Your nonprofit website is a powerful tool. From giving new supporters an overview of what your organization does to offering ways to get involved, a well-designed website can accelerate your marketing efforts and grow your reach. Most notably, strong web design can help your organization attract donors to meet (and exceed!) your fundraising goals.
Your organization may already have a website, but if it’s not providing value to visitors or inspiring them to give, it may be time for a web design revamp. A well-designed website should not only direct traffic to your donation page, but also make the donation experience as smooth and user-friendly as possible to promote recurring contributions.
Whether you’re designing your website from scratch or eager to update your existing design, the right tools and strategies can help. Use these top tips to take your nonprofit web design to the next level:
- Develop a streamlined donation page
- Use simple navigation
- Add accessibility features
Before you jump into web design, it’s important to have the right technology on hand. Invest in a nonprofit-specific website builder with drag-and-drop editing so you can streamline the web design process and load in your content with ease. Armed with a comprehensive CMS, your nonprofit will be in great shape to improve your website over time and maximize your online fundraising efforts.
Develop a streamlined donation page
Your website’s donation page is the central hub of your fundraising strategy, so it’s critical to make it as intuitive and engaging as possible. Site visitors might land on your giving page after learning more about your nonprofit, but if the form itself is too lengthy or the page is visually unappealing, they can just as quickly navigate away.
To ensure your donation page encourages visitors to complete the donation process, use these best practices:
- Limit the number of prompts. Your donation form should take only a few minutes to complete, so stick to asking donors for the most essential information. This should include their name, contact information, donation amount, and billing information. You can always collect more details about your supporters after they give by leading donor stewardship activities, like inviting them to topic-focused luncheons.
- Use ample spacing. A cluttered donation page can complicate the giving experience and make it difficult for donors to fill out your prompts. To address this issue, reasonably space apart each prompt and give your visitors room to breathe. This helps create a minimalistic feel that will make your donation page more approachable.
- Incorporate your branding. Your branding will help supporters feel confident that this donation page belongs to your organization. Kwala’s guide to nonprofit branding recommends infusing your verbal branding elements into your donation form, such as messaging and tone, as well as visual branding elements like fonts, color scheme, logo, and photos of your beneficiaries.
- Suggest donation amounts. Set suggested giving amounts that donors can easily select, such as $10, $25, $50, and $100. This can inspire donors to give more than they were originally thinking. Be sure to also provide a write-in box so donors have the freedom to type in whatever donation amount they are most comfortable with.
- Add a recurring giving option. A monthly giving program can help your nonprofit retain donors and establish a reliable donation pipeline. Invite supporters to sign up for monthly giving on your donation page and set their recurring giving amount. With the right payment processor, you can automatically (and securely) take out this donation amount each month and transfer the funds to your nonprofit.
To assess whether your donation page design is as user-friendly and appealing as possible, track real-time analytics with the help of your CMS and free tools like Google Analytics. Specifically, review metrics like time on-page, bounce rate, and conversion rate. This will give you invaluable insight into how you can hone your donation page design to inspire more donations.
Use simple navigation
Let’s say a site visitor lands on your website with the intention of learning more about your organization. After they’ve read through your mission statement and scanned through a few blog posts, they feel inspired to give. However, after looking around for a few moments, they can’t find your donation page and leave your website altogether.
This is an all-too-common obstacle for nonprofits that don’t have a streamlined navigation system on their site. Your nonprofit web design should make it as easy as possible for visitors to find your donation page, whether they’re on your homepage, about page, or other section of your site. Morweb explains that the best nonprofit websites use the following navigation features to direct traffic to their giving pages:
- Straightforward navigation menu. Your navigation menu should feature clear titles and links to your most important pages, including your donation page, contact us page, about us page, and blog. If your organization has multiple valuable resources you’d like to direct visitors to, leverage your website builder to create a mega menu. With a mega menu, you can organize your links into sections and create large dropdown lists.
- Eye-catching calls-to-action. Throughout your content, you should add calls-to-action that bring supporters to your donation page. A call-to-action is a word or brief phrase, often displayed as a button, that contains a hyperlink to the relevant resource. For instance, if you share a blog post about your nonprofit’s fundraising campaign, include a call-to-action within the content that says “Donate Now!” This makes it simple for supporters to take the desired next action.
- Optimized loading speeds. Your supporters can’t navigate your content if the pages take too long to load! The right website builder will automatically optimize your website so all of your pages load in just a few moments, whether visitors are on computers or mobile devices.
By implementing streamlined navigation, donors will have a more positive user experience on your website and will be more likely to explore your content, find ways to get involved, and donate on a regular basis.
Add accessibility features
Your nonprofit website should be easily accessible to all users. For example, if a user with a visual disability lands on your website, they should be able to readily engage with your on-page elements and fill out your donation page with ease. By prioritizing accessibility, you’ll be able to effectively create an inclusive community, offer a user-friendly website experience, and convert site visitors to donors.
Ensure your website has the following accessibility elements:
- Accessibility widget. An accessibility widget lets your visitors customize your content to fit their exact needs. For instance, users can adjust the font size, change colors to grayscale, highlight links, and change the font type.
- Alt text and transcripts. Alt text is a brief description that summarizes what a visual element, like a photo or graphic, is conveying. This way, visually-impaired users can understand what your visual content is and how it relates to the rest of your on-page content. For videos, provide transcripts and closed captioning.
- Color contrast. Your text should clearly stand out from the background of the page to increase readability. Many nonprofits use dark text on a light-colored background, such as black text on a white page.
With the right website builder, you can implement these accessibility best practices and more to ensure your website is compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Regularly review the WCAG so you can update your website as needed to meet the minimum requirements.
A strong website design is one of your best assets to fuel donations and connect with supporters from all over the world. Do your research to find a comprehensive website builder with built-in donation page templates, navigation features, accessibility tools, and more to make developing your site as easy as possible. Remember to keep your audience’s needs and interests in mind as you build out your content to inspire giving at a large scale.