advocacy website design

Whether you’re a non-profit organization, NGO or advocacy organization, these tips and best practices will help you increase donations, members and engage. Ready to learn more about how we can help you? Hub & Spoke is here to help as a non-profit website design firm that helps clients empower and engage online.

Best Practices Web Design

6 Content Rules for Effective Non-Profit Websites

A website for a non-profit differs importantly from for-profit businesses in this vital area: the target audience.

As a non-profit, your website is a tool to capture the attention, communicate, and interact with a very specific group of constituents. Here are a few rules that, if followed, will drastically increase the effectiveness of your non-profit website’s content, helping you engage better with your target.

Focus On The Home Page

Content is more than the words on a website. It’s also about the way the site is organized.

The thing about most web users is that they are easily frustrated and distracted. The power to make a good first impression on them is in your home page. A great non-profit website design is user-friendly but still captures attention.

Once the website is live, test it yourself. See how easy it is to get through to information a user might be seeking, and adjust accordingly. Make sure that key actions such as donating or learning more are easy to take. Users like straightforward sites that do not need more than two or three clicks to get them to their selected task.

Know Your Audience

Whom are you targeting? Are you speaking their language in your content? The most important way to create content is by knowing whom it is geared towards and creating information that would certainly be both beneficial and interesting to them. Content is king, and if it does not meet the needs of your target audience, you will lose them.

non profit website design example for membership association

Unless your audience is a community of experts, keeping your content free of jargon will also do you some good; most people just want simple information that they can digest without having to look up difficult vocabulary. Either way, make sure your content is well organized and easy to navigate.

Share Your Mission

If you work for a non-profit organization, you probably seek to make a difference in people’s lives. Donors will want to know your mission and, hopefully, read a little bit about the communities that you are helping. Make sure your mission is clear.

In this digital era, videos have become one of the essential ways of communicating. You could have a few videos showing what it is that you do and how the user could help further your mission. Especially if you are trying to make a personal, emotional connection, or to convey complicated information, a video is the way to go.

Be Mobile

Studies show that most of today’s web browsing happens on a smartphone or other mobile device. You don’t want your site to be frustrating or unreachable to the majority of users. Your site simply must be mobile-friendly to be relevant.

Mobile-friendly sites have other advantages as well. If it only takes a tap to call your organization to volunteer or pledge, users may be more likely to do it. Whether your site is mobile-friendly or not also has a huge impact on your search ranking.

 

Keep Content Simple and Fresh

Your site is for information, and thus, it needs to be simple and to the point. For your content to capture attention and be easy to skim through, the most important parts should be visible. You can make it easy for your audience to find the main keywords by formatting your text so that headings clearly stand out and highlighting relevant information.

One of the biggest turn-offs in websites is stale information. No one is going to take the organization seriously if the content in there is outdated. Updating your content regularly brings people up to speed and keeps them reading. It will also improve your search ranking.

If it feels like creating new content takes too much time, you could create enough evergreen content and then schedule its release systematically. Here’s the catch, though; you cannot just put together anything that you find online. It has to be of value to your audience.

Calls To Action

Your site is a source of information and action. After informing your audience, always take the chance to call them to action.

non profit website design example with call to action

Let potential donors know how they can help your cause with their donations. If you rely on volunteers, make sure that signing up is easy and that the work required is communicated clearly. If you work on public policy, let your user base know how they can contact their representatives, and give them useful strategies if they do. Remind the people who care about your cause that they don’t have to be passive; they can have an impact, as well.

Make A Difference

These rules are simple but will help you create an advocacy website design that communicates as clearly as it educates. Remember that the quality of your website can directly affect how many people you reach and how many of those people will take action. Go ahead and create a masterpiece.

Ready for more tips or to see how we can help you put them into practice? Contact Hub & Spoke today to talk about websites for non-profits, a sector in which we have a lot of experience.

The Process Web Design

Maximizing a Smaller Budget for Non-Profit Website Design

Top notch non-profit website design requires the same level of professionalism as is expected of any business web design, especially when accepting donations or aiming to increase awareness.

How do non-profits justify the need for a web design budget?

In today’s world, people browse online when they want to learn more or contribute to a cause, so a powerful web presence is a must to help stand out. Continue Reading

Web Design

How can website design push a non-profit to the next level?

A non-profit’s website should be a jumping-off point for visitors, helping educate and inform them on the core mission and values of the organization. From there, it should serve as a platform to convert them into a donor or volunteer, buying into the mission and helping to further the overall goals.

Powerful non-profit website design accounts for the fact that some people are ready to commit to the cause while others are just beginning their investigative journey.

With this in mind, let’s talk about four ways to pack more power into your website, ensuring it has value for visitors seeking to learn more about your organization and cause.

Use your blog wisely

Connect with like-minded people by sharing your successes and the positive impact of the organization regularly.

Having a blog is good for communicating with constituents regularly, but it’s also great for search marketing, as it helps your site appear relevant to Google. By focusing on regular content, your site will continue to be found, which in turn, helps share your mission and goals with others.

