have in our community and all they give back to society.
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