This is a topic I have written about before on my blog. Earlier entries I have written are Website Pet Peeves and Content Ideas for Non-profit Websites.
I just read a blog entry at Marketing for Nonprofits about nonprofit websites and I started thinking about this topic again. Listed below are some ways to improve nonprofit websites.
1. Easy to Find Content
What content do you want people to know about on your site? Make sure website visitors can find this information quickly! Examples include how to donate, how to volunteer, how to sign up on e-mail lists, events, and campaigns.
2. News Items
Make sure you keep press releases and other news sections current! There are many organizations that have not kept their news sections updated in years - it's hard to believe that these organizations have not had any news in over a year or longer
3. Contact Information
There are many organizations that do not list their contact information or it is hard to find on their website. Readers want to know where your organization is located! If your organization does not want to put down complete contact information, at least put down the city and state or country if you are not located in the United States.
4. Page Titles
There are many websites that do not have the organization's name in the title. These websites have titles like Home Page or Home. That's not very descriptive! Be sure to include your organization's name in the titles of your pages! Also, if you are updating a newsletter or something else with a date on it, be sure to remember to change the date on the page. I have seen lots of newsletters on websites (and e-newsletters) where the title says April 2010 when it is really for May 2010.
Content Management Systems are the way to go now for nonprofits. However, there are still nonprofits who are updating websites manually and these sites do not always have the best design and usability. Make sure all webpages on the site have the same color and navigation scheme. Make sure visitors are able to tell what text or image is a link. Make sure the information is not cluttered and there is not too much white space.
6. Social Media
Does your organization have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr or another related site? Be sure to include the links to these sites on your organization website! It can be listed on the homepage or it can be listed on a separate page for Social Media. Be sure it is easy to find on the site! Also remember to include your website address on these other sites. Alot of people learn about your organization through these websites.
Does your organization have a blog? Make sure the link is easy to find on the website! Be sure the name of the organization and link to website is on the blog. As a nonprofit blog reader, I have seen many blogs that do not tell me what organization it is or a link to their web address. Remember that some people learn about your organization from your blog!