Posted by Jay Wilkinson


Meeting the needs of everyone who comes to your website can be a challenge, especially nowadays. Everyone is on their smartphone, their tablet and their laptops, fully expecting that you have what they need in order to interact with you online. That puts a lot of pressure on your website.

Think about how many different types of people may want to engage with your organization: Supporters, volunteers, prospective donors, media folks, board members, other nonprofit leaders and people curious about your cause may all visit your website throughout the course of one day. So how do you make everyone happy when they’re all looking for something different?

Simply put, you provide the right types of online tools. You provide the right tools for everyone interested in your organization and, optimally, those tools are all built into your website—not scattered around the internet on other sites or cobbled together as widgets on your site. You want all your online technology to be integrated seamlessly on one platform.

Then put yourself in the shoes of your potential visitors and ask, what do these people need from us? The answer to that question will help you implement the right kind of functionality.

Here are three things you can do to make a large number of your users happier this week.

Make it easy for people to sign up.

Did you know that the number one thing users want from nonprofits is the ability to register online for events? And by “register online,” I don’t mean make them print out a PDF, fill it out, then fax or mail it back to you. Users want to be able to sign up for events and opportunities right on our websites, with no printing or paper involved. Give them the ability to pay registration fees as well, and you’ll make them ecstatic. If you don’t yet have online event registration and payment processing available, you’ll be amazed at the increase in response once you do.

Make it easy for people to stay in touch with you.

Whether we’re talking about connecting with volunteers, donors or even your board members, email marketing is crucial. If your email marketing tool is built in to your website platform and you have the ability to measure analytics to see which emails are most successful, all the better. But remember, your email efforts are only as good as your list. Place a Subscribe button on the most popular pages of your website to give your online audience plenty of opportunities to sign up for your emails and newsletters. One of the best ways to grow your donor relationships is to maintain consistent communication with them, and getting everyone on your list is a great step in the right direction.

Make it easy for supporters to give.

The ability to donate online will make your supporters thrilled, no doubt. When’s the last time you wrote a check? You might have to mail a few here and there, but let’s be honest—check writing has become almost archaic. We live in a digital world; most of us make electronic payments or automated payments, also known as ACH. And many of those payments are now being made on mobile devices.

If you accept donations online with an integrated payment processing system, kudos! Actually, you should be by now, so way to keep up with technology. But let me ask you this: How easy is it for mobile users to donate via your website? Having a responsive website that looks good on any device, from laptops to smartphones, is increasingly important as donors shift from desktop to mobile usage at higher and higher rates. Simply put, it’s not just about the ability to process donations online now; it’s equally important to make it easy for mobile users to donate without having to pinch and zoom all over your donation pages.

So think about who’s visiting your website and why—do you have what they need? Are you accommodating for every size device they might be using? Providing the right tools for all your visitors, on any technology, will boost engagement and revenue and help you build stronger relationships with your online audience.

Looking for more ways to improve your nonprofit's website? Firespring is here to help! We offer exclusive one-on-one communication, tools and software to help build your nonprofit’s website from the ground up. You can start your free demo, or get more information by calling 877.447.8941 or email hello@firespring.org.


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