In wake of numerous technological advances and subsequent cultural shifts, it is now imperative for a business or initiative to have an established web presence; this is no different for nonprofits and charitable causes. In fact, nowadays, consistent web activity is all but synonymous with philanthropic success. By creating a website, you will not only build a great digital home base for your cause, you will also establish a foundation for broader reach and diversified involvement.
To streamline the process, here are three quick tips for creating a strong, functional philanthropic website.
Have a plan
It is difficult to create a website from scratch without a working vision of your final product; this applies to both site content and aesthetics — as well as structure and user interface. To start, simply close your eyes and envision what you would want your site to look like, considering everything from color schemes and content placement to logos and fonts. Once the image is clear, take time to draft your ideas, making them as specific as possible for those overseeing the site’s development (or for yourself if you are building the project yourself). Finally, designate an intended domain name — and several backups — and seek out a hosting platform and site construction software. With these pieces preemptively aligned, you will be set to hit the ground running.
Take steps to make your site clear and direct for new users. Include copy that is to-the-point in terms of communicating your mission statement, outlining ways to get involved or support your initiative, and guiding users to key sections of the site. At the same time, establish a balance between minimal and comprehensive, relegating longer-form content to specific “about us” pages or directories. Upon visiting your site, users should be able to quickly and seamlessly develop a strong idea of your initiative’s identity and purpose.
Once your site is finalized and operational, be sure to perform regular maintenance to keep it active — whether it is posting updates to your front page, auditing links to keep them functional, or fine-tuning site content to remain consistent with current events. Furthermore, establish strategic links between your site and a multifaceted social media presence; platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are great outlets to direct traffic back to your site while supplementing site content with in-the-moment posts. From an SEO standpoint, this activity will ensure you are carving a digital niche in your desired philanthropic sector.