We’ve had the pleasure of working with some great non-profit organizations this year. Following are some questions you might want to ask yourself if you are thinking of redeveloping your organization’s website in the coming year.
Is social media important to my organization?
Social media can be helpful, but only if you’re using it for the right reasons. For non-profits, social media is about building relationships, raising awareness and keeping your ear to the ground. Listen and engage! This may not convert directly to new donations or new volunteers, but it may be hugely valuable to developing your next ad campaign, learning about public opinions and educating people about your cause. Ask yourself exactly what you want to accomplish via your social media channels and develop a strategy before you jump right in.
What is e-governance?
Your Board of Directors is an incredibly important asset to your organization, but are they operating efficiently? Board portals allows board members to log in to view meeting agendas and minutes, confirm meeting times, participate in committee workrooms and much more with much less administration than the usual rounds of group emails and hours required to keep everyone up to date and in the loop. There are expensive software solutions to this end or you can start by having a password-protected page where Board members can access information, requiring much less admin time for your staff.
Who will update the new website?
Make sure your new site is built using a content management system! (CMS) This means once the site is built, your developer hands it over and you have the ability to make updates and changes in-house without incurring extra charges. There are many solutions out there, depending on your needs. At ZenHouse Media, our preferred CMS is Wordpress, an internationally renowned and sophisticated platform known for its easy-to-use back-end and huge availability of community-developed themes and plug-ins, allowing for rich customization. A system like this allows you or your staff to independently update the content of your site. You just won’t have to pay a developer or company to do things like post pictures from your most recent gala fundraiser or add an FAQ section about volunteering in Bolivia. Unless of course you want to ;)
Who is my audience?
- • donors
- • alumni
- • members
- • volunteers
- • parents
- • government agencies
- • corporate sponsors
- • grant makers
- • potential volunteers/board members/other stakeholders
Write down all that apply, and all the ones we’ve missed, too. Who do you need to reach out to more than anyone else? Be very clear about your target audience when you start redeveloping your website and bring this list to the table when you meet potential web developers.
What am I trying to accomplish with my website?
Make them FIND you. Consider SEO and online marketing to make sure your beautiful website gets found!
Make them STICK to you. Once a user comes to your website, do you have updated content? Fun stuff like videos? A slideshow? Relevant, current content? If not, those folks are going to leave your site within 30 seconds and they might not come back.
Make them JOIN you! Use call to action buttons that make it easy for viewers to sign up for the e-newsletter, sign up to be a volunteer, or donate through Paypal.
Make them TALK about you. And make it easy for them, too! This means share buttons, Facebook like buttons so that people can spread the word effortlessly. Post interesting information. Become an authority on your cause so that people come to your site to learn.
Web design and user architecture standards will help you navigate this terrain and come out with a website that is working effectively for your organization, whatever its needs. Let’s get started!