Use your blog to educate in an informal environment, showcasing success stories, video testimonials and press releases.

Also, make sure to keep people in the loop regarding upcoming events, plus, share photos from past events to show them what they might have missed.

Boost social media activity

Make those social sharing buttons pop to entice visitors to check-out what’s going at Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.

Because people enjoy media in different ways, you will engage a larger following by diversifying your online presence and focusing on multiple platforms. But remember, only focus on as many as you can actively manage. No one likes outdated social media accounts that sit there empty.

Also consider having a “social wall” or clearing house for all your social accounts in once place on the website. Here, users can quickly see all your recent activity from across the various platforms, as well as related activity, such as posts you’re tagged in, or posts from affiliated accounts.

Grow your email outreach list

Whether it’s a first-time visitor or a returning donor, you need to make sure email collection is part of the process.

Email addresses allow you to reach out to individuals directly and at less cost than other marketing means, so make it a goal to grow your email list.

Services like MailChimp, AWeber and Constant Contact make it easy to setup and manage a list, and many donor database applications integrate with email marketing platforms to ensure the lists can be used for future outreach.

Also consider grabbing a browser’ attention by offering exclusive content in exchange for their email address.

Offer fundraising and volunteer opportunities for those ready to commit

Volunteers are the heart and soul of many non-profits, so make it easy for them to sign up and get involved.

Through volunteer portals and email lists, you can ensure they’re ready to serve and get mobilized. A great website showcases the current volunteer openings and makes it simple to sign up.

Following these simple tips will help you take a generic “brochure site” to the next level, a website that is ready to inform and engage. At Hub & Spoke, we regularly work with non-profits, helping tell their story while finding them focus for their marketing and creative design.

Best Practices Web Design

How Data Can Improve Your Non-Profit’s Website

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! Continue Reading

The Process Web Design

5 Things to Consider Before Issuing a Website Design RFP

Finding a creative agency that fits perfectly with the needs of a client is one of the greatest challenges in the marketing process. Every agency has its specialties or industries it often works with, along with its unique qualifications and characteristics.

For many organizations, an RFP represents the best way to choose from among multiple vendors for a final interview and decision.

Having received and replied to a lot of RFPs over the years at Hub & Spoke, we thought we’d share a few tips on how to make it a smooth process.

1. Share Your Budget

It is a common notion that withholding your budget information increases competition among agencies and thus assuring you of better value. However, agencies have to consider the scale when looking to take on a project.

Withholding your budget information can lead to wasted time for both you and the agency in figuring out whether the relationship fits. Disclosing the budget information helps narrow down the field and ensures the right people respond.

2. Make your goals clear

When issuing an RFP for a St. Louis website design, you should consider clarifying the challenges you are likely to face and goals you have for the project.

Clearly outline the changes to the website and how you expect it to be organized. While you’re not expected to have a final plan of action, it’s still a good idea to establish a scope of work that the agency can use as a foundation for their estimate and their expected scope of work.

However, don’t be too rigid in your expectations. It’s okay to provide room for new ideas; that’s likely why you’re looking for help with your website design in the first place.

3. Set a realistic timeline

Website redesigns have been a painful process for non-profit organizations for a long time.

Given the importance of branding and website design to an organization, the last thing you would want to do is rush through the design, the strategy, and the implementation. Since it is an investment in time and money, it is important to get it right, without taking any shortcuts.

Setting realistic timelines will help you avoid any future regrets and ensure a well thought-out discovery phase and design period.

4. Narrow the field

Not every web designer will be a good fit for your project, so narrow down the field before issuing your RFP, instead of posting it for all comers.

Spend some time looking at other agencies’ works to see if they resonate with you and select a handful to compete for your project. Try reaching out and discussing with them to determine whether you can work perfectly together, as they’ll always be happy to talk about how they can help.

Also, by narrowing down the list before sending, you’ll avoid a lot of junk responses that are boilerplate and simplistic, which don’t address the actual problems and scope presented by you in the RFP.

5. Decide whether you really need an RFP

Before issuing an RFP, ask yourself whether it is really necessary or not.

Many organizations have moved away from the RFP process because they recognize that it may not be the most effective way to identify the perfect partner.

You might invest your time in developing the needs and requirements only to be put aside. Therefore, be thoroughly sure that you need an RFP before issuing and ensure you can dedicate the proper time to studying each response.

Creating a website design RFP can be a time consuming process with lots of data and information to compile. Have questions? Contact us and we’re happy to give our input, as we’ve read and responded to many of them.

Best Practices Trends Web Design

Ensuring Your Website Meets ADA Compliance Standards

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was devised to prohibit disability-based discrimination. Although the ADA was enacted before the internet was invented, the Department of Justice has already determined access to websites and other electronic media to be covered by the statute. Legislation on website compliance is currently going through the amendment process and an updated amendment is expected by 2018.

hs_ada-webite_0025 Continue Reading

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