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Websites for membership organizations face specific design goals that set them apart from other websites. Generally speaking, websites for membership organizations serve three purposes: to raise funds, attract new membership, and serve existing members. Not every organization does all of these, but most do some combination of them. This means that the web design should be focused around these goals.
Is your MO looking to raise funds through donations or dues? Either way, your community makes a more significant commitment to you than when they make other purchases. Donating to a cause or joining a specific organization forms a more intimate part of a person’s identity than other purchases. Because of this, they want more information and a deeper, more authentic brand experience.
Current members, on the other hand, are often in need of specific tools in order to make the most of your organization. They may need to be able to buy tickets, book space in your facility, or have a means of communicating to the rest of the group through a blog or forum.
The bottom line is that your website should inspire involvement from its users. You’re not just building an information hub or an online store. You’re creating an experience that your members, volunteers, and donors will interact with frequently. Depending on your specific organization, your members could be on your site on a daily basis.
With this in mind, you should think of your website as one of your primary tools for serving your community. This could mean investing in an app or plugin for your members to use. Or you could focus on a design which perfectly communicates your organization’s mission.
Either way, expect your website will get a lot of use from repeat visitors. Ensure that their experience inspires ongoing involvement in your community.