Clear Description of the Organization’s Purpose
Each non-profit organization exists for a certain purpose. Website visitors who are not familiar with the organization should be able to quickly get an idea of the purpose when visiting the site for the first time. Ideally the homepage alone will give visitors a basic idea of what the organization does, and then maybe a more detail description of the purpose is provided on a separate page.
Details of Those Who are Served by the Organization
In order to add a personal touch to the website, information should be shared about the people who are benefitting from the services provided by the organization. In some cases it may be cases where specific people are named or shown, and their stories are shared with the website visitors. In other cases it may be more general information about the audience served, sometimes using numbers and statistics to show the organization’s impact.
Photos can also be very powerful and moving, and help to show the impact of the organization. Many effective non-profit websites include photos of the people who are being helped by the organization, which adds a personal touch and makes it easier for website visitors to feel a connection and an impact.
Information on How to Get Involved
Almost every non-profit organization is highly dependent on the involvement of people and groups. This primarily includes volunteer work and financial donations. Volunteer opportunities should be clearly listed so anyone who is interested is able to get involved.
When it comes to financial involvement, most organizations now make it possible for visitors to donate online. Information should also be provided to inform potential donors how their financial gifts will be used. Some organizations provide details of different projects and allow donors to choose how they get involved (an example would be the many organizations that allow you to sponsor a specific child through that you select through their website).
For others, getting involved may mean receiving the benefits of the organization’s services. Details should be provided to explain who the organization helps, and if appropriate, contact information should be listed so people can apply for assistance.
History of the Organization
The story of the organization will also be important to some website visitors and potential donors. Most effective non-profit websites will include some sort of bio or history of how the organization came about, and any relevant accomplishments or stories of growth.
Details on Upcoming Events
Most organizations use events for fundraising, awareness, encouraging involvement, as well as for service. The organization’s website should list relevant details about upcoming events so that people can get involved in events that interest them.
Of course, the best websites are also well designed. Having a quality design includes the overall visual appeal and the user experience. Regardless of the industry, quality design is essential in order to maximize the impact of the website.
Email Newsletter Signup
Regardless of the type of work that the organization does, it is important to stay in contact with people who are involved and to keep them up-to-date. Many organizations that have been around for a long time are still spending huge amounts of money each year that could be greatly reduced with better use of email newsletters. The website should offer visitors the option of opting in to receive updates from the organization. In some cases it may be just a single newsletter, and in other cases there may need to be multiple mailing lists for various purposes.