Donor Friendly or a Donor Deterrent – Your Organization’s Website

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By: Heather Thornton, Project Manager

We search them daily, whether it is to catch up on the latest news, find an answer to a question, or check out photos on Facebook: websites.  In today’s heavily internet-reliant culture, I would suspect that your organization already has a website to promote your mission and spread the word about your programs and services.  However, just how effective is your site when it comes to attracting and providing possible donors and volunteers the information they are seeking?

Just the other day, I was navigating a particular organization’s website (which shall go unnamed) to try and locate a contact number.  It took a good ten minutes of fruitlessly wading through various pages to even locate a number.  Once I called, I was connected to a recording, which was in no way helpful, and then the call disconnected (also not helpful).  I did not even have the option of speaking to a real human.  Needless to say, it was a frustrating experience, which leads me to my first and second suggestions below:

  1. List all pertinent information on your homepage, where it is easily viewable and accessible.
  1. Make sure that your contact number listed on your home page connects individuals viewing your website, who also may be potential donors, volunteers, etc., directly to a person and not a recording.
  1. Make donating easy and painless – perhaps consider installing a large, red “Give Now!” button at the top of your homepage, which would direct would-be donors immediately to your online giving portal.
  1. Make sure your website is mobile-optimized. With the rise in smartphone users who access the web, there is a good chance that your site will be searched on a mobile device.  If you site is not mobile-optimized, you run the risk that people will not be able to navigate your site and will leave.

As the holidays approach and donors are looking to make year-end gifts, now might be a good time to evaluate your organization’s site and ask yourself how it can be improved.  Now, please excuse me while I log onto Facebook to see what my friends are having for lunch.

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