Five Web Trends for Nonprofit Leaders, Part 1: Strategic

Nonprofits’ websites often get shoved to the end of priority lists. When you’re out there serving people and meeting needs, it can be hard to carve out time and budget to create a great site. That’s unfortunate, because a truly great web experience can transform your organization. In fact, your website is pivotal for your nonprofit’s growth and overall health.

Why? Because it’s the key to creating a loyal, engaged audience and unlocking an increasing amount of revenue. In 2018, online digital revenue made up about 20% of all nonprofit fundraising, and that percentage is growing. 

  • Online fundraising has grown 77% since 2014.
  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults have made a charitable contribution online. 
  • Every 1,000 emails sent by nonprofits provide an average of $69 in annual donations

But online givers demand high-quality online experiences. 

  • 40% of visitors will leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load
  • 48% of visitors believe “the organization doesn’t care” if their site doesn’t work well on mobile screens

You know and I know: You care! Your mission statement even says you do. Your online presence should mirror the care your nonprofit gives to others. In this series of three blog posts, we’re going to explore five ways you can position your website for maximum impact. We’ll start with one today: Be Strategic.

Be Strategic

A solid web strategy starts with just one question: Who’s it for? 

Websites are built for people, not bots. The more you know about who your audience is, the easier your decisions become. When you can identify your primary audience and your secondary audience—and no more than that!—your website will suddenly become supremely effective. If you try to serve three or more different audiences on your site, messages get murkier and purposes become unclear. Who are your top two audiences?

Once you know who the website is for, you can strategically map your site and plan your users’ journeys.  Take the same care with donors’ digital experiences that you do with events, direct mail, donor trips, and other analogue approaches. 

Ask yourself: What are my users’ motivations? How do they align with my nonprofit’s goals? What are users’ points-of-entry to the site?  What content do they need ? And at what point do we invite them to a deeper conversation to get involved and/or to give? How do we get them where they (and we!) want to go, as easily as possible?

In our next post, we’ll explore why your site should be both connected and accessible.


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Sources: M+R Benchmarks Report 2019, Ecoconsultancy, Margin Media, Pew Research, Cygnus