non-profit website

The heart of non-profit website design is bigger than design

When you’re building a non-profit website there are a number of factors that you should be considering. Whether it’s platforms, designers, photographers, and writers or whether you should be using a local company versus a national one, there’s lots to consider. But regardless of what you chose the success or failure of a non-profit website hinges on four elements. Just like nature they must work together in harmony to grow your non-profit and increase memberships and donations.

Element 1: The Story

Every non-profit has a story to tell. Whether it’s helping the local community or the environment you have a reason to do what you do. But, as there are so many non-profits out there all telling their story you need to let your visitor know why you do what you do in the same way you’d tell them what you do.

This is the basic principal of content creation. When you’re developing a website the content you put on the page is not only for the search engines to help you be found, but it’s also for the reader to know why you do what you do and why they should give you their money, volunteer, or believe in your cause. Whatever you’re trying to get across to your visitor make sure that you’re telling your story and why you’re different.

Element 2: The Imagery

There’s an analogy about pictures and a number of words, I’m guessing you’ve heard it before. On a website, this is especially important. The images of your work and the people or ideas that you serve help visitors know whether or not your non-profit is worth investing in. Making the investment into a photographer will help you sell your ideas to your visitors and it will take any website design to the next level.

When you’re looking at websites that you like as inspiration to for your website designer, the reason most people like a specific design is based on the impactful imagery that’s on the homepage. Good photographers are all over your community, hiring one to capture your non-profit’s work will be worth the investment.

Element 3: The Videos

If pictures are worth a thousand words, videos are worth a million. An impactful video will increase your time on page (an SEO factor) but it will also engage your visitor to take action. When they see in motion what you do and how you help your cause they will be more likely to engage with your non-profit. If you’ve ever visited a website, are you more likely to read the full article or to watch the video? Most people will watch the video, especially if it’s entertaining or informative.

Like photographers most communities have freelance videographers, and a lot of photographers also do video work. So spending the time and capital to build a small library of high quality impactful videos will help you reach your goals.

Element 4: The Donation

The other three elements are about the esthetics of a website. They’re the fun part about Michigan web design. The donation button, and the navigation around it isn’t quite as fun but it’s really the most important thing about any website. Your website developer should make your navigation simple for both desktop and mobile users.

More than 50% of internet traffic happens on a mobile device so just having a website that’s easy to donate or become a member on a desktop isn’t as useful as it once was. You should be able to take your payments on your website. This gives the user comfort that this website is trustworthy and the non-profit organization is investing their resources in making their life easier too.

In the end, what is it about your favorite websites, or the websites that inspire you? If it’s photos and videos, the rich content and stories, or the ease of use, make sure as you’re investing time and money into redesigning your non-profit website into those things. Because chances are if they are inspiring to you, then they’re inspiring others. And who doesn’t want to build an inspiring website?

If you want more information on how Build/Create can help you build an inspiring website feel free to reach out to us.

Published 06/01/16 by Eric Lynch