Bringing your non-profit organization to the Internet with a dynamic web site can increase cause awareness, give volunteers and administrators easy access to scheduling, and provide a fantastic option for donations. As a one-stop platform for information, donations, and event/volunteer coordination, amongst other advantages, a non-profit website will put its organization on the cutting edge. So what makes an effective non-profit website?
First of all, the design should be straightforward. As Smashing Magazine writer Cameron Chapman notes, the ultimate goal of the site will be to increase donations, in order for the non-profit to thrive. Making the donation process online “donor friendly…and as painless as possible,” involves simple navigation to the donating page. Don’t force anyone to sign up for an account. Forgo user surveys, or filling out multiple pages of personal information. Nothing other than the basic credit card/PayPal account details needed for the transaction should be used.
Make the cause of the organization immediately apparent. From the homepage, visitors should have an up-to-date summation of the charity and its goals. Keeping this homepage content simple, engaging, and fresh, is the easiest task for maintaining a non-profit site. Globe and Mail tech writer Rasha Mourtada suggests “taking stock of what you have on your site at least every two or three months”.
The potential for a non-profit website to offer centralized administration for volunteers should be taken advantage of! By allowing visitors easy access to volunteer sign-up, your non-profit could experience a surge in positive participation and cause awareness. As a holding for volunteer submittals, communications, and access for returning volunteers to view their schedules, the website could make event and activity coordination much more efficient than the telephone and corkboard. Committing a page in the design or a back-end hub to organizing the foundation itself will increase the functionality of the website.
Finally, your non-profit website design should be driven by its mission. The colours, fonts, media plug-ins like YouTube clips or photo galleries should reflect the goals of the organization. The design will be impressive if the content is as well. Choosing a style that coordinates with your non-profits already-established colours, themes, and logos shows consistency and professionalism.
Choosing the right web company to make your non-profit web design possible plays a major role in creating an effective online presence. Check out Navigator Multimedia’s diverse profile of non-profit web projects, including kghfoundation.com and h2okelowna.com. We might be the right fit for your organization!
Chapman, Cameron. “Non-Profit Web Design: Examples and Best Practices.” http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/05/14/non-profit-website-design-examples-and-best-practices/ Smashing Magazine, 14 May 2009.
Mourtada, Rasha. “Seven deadly sins of Web design.” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/digital/biz-categories-technology/seven-deadly-sins-of-web-design/article2087486/page2/ The Globe & Mail, 7 July 2011.
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