Due to limited time, money and technical talent many nonprofits (and churches for that matter) are doing good just to have an online presence in the first place. But are some of those websites doing more harm that good? Donors want to see nonprofit websites to help them decide whether to donate.
Let's look at just one aspect of website design: the usability for prospective donors. A recent research study found many nonprofit websites fall short in providing the information needed for site visitors to make donation decisions.
-Nonprofits would increase online donations if they would clearly state what they are about and how they use donations.
-The study indicated considerable frustration as potential donors had a hard time figuring out the organizations' goals and objectives.
In 2008, about 10% of donations were given online. Target Analytics predicts that by 2020 the majority of donations will be given online if nonprofits have properly designed websites. Well designed sites will be adept at attracting new donors and efficiently support small-scale giving.
-For encouraging donor loyalty, email newsletters remain the internet tool of choice.
Donors want to know:
- What are you trying to achieve?
- How will you spend my money?
-Only 43% of websites in the study addressed the organization's mission and objectives on the homepage.
-Sadly, only 4% answered how the donations would be spent on the homepage.
These two questions are the primary decision makers for a donor. The majority of nonprofit websites are hiding this information somewhere on their site. Donors have to search. People want to know what the nonprofit stands for, because they want to contribute to causes that share their ideals and values.
-47% say usability problems with page and site design.
-17% couldn't find where to make a donation.
-53% were content issues such as unclear or missing information and confusing terms.
-Worst user experience was caused by poor integration of local chapters with national organizations.
-Donors want information about nonprofits activities in their local communities.
David Moore is the managing partner at Advantage Printing. Advantage specializes in print, email, & web marketing services for nonprofits and churches. This entire 124 page report with 58 design guidelines and 111 screenshots of sites that worked well or poorly in user testing is available in PDF format. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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