Posted by Jay Wilkinson

Did you know that nearly 75% of nonprofits with a website designed their site in-house or they use a website solution that was free or donated by a volunteer or a public agency of some sort?

Think about what this means. Three quarters of all the websites in the nonprofit sector were done on the cheap. It’s all about doing more with less. We’ve heard this expression in the nonprofit world many times—we have to “do more with less.” It’s like the mantra of our entire sector right?

But I’m here to tell you that your website is not an expense; it’s an investment. And when you make an investment, your focus should not be on what you’re spending as much as it should be on your ROI, or return on investment. In the for-profit world, ROI is what every decision is really based on.

If I spend $100, what am I going to get back? That’s the question ROI is concerned about. Am I'm going to get $200 back? $300? Or even $101?

There's a huge difference in mentality and approach to decision-making when you’re focused on ROI as opposed to cost. I know nonprofit organizations that have spent literally $50,000 or more on their websites and had a huge return on investment because their donations increased, their fundraising capacity grew and some of their significant expenses decreased. I know other nonprofits that have spent $500 or less and ended up throwing their money away. In the end, all they had was basically an online brochure with next to no functionality or ways to engage with constituents.

With your website, it's not about how much money you spend; it's about the ROI on your expenditure. Keep in mind that your website sits right at the center of your marketing universe. Every marketing move you make leads back to your website, and the same is true for people connected to your organization, from constituents to board members to volunteers.

Your website is the one place where you cannot afford to do more with less.