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Web Design

4 Must-Have Elements for Nonprofit Websites

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7-minute read

This article is not about the content on your nonprofit website. Instead, it focuses on the web design elements that can help your nonprofit capture and retain visitors. We know it’s a cutthroat market out there for nonprofit organizations right now. People have less spare change and they are more particular about where they donate. Not only do they want to see proof that your organization is being effective, they also want an enjoyable online experience with your organization. Your digital impression can have a powerful effect on your donations and your public image. Here are the four must-have elements for all nonprofit websites.

Pop-Ups for New Visitors

You might be surprised that we’re suggesting pop-ups. But studies show that they are very effective with new visitors. When someone arrives at your website for the first time, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present them with a strong call to action. Keep in mind that 75% of your visitors will scroll to just 25% of a given webpage on your site. It is essential that you put the most important content at the top of each page. Pop-ups are a great way to capture visitors’ attention before they click away.

How will your organization use this singular opportunity to connect with a potential new donor? Will you ask them to sign up for your newsletter? Will you invite them to an event or offer them some other free download? Nonprofits should definitely utilize pop-ups specifically targeted at new users. Organizations must be careful, however. A poorly designed pop-up window can be a huge turn-off.

It needs to have concise copy and eye-catching visuals. Ask your web designer to make sure not to trigger pop-ups for mobile visitors, as this actually reduces conversion. Think strategically about how your pop-up message can deliver value to new visitors as well as your own organization. Overall, it should provide a way to deepen the relationship between you and the person visiting your website. Offer them information about the organization and then give them something in return.






Mobile Optimization

There is simply no excuse for not having a nonprofit website that is optimized for mobile. This is especially true for nonprofits, as one report indicates that up to 50% of all mobile traffic to nonprofit websites comes from social media. All it takes is one negative experience with the layout of your website to inspire a negative perception of your entire organization.

Mobile optimization means that your website is responsive to the device on which people are accessing the site. The layout automatically shifts to adapt naturally to the size of the visitor’s phone or tablet. This doesn’t mean you have to create 20 different versions of your website. Instead, it’s as simple as using a mobile-friendly design template. Beyond that, it’s a good idea to work with a web designer who understands the fundamentals of mobile websites. Even better, find a web designer who is also familiar with nonprofits and donation psychology. Your organization can’t afford to miss a single visitor, and mobile optimization can help you retain more visitors.



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SEO-Rich Donate Page

You might be sending out emails, but your donors are googling for your donate page in December. This is a major reason why your nonprofit organization needs an SEO-rich donate website page. Your donate page should not be an afterthought, like a link at the bottom of the site that leads visitors away to a sketchy looking PayPal account. Too many nonprofits are embarrassed about asking for money. But rather than hiding their donate page with timid copy and tepid design, nonprofits should highlight their donation page boldly. This includes SEO.

When someone is googling for your nonprofit’s donation page, they will use certain phrases to help the search engine find it. Do some test searches yourself to see what phrases are currently driving traffic to your donate page, if you have one. If you don’t have an SEO-rich donate page yet, it’s time to get one. Make sure you include the phrase “XXX donation page” or “make a donation to XXX” on this page. Keep in mind that 60% of all your visitors are likely to be accessing your website via mobile devices. But the 2020 State of Philanthropy Report discovered that visitors using a desktop browser to access your site are a whopping 75% more likely to donate than people visiting via mobile. Make sure that everyone who visits your site has a good experience, and this will lead to more donations.



Finally, your nonprofit website absolutely needs a powerful CRM tool. HubSpot is a free tool used by many nonprofits to support customer relationship management. When integrated into your nonprofit website, HubSpot can be incredibly effective. First, it streamlines communication with your stakeholders by tracking their interactions all in one spot. Second, a CRM helps your development and marketing teams get on the same page when it comes to creating effective fundraising campaigns.

Your HubSpot CRM captures information from web visitors and puts it into a searchable database. The interface is very user-friendly, which is why so many nonprofits like to use it. Multigenerational teams and volunteers can easily make use of HubSpot to amplify fundraising efforts. If your nonprofit website doesn’t have an integrated CRM, then you are missing out on critical information that could help you build stronger relationships with your donors.

If you’re ready to see what a great website could do for your nonprofit, set up a call with our team. You deserve a website that is mobile-optimized, SEO-rich, and integrated with a robust CRM like HubSpot. A great website can help your nonprofit reach its fundraising goals. We know nonprofits and we know web design. 



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