What to include on a nonprofit website: Five do’s and don’ts

Before we jump into a few tips for what to include on a nonprofit website, here’s an update on our annual Austin Nonprofit Website Giveaway Contest: we’ve officially launched the “vote off” to determine which organization will win an all-new, free custom nonprofit website from HubRunner.

Contenders this year are:

The Arc of the Capital Area

Youth Advocacy

Visit our Facebook page (and “like” us while you’re at it!) to vote in the comments for which of our hometown nonprofits you think deserves a website makeover the most. The winner will be announced the first week of October.

Speaking of nonprofit websites, we’d like to share some tips for nonprofit website design that we’ve learned during our time helping nonprofits freshen up their online presence. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for what to include on your organization’s website:

1. Don’t: Be shy about asking for donations. If website visitors can’t easily find a place to contribute to your charity or nonprofit organization, you could be missing out on much-needed funds.

Do: Highlight the call to action. Make sure your request for contributions is front-and-center on your nonprofit website, ideally in the form of a conspicuous button on the homepage that visitors can click through for more information or a form to donate online.

2. Don’t: Neglect potential volunteers. If volunteer information is buried in your website content, you could be missing significant opportunities to enlist quality help for your organization.

Do: Provide resources and information for volunteers. It’s imperative to include a loud and clear call for volunteers on a nonprofit website, with a dedicated page providing details on how to get started and any upcoming events for volunteer opportunities.

3. Don’t: Scrimp on photography. Dated photos won’t do your website any favors, as they have the potential to turn off visitors who might otherwise donate or get involved.

Do: Use high-quality, professional photos. With digital technology what it is today, there’s no excuse not to have high-quality photography on your nonprofit website. Professional photos will go a long way to supporting the legitimacy and overall image of your organization.

4. Don’t: Forget to put a human face to the name. The “About” section on your nonprofit website should not only to tell website visitors more about your mission, but also provide a little insight on the people that make it happen.

Do: Put a spotlight on your nonprofit leadership team. Include photos and short biographies of your organization’s staff and volunteer leadership—it will go a long way towards humanizing your nonprofit.

5. Don’t: Discount the power of social media. If your nonprofit isn’t on social media, stop reading this and start creating some accounts! Being active on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are free, effective ways to promote your organization by interacting directly with your target demographic—even after they’ve left your website.

Do: Integrate social media throughout your website. Your nonprofit’s social media presence should be integrated on your website through clearly visible “follow” buttons on the homepage or in the header, as well as “share” buttons at the top of any press release or blog. Linking to individual staff’s social media accounts provides another good opportunity to stay connected with website visitors.