Five-Minute Nonprofit Website Checkup
Although you look at your nonprofit’s website every day, you sometimes have to step back and examine it with a fresh pair of eyes.
Ask yourself whether someone new to your website would be able to easily find all the critical information about your nonprofit.
This brief website health checkup can be completed in less time than it takes to brew a pot of coffee, and it requires no special computer skills or programs. We suggest going through this checklist at least once a quarter to confirm that your site is easy to navigate and appeals to supporters.
So start your timer and dive into the five-minute nonprofit website checkup!
Minute One: Homepage
Does your homepage load quickly? Studies have shown even ten microseconds – one millionth of a second – can influence a visitor’s decision to stay or leave the site. It’s especially important to check the loading speed if your website has a graphical “splash” page.
The homepage should convey your nonprofit’s mission without going into too much detail about your work. Keep it professional and simple. It should also have an inspiring and engaging image or banner that showcases what your organization does for the community and the world. Try to use images created by professional photographers or designers, and stay away from stock photos.
Additionally, your homepage should have links to your social media pages, such as Facebook and Twitter, so supporters can stay connected to your work.
Minute Two: About Us Page
From the homepage, you should be able to quickly find a link to a page that describes your nonprofit’s mission and vision. This page should also include a brief history about your organization and mention your nonprofit’s 501(c)3 status.
Minute Three: Lead Generation
Email is still the best way to generate action from supporters. Recent studies by Blackbaud and Razu show that fundraising through social media platforms only get a conversion rate of 3 to 6 percent on average, while asking via email leads to about 33 percent conversion rate. So take a minute to confirm that your organization’s email signup form is easy for people find. The best email signup forms only ask potential supporters for one thing – their email address.
Minute Four: Donation Page
Your nonprofit cannot continue to do good work without funding. Make it easy for people who want to donate to do so. You should have prominent buttons to your donation page on every single page of your website.
Once people find your donation page, make it easy for them to give. Don’t make donors first register on your website or sign up for your newsletter. Make sure they know their personal information is safe. Include the name or logo of the security software your organization uses to protect their data. All of this should take less than a minute to find.
The recent report published by CNN on America’s Worst Charities serves as a good reminder about the importance of being transparent on how nonprofits use money from donors. It’s crucial to let your donors know that you are good stewards of their money. List all your programs and show a breakdown of how much money goes towards programs or towards general overhead Guidestar recommends providing a copy of your 990 tax form online. At the very least, tell donors how you plan to use their money.
Minute Five: Contact Information Page
Try to find your nonprofit’s contact information. The best practice is to have a link to the “Contact Us” page in the footer of every page on your website. Make sure the information on this page is up to date. Donors will feel more secure giving to an organization they can call or visit. With that in mind, make sure this page includes your organization’s office address (no P.O. Boxes), phone number, and either an email address or contact form.
So how did you do? Was your website easy to navigate or is there work to be done? Of course this checkup is not a replacement for a full website audit, but it can show you some areas where your site needs improvement.