Posted by Jay Wilkinson

One of the biggest mistakes nonprofits make in regards to their website is this: They do a great job of driving visitors to their website, but then they fail to engage with them in a meaningful way. In fact, they often send them right back out the door to another site.

In other words, nonprofits will bring visitors to their website and then send them to Eventbrite for event registration, VolunteerSpot to sign up to volunteer, PayPal to donate or WordPress to read their blog.

So why do nonprofits go to the trouble to bring visitors to their websites only to send them away?

The answer is simple: Because nonprofits haven’t invested enough in their websites to provide the tools that their visitors need. Therefore, they rely on free tools from other vendors to take care of their constituents.

This is an issue because so many nonprofits are using a variety of platforms and tools to build free websites, but in reality, they just end up with an inexpensive and insufficient online brochure. Or they use WordPress with its host of free modules and components, but they’re not able to create a fully functioning site that allows them to engage meaningfully with their audience. This can be an incredibly frustrating scenario.

There’s nothing wrong with WordPress, of course; it’s a free platform that you can pay a designer to customize. But only about 1 out of every 100 nonprofits I see has the functionality to keep people engaged and on their website.

If you’re going to spend the dollars to drive traffic to your website, then make sure your site can accommodate your visitors. Invest in a website that has the necessary tools and functionality in order to engage with your visitors without sending them away.