Posted by Jay Wilkinson

Your website is the face of your organization—what people see online should reflect who your nonprofit is offline. Think of it as a window into the soul of your organization. That’s why it’s important that everything on your website speaks to your mission and your cause. This is called positioning or the “voice” of your site.

You want your mission to come across loud and clear and permeate every page of your website so that each one of your online visitors leaves with a clear understanding of who you are and what you do. If you fail to create a website with a voice that’s clear and cohesive, then you leave people wondering, “What are they all about?” Visitors get confused, lose interest, and you never see them again.

Why is the voice of your website so important? Because the way that we relate with people today has largely shifted from face-to-face meetings to digital communication on websites, social media and mobile devices. When you’re talking with someone in person, it’s easy to verbalize what you’re passionate about; your voice and personality are evident. But when people shift their communication to the web, many times they lose their voice, and they become stiff and lifeless.

To build an engaging and effective website, make sure your voice is alive, consistent and you, in everything you put out there. If it helps, pretend that your website is a one-on-one conversation with your most important constituent. Don’t create content as if you’re speaking to a group—write it as if you’re having an important conversation with your top donor. My guess is you wouldn’t speak in generic terms with a lifeless tone and a robotic voice with your number one constituent.

You’re not a generic organization. You have a unique personality, a clear position and an important mission. Make your website reflect that.