It’s a fact that charities are in greater competition with each other for an ever dwindling pot of donations, supporters and volunteers so therefore a good charity website design is imperative for its continued success. Your website is the first port of call and therefore has to do a lot of heavy lifting to attract all the above. Like all things in life, there are fundamentals that if followed will give your non-profit that competitive edge as well as meeting your organisations’ goals.
Some of these fundamentals include making it very clear your charities mission, what it does, how it can be supported and the impact of that support and finally using images and text that resonate with the target audience your appealing to.
We live in a world of impatient browsers with the attention span of a goldfish, so it’s also clearly important to ensure that your website loading time is superfast. Many studies have shown that sites that have a load time of greater than three seconds suffer considerably higher drop-off rates.
For non-profit organisations a good site should inspire, inform and ultimately lead people to support your cause. It’s slightly different than a traditional business site, because you’re not selling a product or service. This means that you have to run and organise your website slightly differently to a traditional site.
Although no two charities are the same, there are some similar characteristics that all effective charity websites share.
Easy navigation, sign of a good charity website design
This is probably the same for websites no matter what domain or industry you’re in. A good and effective website should be user-friendly so that people will want to visit it. There’s no point in having a great looking website if people can’t navigate their way around. They won’t stick around to find out and you’re losing out on potential supporters before they’ve even started.
This means that when designing your site you need to keep in mind the people that will be using it. If it’s too technical then you need to make it simpler. You should also make sure that your site is optimised for mobile and tablets – as this is how most people visit websites these days.
With this in mind, you should also make sure that your site is optimised for your target audience. Although when running a non-profit you may think that more traffic is better, but you need to make sure that you’re targeting the right people.
Make sure that you have a clearly defined audience in mind when doing anything relating to the website. So make sure that all content are things that they would like to see, meets their needs and answers their questions. It’s tempting to appeal to as large an audience as possible, but specifying your audience will help you more in the long run.
Clear Calls to Action
Running a non-profit is all about calling your supporters to action. Whether that action is donating money, attending an event or volunteering for your cause – you want your followers to take action. An effective charity website design should explicitly state how people can support the cause.
Highlighting opportunities for visitors to the site to take action is the hallmark of every effective charity website. Whether that’s signing up to the newsletter, or sharing your posts or donating it’s important to make the call to action ‘button’ large and unambiguous.
Showing people how to engage in your cause is one thing, but if there are hundreds of complicated forms to fill out once they get there, they’ll likely turn away. From a supporter’s point of view, there’s nothing worse than getting to a call to action only to find that there are a load of confusing and overwhelming forms to fill out before you get anywhere. A well thought out charity website design will ensure that form filling is not a hindrance to sign up or support.
So keep your forms simple and easy to complete. Also bear in mind that most people don’t want to give all their personal details so try not to make the forms too personal or too inquisitive. Don’t ask for information that you aren’t going to use, just try and stick to the bare minimum. People will be much more likely to fill out these forms if they’re not bombarded with questions.
Most websites come with an analytics page, which shows how many people are visiting your site, what they’re looking at when they’re here and what they’re not looking at. It’s important to keep an eye on what’s working and what isn’t in order to keep your website functioning at maximum effectiveness.
Analytics will also show you whether people are taking up your calls to action. This way if they’re not you can decide to make a push for this, instead of focusing on other things. Keep an eye on your analytics page and make sure that your website is doing what it needs to be doing. For example, if people are visiting your site, but not visiting your call to action page then maybe you need to make it easier to find or more compelling.
In conclusion, there are many ways of increasing online support for your charity, campaign or cause. The place to start is by taking a hard and closer look at your website and to be creative is demonstrating your values, mission, who you want to target and how you want them to support you.
Want help in creating a charity website design that stands out from the competition? One that attracts more supporters, donors and volunteers then contact us today on 0208 090 2233/0794 9529 231 or complete our online form. Need help with your social media strategy in general? Our social media marketing staff with decades of experience is here to help. See some of our case studies for yourself then give us a call.