What should a non-profit website include? Answered By i4 Web Services
What should a non-profit website include? This is what we are discussing today – so get ready! First off, thank you for taking time to read this blog article and learn about what a good charity website needs to have.
The list of needs should include functionality, user experience, information, and other requirements requested by your board of directors and/or a government agency. We hope you enjoy reading this – so let’s get started.
First, we recommend creating an outline on paper of what you want and need for your stakeholders. Create a list of pages that represent these needs and/or wants. Review them with your marketing and/or your public relations committee. Listen to the feedback you receive from these individuals on the committee(s).
Here is a short list of pages to consider adding to your initial list:
- Home / Welcome Page
- About Us Page
- Board Page
- Professional Staff Page
- Annual Budget Page
- IRS 990 Filing Info Page
- Mission Statement & Organizational Ethos Page
- History Page
- Programs Page
- Youth Programs
- Adult Programs
- Senior Programs
- At-Risk Population Programs
- Outdoor Programs
- Services Pages
- Community Services
- Individual Based Services
- Counseling Services
- Educational Services
- Fundraising Pages
- Donate Now
- Fundraising Events
- Endowment & Major Gifts
- Capital Campaign
- Volunteering Pages
- Admin & Leadership
- Service Areas Pages
- Current Places You Serve
- Local Leadership To Contact
- Local Programs Offered
- Local Services Offered
- Local Calendar
- Future Places You Want Serve
- Current Places You Serve
- Contact Us Page
- Specialty Page
- Current Concerns to be address such as:
- a pandemic issue
- a natural disaster
- Current Concerns to be address such as:
- Blog Page
What should a non-profit website include? More Things To Consider.
Okay now that you have a basic idea of what you may want to consider for your non-profit organization’s website. It is time to dig deeper into what other things you need to prep your website for.
Pictures on your non-profit website
We recommend adding plenty of current images of your leadership via a good quality headshot, your stakeholders, your special events, the programs or services you offer now (or in the future), and so on. Further, be careful not to show anything political in nature on your website either. Political images on any website page or social media page could cause you to lose your charitable status. So be extra cautious and careful.
Also try to remember to get a waiver to use the individual image because you are a business entity and you don’t fall under personal use standards for images. Plenty of charity organizations get charged fees from company like – Getty Images, Private Commercial Photographers, and other online photo retailers because they just grab images off of the Google Search. Just because it’s online doesn’t mean it is not already copyrighted.
A company such as Getty Images can bill you $795 for each image it finds on your new website. Some times that number can be higher based on the company. But just think, if you found 5 images online that originated from Getty Images. They could bill you more than $3500 and they don’t care about your charity’s mission or all the good that it does for the community. They just want to get paid – period.
So let’s talk about the strategy of images on your charity website.
When thinking about your website page structure and also more importantly its layout. There is things to think about in a strategic way to use images in an SEO-friendly manner.
Yes including ALT tags and coding on the images is very important and yes that will help improve your search rank. An ALT description also helps to integrate the necessary marketing message on your website’s page for the bots to see.
Let’s stop and look at an quick example:
Suppose you operate a church ministry website and you want to optimize a given page for the term “Youth Ministry Games”. Suppose that you also want to include an enticing marketing message such as “RSVP your child’s fun night spot now and save their spot today!”.
The aforementioned tagline lacks descriptive text of that specific page on your church’s website, but possesses persuasive characteristics – which is good.
Now with that being said, you may want to place the tagline in an image and the key phrase (i.e. Youth Ministry Games) in a header tag. This places even more emphasis on the desired term, yet still provides a marketing opportunity without compromising keyword consistency.
So we just threw a lot of strategic ideas at you – if you feel you need help designing or re-designing your website – give us a call to schedule a free website review, just call 407-416-1515 and ask for Ed Pisani Jr. Mention that you read this blog article and feel overwhelmed and need his help. Don’t worry, Ed Pisani Jr is a cool guy that gets it. He will help you out personally before the design team gets involved.
So if you are okay with everything we are sharing then in other words, images are a great place to insert marketing messages that lack the necessary keywords and phrases. By implementing and leveraging this technique on your charity website, it will ensure that descriptive text is indexed, while less marketing jargon is overlooked.
And please note, indexing information is very important to get found online. The combination of keyword-rich content and enticing messaging will satisfy both sides of the strategic equation. Your charity organization will grow with a strong online presence and your charity stakeholders will thank you for it.
