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Five Things I Wish For Nonprofit Websites

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1. Works On My Device

More people are visiting websites using a wide variety of screen sizes - desktop, tablet and smartphone so responsive web design is more important than ever. With the increase of mobile use, text-heavy and complex sites are falling out of favor. If your website is due for an overhaul, this is a good reason to do it now. 

 

Doing it right: Heifer International

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2. Is Professionally Designed

I admit that I am especially sensitive to this one because my early career was in graphic design but I can tell instantly when a site was not done by a professional. And when I see that, the message I get is that the organization isn’t willing to invest in one of their most important communications channels. 

Knowing a few Photoshop® tricks does not a designer make. Pony up for a professional site designer, graphic designer, and photographer - they’ll make sure you don’t end up with the visual equivalent of wearing socks with sandals.

 

Doing it right: Acumen Fund

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3. Has Current Information

Was your last blog post two years ago? Is your board list from 2010? Still asking people to buy tickets for your special event from six months ago? Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?

With today’s content management systems (CMS) there’s no reason for a website to have out-of-date information. If you don’t have a CMS that makes it easy for you to edit web pages, then I strongly recommend that you look into getting one. There are several free, open-source options (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!) that would make it worth paying someone to set it up for you. Imagine being able to change your site content on the fly without having to know code. The future is now!

 

Doing it right: Electronic Frontier Foundation

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4. Tells Me Who You Are

Please list staff and board members. Bios are nice, too. When I consider a donation for a nonprofit, I want to know the people behind the organization. Give me a reason to have faith in your competent leadership! I’ll also want to see your most recent audit and 990 form. I love it when they are easy to find on a nonprofit’s website. You’ll get points for not making me jump through hoops (because I probably won’t).

 

Doing it right: Fractured Atlas

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5. Engaging Content

The days of static, brochure-type websites that only got updated every few years are OVER! If I care about an organization, I want to see updates, news, and stories. What kind of content can you post on your site? Can you share interesting or inspiring images or video from your beneficiaries?

And once you tell me what’s so great about your organization, what should I do next? Every story should be followed up with a call to action. Not only will I be much more likely to do what you ask, but I’ll also share it with my friends (if you make it easy with social media buttons).

 

Doing it right: Global Oneness Project

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For me, fundraising and communications go together like peanut butter and jelly – delicious & filling!

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