Approximately 97-99% of unique visitors come from advertising or search results, not for shopping, but to simply get acquainted with the information on the site. This is the so-called phase of “market research” when it is completely unknown when, where and why the buyer decides to stay on this resource. Will the reader stop on your website/landing page? Or will he jump to your competitor’s website? This is what you encounter when you create a website for your business.
Philanthropic Internet resources are no exception: like commercial sites, they are fighting for people’s attention and, ultimately, for the conversion into donations.
What should be considered when creating a website for a non-profit organization?
Already at the initial stage of designing a site, you should consider these important issues so that everything looks harmonious and effective in the end.
The mission, in fact, is the answer to several simple questions: What do we want to achieve? Why is it important? What are we doing for this? The apparent simplicity does not negate the fundamental importance of these questions for the entire project and the site in particular. The formulated answers are the criteria by which we will evaluate everything in the future, including design alternatives, and make decisions. For example, if you look at the best church website design examples, you will see that on the cover of almost every religious organization site there is a clear mission: to unite the believers.
2. Who is your audience
If the message is unaddressed, it will never reach the goal. Therefore, it is necessary to determine clearly whom we refer to in the first place. The audience of any non-commercial project is heterogeneous by definition. At a minimum, the following main groups can be distinguished (adjusted for the specifics of the project):
- People who need support, who will be assisted during the project;
- People supporting the project in any form;
- Volunteers directly involved in the project;
- People distributing information about the project on social media;
- Representatives of government agencies, public associations, your colleagues from other organizations.
3. How do others do it?
Any charity project is not implemented in a vacuum and its website is not the only one in the network. On the one hand, the project will have to compete with other resources for the visitors’ attention, on the other, it has to adhere to well-established conventions and stereotypes in order to be intuitive and convenient.
You don’t need to be an expert in user interfaces to visit the sites of other charitable organizations and projects, saving links or screenshots in the like and dislike lists.
What else is worth considering when creating a site?
1. The accordance of the website ideas and the presentation
You should not try to present yourself with what you are – nothing but disappointment and deceived expectations will lead to it. Whether you are a small group of enthusiasts or an international charitable foundation, it’s best to talk openly and simply about yourself. Do not hide from your visitors (and future like-minded people) behind common phrases and long declarations.
2. The way you speak
Guided by the information received earlier, we must choose the “right tone” when creating all the text materials on the site: from the description of our project to the names of menu items, from the headlines of the latest news to appeals. We must speak in a language understood by our audience, on the one hand, and on the other, express our peculiarity and our position in the area where the project is being implemented.
3. Real stories
One of the best ways to convey an idea to people is a practical example. Telling real stories, presenting the results achieved (even if they are not significant yet), we enable people who help us to feel part of a real case. Every day we make this world a little better – let others know about it.
A good non-profit organization site has the following characteristics:
- The presence of a visual hierarchy – the more important (from the point of view of our mission, formulated at the very beginning) elements can be emphasized due to their size and location.
- The ease of visual scanning – the elements on each page is grouped into recognizable blocks, between which it is easy to move the view, and the number of such blocks is optimal so that the page does not look overloaded.
- Opportunity to choose – since the audience of the site is heterogeneous, it is necessary to provide the opportunity to select and search for various types of information, depending on the tasks and interests of the visitor.
Creating a website for a non-profit organization, remember that you do this primarily for people who want to join a good cause, but don’t know yet how to do it. Show them the way.