Web Design and Development

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What is the value of a web site? - from non-profit executives

A website is one of the best ways to tell your story accurately and in a context of your own choosing. Does your site do a great job explaining your mission and programs to potential supporters?

To help you create a stand-out web presence, a panel of Forbes Nonprofit Council members share some features nonprofit websites must include to appeal to current and prospective members or supporters. 

I think nonprofit websites are often heavily focused on driving donations. As a result, the mission, the why and the how get lost. Websites are so program-driven that they forget about the importance of inviting their community to get involved by donating, volunteering, raising funds, etc. Striking a balance is key. – Andrea Schwartz, Dear Jack Foundation

An explanation of member benefits must be apparent on a nonprofit’s website. While many individuals want to support nonprofits out of passion, many people also want to ask “What’s in it for me?” To appeal to current and future members, the nonprofit must be transparent about where the member’s donation will go and what they will receive in return. – Dr. Sherry McAllister, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

Nonprofits should offer a chat feature on their website. As consumers or clients get more technologically savvy, access to quick information and question answers virtually is critical. Just be sure that you list specific times for chat if limited and that you have someone who can respond very quickly! You would be amazed how many people will use this feature. – Kim Jefferies, Brighton Center

Stories about impact and clear calls to action are critically important for today’s nonprofit websites. Some research indicates that people spend an average of 10-45 seconds on a website. This means you need to quickly and clearly communicate the difference their engagement makes, both to individuals and the wider community, and how they can take action to join your organization’s work. – Kyle Zimmer, First Book

One of the main features of the website is an interactive space with a community manager who can share news and events. The manager can invite members and also sponsors to propose new ideas to improve the actions of the organization and enhance the impact of the mission. This interactive space should have a podcast section to invite guests and provide updated material for the audience. People are asking more for continuous fresh material. – Lobna Karoui, AI Exponential Thinker

Nonprofit websites must offer forums and outlets for new members to become involved in the work of building a better world. The best nonprofits are focal points of change that bring in a vast array of resources and strategically deploy them to effect change. For an interested volunteer, a website should offer clear and direct avenues to become incorporated into the work. – Robin Ganzert, American Humane

One of the keys for nonprofit websites is the idea of “connected giving” platforms. I see too many websites where the donation experience is transactional and entirely different from the rest of the website. The donation platform must work to connect the mission of the organization with the donation taking place. – Bill High, The Signatry

Nonprofit websites can be rather static and infrequently updated. Conversely, an organization posts information in real-time on their social media accounts. In a rapidly changing environment, it becomes important to build websites that feature links to social media. In this way, website visitors can quickly access up-to-date information about the organization anytime and from anywhere. – Christopher Washington, Franklin University

The organization’s website is the most important element of a modern digital nonprofit. An effective events calendar that makes registration and payment easy is vital. It should also place the event on the customers’ calendars so they do not forget to attend the event. Reminders of the upcoming event have also become standard. All of these elements show that the organization is truly digital. – Randy Wolken, MACNY – The Manufacturers Association

Let us audit your site to determine if:

Many websites are not optimized for searches, meaning they were not designed or built with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. Simply put, if your website has good SEO, it’s going to have a better chance of getting found anytime someone searches for the products or services you offer. Website optimization requires skilled writing, design, and technical know-how that incorporates key words and phrases, coding, and more. In addition, it ensures your web address is indexed on major search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. 

The bottomline:  You might have a beautiful website, but if it lacks SEO, no one is going to see it. 

If you’re not sure about the quality of your SEO, contact Sprout for a FREE analysis. If your website is in good shape, you might only need an SEO Boost, an affordable overhaul of your current SE

A whopping 52.2% of all internet traffic worldwide was conducted on mobile phones in 2018, up 2% from 2017. For this reason, your website has to display well on mobile. A mobile-friendly website can be easily navigated and viewed on any cell phone or tablet. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you’re missing out on a lot of potential business!

Is your website mobile friendly? Find out with Google’s free Mobile Friendly Test.

Let’s face it. There’s a lot of competition on the World Wide Web. If your website isn’t visually appealing, contains boring or irrelevant copy, or is filled with typos and grammatical errors, your visitors are going to leave as quickly as they landed on your page. In the industry, we call this a website bounce. 

A quality website has to function properly to bring in leads. Many poorly designed websites have:

Forms not working properly.

Non-working click-to-call links.

Can’t tell if the site is accessible for the disabled

We live in an era of instant gratification. We can order things from across the country at the click of a button and receive it the next day. If your website takes longer than a couple of seconds to load, chances are, your visitors aren’t going to stick around and Google will reduce its rank.

If you want to grab the attention of your visitors and help them navigate your website, you need to lead them to a clear call to action (CTA). 

Examples include:

-Joining your email list.

-Downloading a free white paper, industry guide, or other resource.

-Receiving a coupon or discount.

-Clicking to view your latest blog article.

-Registering for an upcoming program or event.

-Signing up to receive blog notifications.

NOTE: Your call to action should be noticeable (e.g. a standout button), yet blend in with the rest of your website design. And while a call to action is important, you don’t want to overwhelm your viewers with too many of them.

The website must be logical and navigable. It is not enough to have information on a site—the visitor must be able to find it. The easiest way to do this is to break the information down by viewer type and ensure that their experience is straightforward. If possible, add a monitored chat room that provides quick responses to optimize the viewer experience. – Elizabeth Kumbhari, Cultural Vistas, Inc.

A key feature of a nonprofit website is an individual’s ability to get to resources in less than three clicks. Once supporters can find and access resources quickly, then worry about providing more information or cool features. Technology is great and is always improving. We should take advantage of it, but don’t forget that a nonprofit’s website should be designed to make it easy to get help. – Magnus Johnson, Mission 22


63% of donors in North America prefer to give online. 

2020 Global Trends in Giving Report

What we can help you do

  • Content strategy: Decide how you should organize your content for the most effective message.
  • Content writing: Using language and voice that resonates with your audience.
  • Design: Determine the look and feel of your site so it does not look like another cookie-cutter site.
  • Social media: Come up with a social media strategy and schedule.
  • Usability: Make sure the terms, buttons, and links make for a user-friendly site.
  • SEO: How well your site is set up to support being found in search results

We provide a one-to-one relationship with an expert who has been designing and building interactive experiences for over 20 years.

One cost-effective source for strategy, design, development, and support

Base prices: “starting at…”

Hiring separate professionals to do what we provide in one package will cost you three to four times as much.

We can provide guidance by the hour or for a monthly retainer:

We can teach your staff how to use manage your site to maximize the value of our contribution.

Affordable retainer-based solution for

  • Design
  • SEO
  • Content Strategy
  • Website support and upgrades
Our process
  • Answer a set of standard questions
  • Based on answers offer a base price
  • Take deeper dive to determine the level of engagement.