The Holy Grail of Nonprofit Tips ✨
Get all of the information you need to efficiently manage your nonprofit with our monthly newsletter.
what-should-a-non-profit-website-include-must-haves-vs-nice-to-haves

What Should A Nonprofit Website Include? Must-Haves vs Nice-To-Haves

Alvina

So you are standing at the beginning of your nonprofit website-building adventure, and it is time to design your content. It is exciting stuff! You have chosen your domain name, situated your logo with some images, and are ready to get started on your website team project. You may be asking yourself, "what should my website include?"

In many instances, your website is the first place your potential donors and members will learn about your nonprofit. Web design can be a daunting task, since you want to perfect each section and effectively capture the attention of your visitors, but you might not be so sure what elements are imperative to include. 

We have compiled some of the nonprofit website best practices. Because nonprofit website development is a huge project, we noted whether each recommendation was a "must have'" or a "nice to have." After reading, you should have a better idea about where to begin, so let’s jump in!

what-should-a-non-profit-website-include-must-haves-vs-nice-to-haves-must-haves

Must Haves

A "must-have" is something that is essential to include when you create your nonprofit website to ensure it functions properly. This is the outset of your online presence, so it is vital to educate new viewers about your organization and its mission. If you use this section as a template, you should have the most imperative bases covered. 

When your website structure is mindfully planned, you have a higher potential of converting visitors into loyal members of your community. 

Home Page 

This section is pretty obvious, it is the page people land on when they type your URL into their search bar. Your home page is the base page of your online presence, and you will probably update it the most frequently. The links that lead to all your other pages should be easiest to access from here. 

what-should-a-non-profit-website-include-must-haves-vs-nice-to-haves-home-pageMatt is getting started working on his nonprofit's website!

You can create different sections for viewers to scroll through, and it is a good idea to creatively sprinkle in simple information about your organization wherever you can. You might include some very brief info about on:

  • Your mission

  • The team 

  • Your community

  • Ambassadors

  • Current projects 

  • Testimonials 

You may be able to utilize a few widgets that allow this information to rotate through these options in a slider, giving your visitors a little taste of what your nonprofit is all about. You will spark their interest, inspiring them to learn more, which is ideal while you have their initial attention.

Be sure to incorporate strong visuals that represent your brand and mission, and use this space to communicate your mission statement. More information will be expressed in detail on other pages so there is no need to repeat everything here. Do not be afraid to leave more to the imagination, encouraging your viewers to explore the page further. 

"What We Do" Page

This page can be used a few different ways, but the key point is to educate your audience in depth about your core mission, passions, strategies, and team. There are a lot of ways to explain exactly who you are. You might create a focus around where you come from and your physical locations, your goals and inspirations, or solely what purpose your organization serves in society. You may choose to title it:

  • About Us

  • Who We Are

  • What We Do

The "What We Do" page provides a clear explanation of your organization and what you wish to achieve. This is often the first stop for people who are new to your organization. Remember that they want a good initial understanding of what the organization is but also that it is reputable. 

Pro Tip: We love to talk all about the power of storytelling at Springly. However you design this page, it is a wonderful opportunity to implement your story building skills to create an engaging overview of the reason why you do the things you do. Stories that come from the heart are most effective, just don’t overdo it!

Donation Page

The main function of the donation page is to offer visitors a way to make a donation online. Creating an easy-to-use system that eliminates the need to click around is ideal. Keep all the important info towards the top of the page, including the donation buttons, so the visitor can swiftly send funds if that is what they are already there to do.

Any great donation page has convincing calls to action with very few other distractions on the page. Make sure this page remains updated with straightforward information about who the money will be supporting. You may choose to include photos and text summarizing your most recent projects to give potential donors a glimpse into what they would be supporting by clicking "donate." The payment information is the main feature of the page and this information should not prohibit or make payment difficult in any way. 

what-should-a-non-profit-website-include-must-haves-vs-nice-to-haves-donate-pageSalma is ready to donate to the cause!

Be short, but as transparent as possible. Provide accurate details about the specific projects, resources, or situations you are working for. Generating a trusting relationship with donors is a great way to maintain their support, and lasting relationships always include open communication. 

