When you created your non-profit organization, you had a vision of what you hoped to accomplish, whether through advocacy, advancement or man power. With a fiery passion, you set out to do good and right by your cause.
You probably figured that your core audience would be much like yourself, so without any additional research, you went forth to raise awareness!
That strategy works for awhile, but if you don’t supplement what you think you know with cold hard data, you might be missing out on huge opportunities for growth.
Update Your Personas
You might have a general idea of who your audience is, but often times these groups can be divided into various subgroups, such as by age, donation level or location. In many cases, each subgroup will require a different strategy in order to gain engagement. This type of data, often part of a donor database or donor management system, can give you a leg up on how to best apply your fundraising efforts and goals.
The more you know about each group, the better capable you will be at getting your message across and receiving a positive response.
Learn User Behavior
Find out how your target user base actually performs tasks and interacts with your organization. This will give you insight on how your website should be organized.
For example, learning how your audience finds certain information pertinent to your cause could be a great help in redesigning the navigation or flow of your non-profit website design. Maybe you’ll discover they prefer video testimonials or images of true impact, instead of glossy stock photos.
Understand User Perception
Your website is a way to let people know what your organization is and what it is all about.
Users probably already have their own preconceived notion before landing on your page. The good news is that you can control their perceptions once they hit your website.
By doing research on how users currently perceive your organization, you will better be able to adjust certain items that may garner negative feelings (i.e. copy, images, videos, navigation, etc.). Through surveys, social signals and analysis, you’ll be able to understand how your brand is perceived online and off, helping you elevate it to the right audience.
In order to figure out the best way to prioritize features, you must find out what your user base finds most valuable. For each user, this may be different, but through data, you can gain a larger picture of what is important.
When you have a grasp on what they consider the most important pieces of information, you can relay that into a very streamlined and pleasant user experience, such as reorganizing your donation process or outreach strategy.
Talk to your current members, or potential advocates, and conduct a simple survey. You can do a poll over social media, or shoot out an email blast. You will be able to learn so much about your audience and the response will be immediate.
User research is imperative when you are trying to improve your non-profit’s website. Making the necessary changes and adjustments will be that much easier when you can rely on data to justify them. The opinions of those that you are trying to reach are valuable especially when you embark on recruiting new supporters and have to convince a board of directors why change is sometimes a good thing!
At Hub & Spoke, we regularly work with non-profits, helping them find focus for their website and brands. From marketing analysis and surveys to focus groups and website audits, we’re here to help you along every step of the marketing process.