non profit web design

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 No one likes outdated social media accounts that sit there empty.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.

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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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