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5 Key web strategies for non-profits

17-May-2017

By Mark Schiffer. Effective nonprofit websites build community engagement and raise awareness of the issues important to your organisation. It will also help motivate visitors and sponsors to support your cause.

Whether you’re a charity, NGO, association or some other form of non-profit organisation your site needs to be appealing to your target audience and engaging.

Understanding your target audience

Everything about your website from its architecture to its design structure and content must be based around reaching your target audience. What’s important to them? What motivates their decision making processes? Who are your key groups (ie sponsors, donors, members)?

How will they come to the site, why and what actions do you want them to take? Each of your audience groups has things they’ll want to accomplish on your website and those tasks will each have a defined path that people need to take in order to complete them. You want to provide every user with a positive experience.

Work with a web developer who will take the time to understand your organisation and the needs of your community. They should be able to work closely with you to create an exceptional user experience for visitors to your website.

Great Content for your audience

Keep it clear, concise and meaningful. Every bit of content should be geared towards your visitors needs while encouraging them to make the decisions you want them to make. Avoid industry jargon and acronyms. Keep it simple, but include descriptions for clarity and SEO improvement.

By content we don’t just mean words but graphics, photos, videos and even sound. Compelling images and videos can greatly support your message and engage your audience.

“Photography that uses eye contact will allow you to make a personal connection with your user. You’re a nonprofit, you know that personal connections, trust and emotional engagement are keys to fulfilling your mission!”, Kelley Jarrett, 10 Steps to a More Effective Nonprofit Website, NTEN: Non-profitTechnology Network.

Accessible

Ensure the site is accessible to as many people as possible. You want to eliminate barriers for people with disabilities. WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) help to ensure sites are correctly designed, developed and edited where all users have equal access to information and functions. WCAG was developed as part of W3C (World Wide Web Consortium).

When evaluating prospective web design companies make sure they fully understand the issues surrounding accessibility. Compliance to W3C is particularly important for charities, NGOs and other non-profits, ensuring everyone within their communities has equal access to information and online resources.

Be Responsive

More and more people are accessing the web via their mobile phones. Responsive websites are designed and developed to respond to the user's behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation.  Neglecting the experience of mobile phone users could be costly in terms of engagement and support for the issues that are vital to your organization.

Be Social

Social media is an important communications channel for many non-profit organisations. It allows them to interact with their communities and supporters. Surveys and feedback can greatly improve the level of insights you have of your audience Your website should easily integrate and promote your social media channels. This will encourage your network to grow and share your message to a broader audience.

The above recommendations are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building your non-profit website. Blick has years of experience of helping charities, NGOs, association and other non-profits in building successful and engaging websites. Contact Blick Creative for a quote for your non-profit website

 

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