Custom Website Design and re Design, Custom Website Development, Social Media Networking, B2B Networking, Search Engine Optimizations and Online Marketing.
|Nonprofit Website Best Practices|
|Web Development and Web Technology|
|Written by Nikolay Gul|
Nonprofit Website Best Practices.
Before start building Web site for not for profit webstie you need to ask questins like: Who is your audience?
Are the visitors to your Web site in search of information, entertainment, involvement or are they there to make a purchase or donation?
Tell a Story
1. Make Your Site Donor-Friendly
Donations are a necessary thing for every non profit organization out there. Your website can be a great place to solicit donations, especially from new donors. It can also make it easier for recurring donors to make additional donations. In either case, you want it to be a simple and straight-forward process for people to give you money.
2. Make Your Site Media-Friendly
Getting media attention can have a huge impact on a non profit organization. Whether the media attention brings in more donations directly or simply raises the profile of the organization, getting attention from journalists, bloggers, and anyone else with an audience is important.
3. Make Your Site Volunteer-Friendly
Make it easy for visitors to your site to find information on how they can get involved. There are plenty of people out there who might not have the money to make a donation but are still passionate about what your organization is doing.
Whether you provide detailed information about volunteering directly, steps people can take on their own, or just contact information for your volunteer organizer, make sure you don’t overlook this crucial bit of information.
4. Make Sure Your Organization’s Purpose is Immediately Apparent
How many times have you gone to a website and not had a clue what the site was about? This happens all too often. Designers and clients often take for granted what visitors to their site will already know about their organization.
But considering how much information is pushed in bite-size pieces on sites like Twitter and Facebook, there’s no telling how much or how little visitors will know. With some organizations it’s easy enough to figure out what the organization is about just by its name, but for others it’s not so easy.
5. Make Sure Your Content Takes Center Stage
Design on any site should be transparent, and especially so on non profit sites. That’s not to say your site can’t have an interesting design, just that the design should revolve around your content and your mission, not the other way around. Take into account the types of information you’ll be providing on the site and the formats that will be used.
6. Make Sure Your Website is Consistent with Your Other Promotional Materials
Your logo should use the same logo and colors as your other promotional materials. Maintaining a consistent brand throughout your organization greatly increases your chances of being recognized in passing. Your website doesn’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) match your print promotional materials exactly, but echoing the look and feel of those materials increases brand identity.
7. Know Your Site’s Purpose Up Front
The leaders of your organization (or whoever is in charge of the organization’s website) should make a list of what the goals for the site are before starting the design process. Is the site primarily to allow existing members to stay updated? Is it to solicit donations? Is it to get new volunteers or members? Is it to raise awareness in general?
8. Include a News Section or Blog
Including a blog or news section has a couple of big advantages for non profit sites. First, it gives people a reason to come back to your site. If you offer news about your organization and your cause, people who are interested in either will come back on a regular basis (or subscribe via RSS). This keeps your site visible and makes it more likely they’ll become more involved in the future (or stay involved if they are already).
Second, blogs and news sites are often quoted by other blogs and news sites. This increases the exposure for your site and will likely bring you more traffic.
Third, constantly-updated content increases your search engine visibility. This makes it easier for people actively looking for information related to your organization to find your site.
Social Media Case Studies
Sometimes, the best way to understand the potential of social media and Web. 2.0 is by seeing how other nonprofits and foundations have used them.
I’ve collected some examples here to inspire you. I’ll keep adding to this list as I find other good examples. If you have an organization you’d like me to include, please leave a comment here.
Women’s Foundation of California: YouTube, Facebook, MySpace
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: YouTube, Twitter, 2 blogs
Knight Foundation: Facebook, Twitter, flickr, video, vlogs
MacArthur Foundation: Second Life
The Daniels Fund: Facebook
The Case Foundation: Facebook, email, Web sites
Lumina Foundation: Camino a la Universidad
Goodwill, Washington D.C.: Blog, online store through EBAY and online auction
American Red Cross: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, flickr, blogs
National Wildlife Federation: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, flickr
The Humane Society: MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, flickr
Meals on Wheels: Blogs, YouTube, Twitter
Amnesty International: Coordinated social media campaign
Wittenberg University: Witt Nation publicity campaign, YouTube, Twitter, Ning
Spring Arbor University: Branding/recruitment, a Web site for student and faculty bloggers to talk about life on campus
Rhode Island School of Design: President John Maeda is an exceptional Tweeter.
Brooklyn Museum: Crowd-curated exhibition
Indianapolis Msueum of Art: YouTube, iTunes, flickr, blog
Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center: MySpace
Witness: Video and other online technologies
Save Darfur Coalition: Facebook. Twitter, blogs
Charity: Water: Twitter (2009 Twestival)
Save the Arts in Ottawa: YouTube
e-Democracy.org: Neighborhood online forums
Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership: Wiki for conference planning
Alzheimer Society of Ontario: Wiki to replace one-way intranet