Building a website for your charity can be a daunting task, but WordPress makes it a cost-effective and straightforward process. Without requiring any coding or design work, there is really no excuse not to have a website or blog for your charitable organization.
Whether you’re creating a website for the first time, a seasoned pro, or the charity’s CEO, certain traits must be present in your charity website for it to command the kind of attention that you desire.
- What is your passion?
- Do you want to save the world?
- Do you want to put an end to poverty?
- Are you trying to save the whales?
Whatever your mission, creating an online identity that communicates your value proposition is the best way to raise awareness of your cause, get people involved, attract volunteers and online donations.
Many of the same practices apply to charity websites as they do to any other website. They must convey a clear message, be user-friendly, and simple to use. However, a non-profit website frequently needs to provide more than a typical corporate website.
Here are five traits of a great-looking charity website.
Well-Defined Mission and Goals
The mission statement describes your charity’s purpose and intent: what it does, how it does it, and for whom it does it. When it comes to goals, they should be big, bold, and obvious to visitors to your site.
You could be looking to:
- Increase public awareness of your cause
- Increase donations
- Increase your supporter base and recruit more volunteers
- Communicate the impact of your work
To see an example of how all of this can be laid out on your site, just take a look at WE Charity and the amount of information listed about their company, goals and charitable efforts.
Knowing what you want to achieve is also essential when designing your site because it will help you create a better user journey, increasing the likelihood that people will engage with the site in the way you want them to.
The Name of the Organization
People like to donate to people, so you might want to name your charity site after a specific person but with a mission to help others (for example, Mark’s: Children’s charities). Alternatively, you can choose a name that describes your work, such as HIV Research US or Plant a Tree US.
Whatever name you choose, make sure it’s easy to remember (and type when you register it as a domain name) and that it’s not already being used as a trademark or domain name by someone else.
Identify Your Users and Their Objectives
On a charity website, there are typically two types of users:
- Those in need of assistance
- Those who wish to assist
The first group will be looking for information on how you can assist them and contact you to request assistance.
Donors and volunteers make up the second group. Donors will want to know about your organization’s impact, donate, and how their money has helped, whereas volunteers charity website will want to know how they can help and how to get started. When designing your website, keep these two audiences in mind and make it easier for them to find the information they require.
A Donate Button is a Great Feature to Have
If someone has decided to donate, don’t deter them by making them look for the “Donate” button. Users nowadays are impatient, so make sure you offer a quick, easy, and secure method of donating.
Nielsen Norman Group, a computer user interface and user experience consulting firm, conducted a study that revealed the significant donation-killers that keep users from donating:
- 47 percent were usability issues with page and site design, such as cluttered pages and confusing workflow. On 17% of these charity websites, users couldn’t find a way to donate!
- Content issues related to writing for the Web accounted for 53% of the total, including unclear or missing information and confusing terms.
Because the donate button is an essential element on a charity website, the call-to-action should be clear and visible on every page. Keep this in mind as you create your charity website. Besides, when it comes to copy, it’s best to use clear, concise words like “Donate Now” or “Donate Today” so users understand it’s about a monetary donation.
Content Must Be Responsive Across All Devices
Responsive design enables a charity website to adapt to any screen size, allowing for comfortable viewing on any device. Without it, mobile viewers will find it difficult, if not impossible, to navigate and view your website and its content. In other words, it’s an excellent way to turn off potential donors and volunteers.
Being mobile-friendly is so prevalent and vital that Google’s search algorithm prioritizes responsive websites for users searching on a mobile device. Because most people access the internet through mobile devices, you should ensure that every page on your site is mobile-responsive.
And in addition to making sure your site loads properly on all devices, you will also want to make sure it reads and loads well across different social media platforms as well. With more people using their mobile devices to access the internet, the last thing you want is to turn away users because it was hard to reach and access your content.
Make Your Site Loads Fast and Efficiently
All charitable organizations want to raise funds and awareness for their specific good cause, and one of the most effective ways to do so is through the use of a non-profit website.
However, the website must be able to open across different browsers. Also, the page speed (the time it takes to show all of the content on a particular page on your website) must be lightning fast.
Create a non-profit website that provides information on your most recent fundraisers and events and informs people how they can sponsor an event and how their donations can make a difference.
Once you’ve secured your domain and web hosting, purchase a WordPress template or have a web designer create one for you. Then ensure that the website works on different web browsers, and the page speed is fast.
To see a fully responsive site, be sure to check out this article from Craig Kielburger that was featured on YesMagazine.
People today, more than ever, require proof that you can be trusted before donating. To demonstrate that your organization is credible and reliable, and deserving of their donation, you should consider including trust and social proof elements when designing your charity website, another trait of a great-looking charity website. Example of social proof elements to add to your website include:
- High ratings from watchdog organizations
- High profile endorsements
- Number of years in operation
- Links to social networks or feeds
You should never underestimate the power of your website as a charity or non-profit organization. Giving clear information about what you do, who you do it for, and how you use donations can help persuade more people to donate and get involved.