5 Reasons Nonprofits Need Good Websites
Though web design isn’t often on the top of a nonprofit’s to-do list, a strong website is one of the most important assets any organization can have. Readily available information, intuitive design, powerful storytelling, and prominent calls to action can help nonprofits achieve their goals more than you might think. Read on to find out exactly why nonprofits need good websites, and for some examples of organizations that are already doing a great job.
1) Websites are where most people go to learn about an organization, so a strong website will communicate everything someone should know about your organization. Your website should be the center of your brand. Everything your organization does and believes in should be reflected in the content of your website. Your mission should come across clearly on every page, so that visitors can gain a strong understanding of who you are and what you do.
Conservation International’s homepage outlines every project they are involved in by separating topic, location, and project type. This makes it easy to see everything they are involved in right away:
2) A bad or outdated website could hurt you. If people decide to donate or engage with your organization online and they see that you have a very outdated website that does not reflect any recent work or accomplishments, they may come to the conclusion that there is nothing going on. This could turn away potential contributors and create a reputation that your nonprofit is not successful. Creating a space that shows good things are happening with your organization boosts engagement with your public and makes people want to get involved.
Equality Michigan has a News & Events section that they frequently update with progress updates or important news. This way, readers can follow along with the issues they support:
3) Being able to direct people to your website will make it easier for you to share information and to improve the visibility of your organization. A good website that you’re proud to share with others adds value to your organization. Having a place that you can link to in every newsletter, email, and social media post that people can go to learn more about your work is an important way to spread awareness for your cause. And the opposite is also true: having an outdated, hard to navigate website can make your organization seem less legitimate, and make people more wary to interact with you online or in person.
All Worthy of Love has a strong homepage that gives an overview of the organization and its goals and offers ways for viewers to engage. This ensures that when the website link is clicked on, viewers are seeing what your organization is all about and how they can help from the second they arrive on your page:
4) A strong website is visually pleasing in order to give a positive impression of your organization. Utilizing website design to create an interesting and informative website will draw visitors to your mission. Design elements allow you to create a look and feel that engages your visitors in a strategic way. A great design will tell an organization’s story and draw people to your cause.
The World Wildlife Fund uses striking images to accompany each piece of news they publish on their website to draw readers’ attention.
5) Having a functional website gives visitors the ability to interact with your organization directly. A confusing or poorly constructed website will frustrate viewers and cause them to minimally engage with your organization. Implementing ways for visitors to donate, view an event calendar, register for an event, and volunteer all within one website makes it easier for you to connect with your audience (and for your audience to connect with you!) and increase support on many different levels.
Solarize Michigan has many different ways that viewers can engage directly on their home page. There are multiple places for people to sign up, learn more, ask a question, and view upcoming events.
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Erin Merlo is CMG’s Communication Associate. Erin will graduate from Michigan State University in the spring with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Comparative Cultures and Politics and English and a minor in Public Relations. She is passionate about using words to change the world. Erin is an avid reader, dog lover and Pinterest enthusiast.