non profit web design

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.

Ecommerce Web Design Web Design

Three Payment Gateway Giants: Comparing Stripe, Authorize.net and PayPal

Accepting credits cards online is one the fastest ways to grow your business or to gain more supporters for your cause.

Payment processing and donation management on website design via Paypal, Stripe, and Authorize.net

What is the purpose of a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is the online version of a cashier or bank teller. You want it to be user-friendly while maintaining a high level of security during online transactions.

Payment gateways are used by both nonprofit organizations and e-commerce website designs.

Whether it enables your organization to receive a huge donation or acts as a payment processor for online sales, choosing the right payment gateway can make the difference between closing the deal or watching someone “walk away” because of a complicated and convoluted process.

Why is a quick and efficient transaction so important?

After spending time working on the visual appeal of your website, you are undoubtedly attracting new customers. The last thing you want to do is put a roadblock in their way during the payment process. Requiring too many clicks to complete a sale or donation often leads to frustration or outright abandonment on behalf of the user, with 27% of potential customers abandoning a checkout because of complication, according to Baymard Institue.

So, how do you ensure the process is seamless? With a solid payment gateway.

Let’s look at the three main payment gateways web developers trust:

Stripe is the payment gateway designed with website developers in mind, allowing for a wide range of integrations and setups to meet the demands of a modern website design.

If you plan on using the services of an experienced web designer, Stripe is one of the best options on the market today, with major companies like Kickstarter, Lyft, Shopify and OpenTable, all utilizing Stripe.

Both Stripe and Authorize.net (the next gateway on our list) are fully white label, meaning the customer or donor never has to leave your website, which is good for brand continuity and a seamless experience.

Stripe is highly recommended, as it is the most modern and flexible API for development, which in web speak, means it rocks for online payment transactions. The core features include:

  • On-site checkout
  • No initial set-up or monthly fees
  • Transaction fees are comparable to PayPal at 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Anti-fraud protection
  • Recurring payments supported
  • Available in over 20 countries with more than 100 currencies automatically converted
  • Automatically transfers money received every two days to your bank account
  • Syncs with QuickBooks

Authorize.net has been around since 1996, making them one of the earliest online payment gateways available.

They’ve developed a friendly interface that’s rather granular, giving site owners the ability to vary levels of access. In addition to transaction fees on-par with the other gateways, Authorize.net typically charges a setup fee and monthly fee, but it depends on the usage and level of integration needed, with multiple plans and options.

  • On-site check-out
  • Recurring payments supported
  • Available in only 5 countries (US, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia)
  • Set-up and monthly fees charged
  • Many local banks offer Authorize.net add-ons for accounts
  • Syncs with QuickBooks

PayPal can be a stand-alone option, but it is often used in conjunction with a main gateway or point-of-sale (POS) system, such as their credit card swiper.

For many, Paypal can be a time saver as so many users already have established PayPal accounts. However, PayPal is the most visually limited of the three.

PayPal Standard requires you to have their branding and redirects customers to the PayPal site to complete the transaction, meaning Paypal controls the bulk of the process. While this can be a good thing for security and liability, many businesses and nonprofits prefer visitors to stay on-site through checkout.

  • External checkout
  • No initial set-up or monthly fee
  • Transaction fees of 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee
  • Available in over 200 countries
  • Approximately 3-4 day turnaround for funds to hit your account
  • Does offer a discounted nonprofit transaction rate

No matter the payment gateway, we can help you decide which is best for your customers and website. From there, we can fully integrate the payment gateways seamlessly into your website design for a simple, effortless checkout process that ensures repeat business or donations.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to talk about how we can help you accept payments and non-profit donations online today!

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.

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