A well-designed website is a must-have for any nonprofit organization wanting to connect with its supporters in this modern age. Through your website, supporters can learn more about your mission, discover engagement opportunities, and make donations.
But did you know that a high-quality website can also benefit your nonprofit’s internal team? When you view your website as a tool for outreach, fundraising, and more, it can make a significant difference in how your employees engage with your organization and perform in their roles!
Let’s dive into three benefits your team will experience when your nonprofit has a great website.
1. Streamlined External Communication
A website can save your team hours of time by allowing you to streamline communication with your nonprofit’s community. Here are a few ways to use your website to make communicating with your supporters faster and easier:
- Establish the website as a centralized information hub. To do so, use customizable templates to populate the site with useful content and resources, like a regularly-updated blog, an “About Us” page, an events calendar, and any other cause-specific resources you want to share. Then, let your community know that your website is the best place to find the most up-to-date information about your mission and operations by regularly promoting it via social media and email.
- Provide real-time updates. A website makes it easy to get information to your community quickly, whether you’re providing updates on the fundraising results from your walk-a-thon or an emergency situation that your nonprofit is responding to. Consider creating a “News” page where visitors can access these updates. You can even embed your social media feeds on your homepage to direct visitors to these platforms for updates.
- Facilitate action. Empower your website visitors to take action for your cause by creating a donation page, event and volunteer registration pages, and an email newsletter sign up. Share the links to these resources on your promotional materials and build links to them across your web content, like your most highly-trafficked blog posts. When your community knows that your website is the place to go to tap into tools like these, you’ll be able to more efficiently and effectively pull in donations, registrations, and sign-ups.
It’s one thing to make sure that your website has all the necessities of a useful information and resource hub, but it’s an entirely different thing to ensure that people will engage with the site once they land on it.
Make sure you’re keeping the user experience (UX) of your site in mind. Optimize your site so that it loads quickly and clearly directs your visitors to your most important resources. With the right website builder, you can create a straightforward navigation menu and inspiring call-to-action buttons in just moments. You can even go the extra mile and add in interactive features—like a helpful chatbot, virtual tours, or multimedia content—so visitors will want to keep exploring.
2. Enhanced Volunteer Management
Recruiting, managing, and retaining volunteers is essential to keeping your mission moving forward, especially if your services depend on volunteer time (such as tutoring, caring for animals in a shelter, or delivering meals to the elderly).
Additionally, volunteers save your nonprofit a significant amount of money by donating their time. EveryAction reports that in 2022, a volunteer hour was valued at almost $32.
But managing your volunteer program is a big job—and that’s why it can be so useful to leverage your nonprofit’s website to ensure you get it right. Here are a few ways your team members can use your organization’s website to manage volunteers:
- Create an application form. Set up an application form that is simple and convenient to use. Ask only for the necessary information needed to screen volunteers, and make sure that volunteers can upload documents if needed. If the nature of your mission is such that you need to take additional steps like running background checks on your applicants, make sure you communicate those requirements.
- Publish available volunteer opportunities. Create a dedicated page or section on your website that lists current volunteer opportunities. Include a “job description” for each volunteer role that outlines responsibilities, time commitments, dress code, and other requirements. Also, provide clear instructions for how current and prospective volunteers can sign up for the opportunity.
- Set up a volunteer portal. You can even create a password-protected volunteer portal where volunteers can go to view training materials, check their logged hours, sign up for relevant opportunities, communicate with other volunteers, and provide feedback on your program.
With resources like these on your side, your nonprofit can handle the logistics of your volunteer program more efficiently. As a result, you’ll have more time to devote to building relationships with volunteers, designing engaging volunteer events, and marketing the program to your community.
3. Easy Access to Online Employee Resources
According to Morweb, some website builders give you the option to set up private pages on your website. This means you can easily create and share resources just for your employees.
Here are some examples of the types of employee resources you could keep password-protected on your site:
- An employee handbook
- Pay and benefits information
- Onboarding and training documents
- Staff directory
- Feedback and suggestion forms
Setting up resources like these allows you to get the most out of your organization’s website, fully maximizing its usefulness for both your donors and your internal team.
To keep these parts of your website secure, encourage your staff to practice good password hygiene. This entails creating long, complex passwords that include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Reinforce the importance of password hygiene by requiring team members to change their passwords periodically and enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) on your website to add an extra level of security. You can also provide training on how to avoid putting sensitive information, such as passwords, at risk.
Bonus: 6 Quick Nonprofit Web Design Tips
Now that you have a strong understanding of how your nonprofit’s website can benefit your team members, consider implementing the following design tips to make it a stronger tool:
- Invest in a nonprofit-specific website builder. Generic website builders like WordPress, Hubspot, and Squarespace have a lot of features and capabilities, but will require a steeper learning curve than a nonprofit-specific tool. Tools built with nonprofits in mind keep the learning process simple, providing you with easy-to-use front-end editing tools and customization capabilities.
- Ensure the branding on the website is cohesive. Your brand encompasses everything that helps your organization stand out, including your visual identity. Make sure your organization’s brand is represented on your website and is cohesive across all of your web pages. This will help your organization present itself as organized and professional.
- Focus on seamless navigation. Make it easy for both your internal team and supporters to get around your website. Create your navigation menu with your users’ needs in mind, including links to your most important pages and making sure to not overload the menu with too many options. Also, include plenty of links across your content so users can easily jump from one page to another.
- Make the site accessible for people of all abilities. Accessibility is key to making your nonprofit a useful resource for everyone who comes across it. Ensure that your website is navigable by keyboard, that there is a sufficient color contrast between the background and text of your web pages, and that all multimedia elements include alt text, captioning, or a transcript. You can also add an accessibility widget to your website, allowing users to change the font size and color contrast on your website for a better user experience.
- Optimize the website for mobile devices. A whopping 92.3% of internet users access the web from their mobile phones. Prepare your website for mobile traffic by ensuring you have a responsive design that will fit any screen size and compressing large files for a fast loading speed You should also minimize the use of pop-ups, as these can be difficult for mobile users to close out of.
- Pay special attention to your donation form. Your donation form is an important fundraising tool and deserves special consideration. Ensure that the form is short and only asks for the most essential information. You should also include an option to turn a one-time donation into a recurring gift and embed a matching gift tool into the form.
Although you may see your nonprofit’s website primarily as a resource for your community of supporters and beneficiaries, it can be a great resource for enhancing the employee experience at your organization, too.
Review the benefits covered in this article and then work to reposition your website as a tool that can serve everyone involved with your organization. With a strong web design strategy and the right technology, you’ll be in great shape to create a website that meets all of your users’ needs.