10 Steps to a More Effective Nonprofit Website: Part 4

Submitted on Tue, 7/17/2012 - 2:17pm
Websites are tools used to engage, interact with and mobilize your audience – and ultimately, inspire action. Here are tips 8, 9 & 10 on how to make your website more effective.

Creating an effective nonprofit website isn’t easy.

Like most things in life worth doing, creating great websites takes effort, persistence and some know-how. We can’t help you with the effort and persistence, but we can definitely give you a little web design know-how.

If you missed the first 3 posts in the series, check out Part One (tip 1 & 2), Part Two (tip 3 & 4) and Part Three (tip 5, 6 & 7) to catch up!

On to the last three tips for creating an effective nonprofit website.

8) Keep Content Fresh

Users have short attention spans. Great web design understands this.

If you're not updating your website regularly, they will assume you A) don't have anything new to say or B) aren't putting time and energy into communication. These are actually best case scenarios – worse is if they simply leave and never come back, which is the biggest risk of stale content!

Remember, content is KING and creating an effective nonprofit website takes a lot of it!

Try these easy steps to showing your timeliness:

  • Utilize automatic feeds
  • Add dates to content posted to the homepage
  • Gather user-generated content via blogs, forums or posts and let your audience help keep content fresh!

9) Be Social

"Integrating the social experience into your organization's web site will help promote the channel, engage supporters, and provide a constant source of dynamic content …"- Melanie Mathos and Chad Norman "101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide."

Nonprofits going Social

The world of social media is changing. It's not enough to have a Facebook page or a Twitter account. The real power of social media is in harnessing its viral capabilities as an integrated channel with reach beyond the limits of your database and lists.

Make sure your web design is action packed with social capabilities.

  • Incorporate social sharing on your site via AddThis or ShareThis. It will contribute to website traffic and brand exposure
  • Tweet, blog and post. Often. Make it a priority.
  • Use the Facebook and twitter widgets to pull social posts to your website for fresh content and relevant, engaging activity.

10) Provide a Personal Touch with Multimedia

Your users' preference for consuming content varies, just as their browsing and navigation styles do.

Nonprofits Using Multimedia

  • Allow users to consume information in multiple ways – video, imagery, text, interactivity and audio.
  • Invest in interactive design elements like virtual tours or maps – it helps bring a personal touch to your users, even through the web.

Thanks for reading the series! I hope you took away at least one useful tip to make your nonprofit's website more engaging and impactful. Please comment with stories, ideas or examples – we'd all love to hear them!

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In 2003, Kelley joined Blackbaud to specialize in the online needs, strategies and goals of nonprofit organizations. She has served as an Account Manager, Solutions Consultant and Internet Principal Consultant, providing strategy and expertise to nonprofits around marketing, design and website best practices. Most recently, Kelley returned to her agency roots to help build and launch Blackbaud's new creative design agency, Guide Creative, a full service design agency serving nonprofits exclusively in branding, strategy, web design and online marketing, analysis and success measurement.

This article was orginially published at http://www.netwitsthinktank.com/web-design-and-branding/more-effective-nonprofit-websites.htm and is reprinted with permission.