Owners of nonprofit websites have many of the same needs and concerns as any website owner. The site still needs to be attractively designed, well written and easy to navigate. For general tips on how to get a website and generate traffic, see the main section of this website: How to set up a website.

But a nonprofit site has some special needs:

Promoting Your Organization

Your Home Page is going to be the most viewed page on your site. It’s important to state your mission clearly and prominently on that page, along with contact information or a prominently displayed link to contact information or forms. This may seem self-evident, but it’s easy to succumb to the temptation to have an elaborate entry page with a lot of animation and very little content.

Your Home Page needs to display links to enticing pages (stories, news, children’s games on your site), and calls to action (write your congressman on this issue, volunteer, donate).

Finally, your Home Page must be updated frequently with fresh, relevant information that will keep people coming back.

Some examples of home pages that achieve these goals are:

  • World Wildlife Organization
  • Rainforest Alliance
    Clear navigation points to the most important aspects of the site with “Get Involved” offering a clear call to action. Offer teacher’s and children’s activities. “News” on home page promises fresh information.
  • Anti Defamation League
    Mission statement prominently displayed at top of page. Headlines and links to relevant news stories. Clear navigation menu.
  • Christian Aid
    Uses just a few well chosen photographs to illustrate their mission, as well as a textual mission statement. Fresh information. Brief illustrative story. Donation request up front and easy to find.

Providing Information to Your Clients and the General Public

Your website is an opportunity to gain credibility with the public by displaying mastery of your cause or mission. Also, people who benefit from visiting your site are more likely to become donors. It’s important, however, to provide fresh information at frequent intervals to keep people coming back.