How to Use Your Nonprofit Website to Attract Donors - dummies

How to Use Your Nonprofit Website to Attract Donors

By Stan Hutton, Frances Phillips

A website can never replicate a face-to-face encounter with another person, but if you design your nonprofit organization’s site to grab and hold a visitor’s attention, you can succeed at attracting donors. Strategies may include:

  • Short profiles of clients, donors, volunteers, and staff members

  • Strong visual features — graphic-design elements, photographs, and short videos

  • Behind-the-scenes tours of the organization’s activities

  • PDFs of studies your nonprofit has conducted or curricula it has developed and links to information and resources about the field in which your agency works

  • Invitations to readers to provide contact information — and promises of specific, enticing rewards if they do so

  • Blogs and chat rooms on subjects related to your work

  • A clear and easy-to-use donation feature for making contributions and information about how donations will be used to make a difference

The longer a website keeps visitors involved, the likelier it is to build their trust and interest.

Most websites include a “contact us” page. Make sure this option is user friendly and that someone on your staff is responsible for replying to queries quickly and courteously. Include opportunities for readers of the website to sign up for your electronic newsletter or other publications and to leave a mailing address and/or telephone number.

You may build the most amazing website on the planet, but if readers aren’t finding it, it’s not fulfilling its role for your organization. One critical question is how to attract the notice of search engines.

Some agencies sit back and wait for a web spider to find their page; some submit their page to search engines one by one, which can be time consuming; and some hire a service to submit their information to the leading search engines.