In addition, this is a good place to briefly showcase all the big plans you have for utilizing your funding. Taking the time to educate donors about your projects helps them to understand what is possible because of their donations.

Pro Tip: Make it as easy as possible for your community to donate. Ensuring that someone who came to donate can do so easily (i.e., put the donation section at the top so that they do not have to scroll) is ideal from a user experience perspective. Making it easy for them encourages them to do it again. Also, be sure to consider creating an option for recurring donations! 

"Volunteer For Us"

This page also takes on a variety of formats for many nonprofits, depending on who they are and what the desired level of volunteer involvement is. You might be an organization that already has pre-existing teams with no need for volunteers. In that case, you can offer an option to join with a membership, a subscription, or simply follow on all socials. You might choose to call this tab:

  • Join Us

  • Become a Volunteer

  • Be a Part 

  • Help Make a Change

The idea is to open the doors for your viewers to work alongside you, however, it may manifest. Your title and the design of the page will depend on the reason for corralling your volunteers, be it physical involvement or simply staying tuned in online. 

If you do use volunteers for different events, you might choose to include information about how to subscribe to a special newsletter that notifies recipients about any upcoming opportunities to get involved. Similarly, a simple signup link for your regular email newsletter works well here, and it serves well to gain you important viewability.

Contact Page

This page should always remain completely up to date with important emails, phone numbers, and addresses. More often than not, people who visit your website will be looking for this page. They may be reaching out to collaborate, to verify your credibility, or to get you involved with their own community. Just be sure that you do not include any personal information that you would not want to make public.

Pro Tip: To avoid answering the same question repeatedly, include an FAQ (frequently asked questions) page in plain sight. This will act as your first line of defense for random phone calls, preventing people from contacting you with easily-answered questions. 

Privacy Policy 

In some states (California, for example,) a privacy policy is mandatory by law and must be posted in plain sight on your webpage. It is important to know any and all of the laws in your state so be sure to get a professional’s help if you do not already have a company-wide policy in place. 

That being said, even if it is not directly stated as law, you will likely be much better off if you simply include one. There is a certain level of nuance around the laws, and you can easily violate regulations without trying. Your privacy policy should be written with clear and accurate statements about all of your information sharing practices, and it should automatically pop up for any site visitors before they approve their transaction. 

Ideally, people will be inputting their credit card information in digital forms on your website. This contains their full name, address, and other sensitive info, so it is important to reassure them that you will not sell their information. In fact, you should take all necessary measures to protect any info that could identify them. 

Pro Tip: If you violate your own privacy policy, you could face a very frustrating lawsuit, so please be mindful and always seek a professional’s advice regarding these matters.

what-should-a-non-profit-website-include-must-haves-vs-nice-to-haves-nice-to-haves

Nice-To-Haves

Now that we have covered all of the things you really cannot go without, let’s talk about some of those things that you do not necessarily need, but can be great additions. If you want to have a modern feel to your website, or if you have limited time and resources, you might choose to include as little information on it as possible. If that is not the case, you could design your site with as many of these pages as you would like as long as you remember that every piece of information you include should have a purpose. Focus on quality over quantity so that you have the right information for the right audience in the right place. 

Resources

This could include anything from e-books to webinars to a fully designed blog. Blogs and other resources produced by your organization are great ways to become thought leaders in your community, build credibility and also improve traffic through SEO. You put all this work into your site, you may as well make the most of it! Leveraging content to generate more views is an awesome marketing tactic, and creating resources is a very clear path to get there. 

what-should-a-nonprofit-website-include-success-storiesSadie's nonprofit is ready to offer resources on their website!

Success Stories 

This title is also a relatively versatile one, as there are a lot of angles you can take when you think about the concept of success. If you are a membership-based organization, it might take on the form of a "testimonials" page, which acts as social proof of your impact. It could also help to recruit members who want to be a part of the success your nonprofit has already become! 

Not a membership-based nonprofit? No problem. Take this time to warm the heart of your readers, telling stories about, or from the perspective of your beneficiaries. Alternatively, or additionally, include your personal favorite moments of true service to the community. