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Creating an effective nonprofit website [167]

More and more nonprofit organizations are turning to websites to help promote themselves and to raise funds. A website is also an effective way for a nonprofit to showcase its programs, success stories, and creativity. That said, there's a difference between a barely functional website and one that is both appealing and user-friendly. Many nonprofits turn to experienced companies for their web design so that they may continue to focus on their work.

 

Creating a nonprofit website

 

There are a number of options for creating a nonprofit website, such as eHost, SiteBuilder, Weebly, and Wordpress. They provide a number of templates and services, though inexperienced users may find the process of setting up a website time-consuming, and the final result underwhelming. Your website should always, first and foremost, be user-friendly.

 

The content

 

A website's content should be both easy to find and easy to read. This means no light pink backgrounds with small white text.

 

Key aspects of your website are:

 

·         The domain name. A solid one is a must because it, along with your logo, are often the first things customers see. The best way to choose a domain is to select one that includes what you do (ex. West Coast Food Bank) or one that can be easily branded as your organization does their work (ex. "American Red Cross" doesn't include "social services" or "disaster relief" in their domain name, but the logo and name imply medical relief, while the organization's outreach has made it incredibility well known).

 

·         Your mission statement. This is a concise declaration of your organization's purpose.

 

·     Your programs. An explanation of the services you provide allows visitors to easily decide if they want to support or utilize your organization or not. Visitors like to see organizations that are working hard for the betterment of society.

 

·     An option to donate and volunteer. If visitors support your cause, they may want to donate money, in-kind items, or their time. If you are a 501(c)(3), their donations are also tax deductable. There are businesses that will help you prepare the documentation necessary to become a 501(c)(3). Be sure to be honest about what any donations will be used for.

 

·     Your Board of Directors. Visitors like to know whose running the nonprofit, and are more comfortable approaching organizations when they can give a face to a name.

 

·       Press Coverage. If your organization is (positively) covered by any media, share this on your website. This helps make your organization appear more authentic and trustworthy, especially to visitors unfamiliar with your work.

 

Nonprofit websites can encompass much more, but the above content will help get your website off the ground. You can also have a professional company create your website for you to ensure that it is both appealing and user-friendly.

 

For more information regarding Charity Website, please visit our 501c3 application or Contact Us at 407-857-9002.

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