I like to check in regularly to see which new nonprofits are using GivingPress for their website, and I’m always blown away by the amazing work that’s being done by these organizations.
There is such a wide array of causes being supported by nonprofits who use GivingPress. While it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the negative news these days, I find it a refreshing change of pace to be reminded in this way that there is a lot of good happening in the world. As someone who works with nonprofit organizations, and also as a donor, I’m able to see firsthand what’s been working well for some established nonprofits, while taking note where others may be lacking and could use a little help.
Aside from the basics, I’ve outlined a few key elements that I’ve noticed many nonprofits regularly forget to include on their websites. Things I’ve seen prove successful for some of the most established organizations out there. These are really ways of engaging website visitors. They’re ways of helping to gain a following and incur regular donors. We know the importance of donations since the vitality of these nonprofits rely on them 100%. Donations are ultimately the way that these organizations accomplish their goals – goals that change the world.
What’s Your Story?
The first bit of essential content for your nonprofit is the organization’s backstory. What is the founder’s personal connection to their cause? What inspired them to start this particular organization? While most of us know that a mission statement is a standard part of any nonprofit website, it is important to take it a step further and talk about why this mission is important to its founders – how it all began.
I’ve personally read so many incredible stories of nonprofit founders and how their organizations came to be. Seeing their passion for their chosen cause incites a deeper level of empathy. A great example is Awaken Love For Africa‘s founder, Sophie McLachlan. On her “About” page, Sophie recounts the story of her college travels to Kenya, and the emotional effect of seeing firsthand the results of extreme poverty, thus forming ALFA. Similarly, founders of The Wicked AUsome Project openly discuss their son’s autism and the personal experiences that inspired them to start their organization. These intimate details resonate with donors on an emotional level. It is clear that these organizations are passionate about what they do, and readers can feel that.
How Are Donations Used?
GivingPress includes donation capabilities, so creating a donations page really is a piece of cake. However, providing the ability to accept donations alone is not always enough. Most nonprofits are actively accepting donations through their website. However, they often forget to provide a narrative about what the donations will be used for. Whether it’s for research expenses or animal food, donors want to know. This is important information, since we should assume website visitors don’t already know the ins and outs of your organization. Sure, you may have a great mission statement and they may be sympathetic to your cause, but people are much more inclined to make a donation if they know exactly where their money is going. Learning about your mission is the reason donors want to donate their money; learning exactly how their money will be making a difference is the reason why they actually do.
What’s Going On?
A “Projects” or “Programs” page is often a good idea for a nonprofit website. This keeps the community in the loop about what projects your organization is currently working on, and exactly what actions you are taking to make a difference. This is especially helpful in acquiring repeat or recurring donations. When a donor sees that the organization they support is consistently active, they’re much more likely to become a repeat donor. For example, Habitat For Humanity Greater Peoria outlines each its housing programs under the “Our Programs” page of their website. Projects or programs can mean anything along the lines of campaigns, fundraisers, workshops, research assignments – any venture, really. It can also be a good way to encourage community involvement by advertising public events.