What should a non-profit website include? Here is even more think about…
Documents on your non-profit website
For a new charity to be taken seriously, it is important to share your budget documents and 990/990EZ filings on your website. This helps build credibility with your community and its stakeholders. Your community will want to see that your charity is doing things correctly.
Why? Well, there are plenty of reasons. Such as, a community leader may want to help you win a grant and having this information readily available can make things move along easier. Or a community leader may want to help you with a fundraising event, but wants to show his group volunteer fundraisers that you spend your money wisely.
Here is another reason why to have this information online in your website, let’s say you are trying to recruit an influential individual on to your board of directors. This documentation will show him or her you take filing paperwork with the IRS very seriously.
Can you imagine getting asked basic questions that make it seem like you are hiding something? That is a fast way to lose credibility with an incoming board member. Also, this is one reason founders are generally asked to step back or step down from the board of directors of a charity they helped to build.
What should a non-profit website include? Stakeholder Testimonials on your charity organizations website count!
So why should your charity use testimonials?
The web has made it easier for people to get recommendations not only from friends, but to see secure, verified reviews from people all over the community. Therefore, as a result, an increasing number of people say they trust online reviews (i.e. testimonials) just as much as recommendations from acquaintances.
But keep in mind that, testimonials and customer reviews are not exactly the same thing. It is important to note that testimonials are a valuable form of “social proofing” your charity. By building a social proof non-profit organization, it can give your charity value with these types claims from people which show more legitimacy versus those that choose not to share testimonials.
How testimonials does your non-profit charitable entity need on the website?
When we (i4 Web Services) talk about about using testimonials for a web project, many of our clients are actually intimidated by the prospect of gathering them. It is true – the most common question we hear is “How many do I need?” We recommend asking for testimonials if you have not already started. But there is good news, it doesn’t take that many on your charity’s website to have a big impact.
Did you know that website visitors when surveyed on how many online reviews they needed to read before they felt like they could trust a charity. The answer was 6 or less by a majority of those asked. Getting 6 or more testimonials show not be that difficult for your charity to get for your website.
Plus, the trend is the growing your ability to be “social proof” is only increasing. More and more people are looking at Google My Business reviews, Yelp reviews, and TrustPilot for meaningful reviews. The ability to have testimonials on your website increases the trust factor of your charity in the local community or the region for that matter.
So what kind of testimonials should your not for profit organization display?
Let’s face it – an authentic testimonial may not sound overly polished. But it can truly show the community that you share your testimonials as you receive them. Spelling, grammar, or incomplete sentences may be perfect to show that your non-profit is real and not manipulative or sales pitchy.
Did you know that even the presence negative reviews can even have a positive effect? It is so true! Why because stakeholder and/or potential clients see nothing but good reviews – many suspect some form of censorship. More than half say they trust a organization’s reviews more when they see both positive and negative ones. How crazy is that?!?
While i4 Web Services would not recommend putting negative testimonials on your website, there is evidence to suggest that a fair and balanced group of testimonials with pros and cons may help your charity in the long run. Remember, it’s not just about your entity’s mission statement, a some testimonials also highlight your customer service too. If a stakeholder had a problem and you fixed it, don’t be afraid to share that—it helps future people feel secure in doing some type of work with your agency that is a good thing.
Having testimonials on the website makes grant writing easier.
Another thing to consider is that grants are not easy to get and often much harder to write! We strongly encourage your charity to have written testimonials as well as a multimedia testimonial too. yes, you can write 1000 words about how great of an impact your making, but one video can really bring the grantor or donor into your everyday work-life.
By incorporating videos and photos into testimonial page can have a direct impact on your fundraising dollars. Plus it will dynamically increase your web presence on search engines too. Visual content is increasingly becoming much more popular across all platforms, but particularly on social media sites like Instagram and Tik Tok to name two.
It might be wise to encourage your clients, stakeholders, and current donors to share their photos and videos as well. Having unpolished yet real perspectives may help your charity with getting a mega gift of some kind. Plus, encouraging them helps them know that you want it because they may not even think you’d want it.
It is so weird to feel like we shared so much in the blog article yet there is so much more to discuss. We have other blog articles on SEO and branding for your web design. Hopefully, you will be so kind to read them too. Thank you for taking some time to read “What should a non-profit website include?” and reach out to us if you want more information on this topic. Plus feel free to follow us on Facebook too!
Finally just remember that having a knowledgeable, honest, and caring professional like Ed Pisani Jr with i4 Web Services to help you grow your charity online presence is a good business decision for anyone wanting to see their favorite non-profit organization succeed. So give him a call and start a conversation today – 407-416-1515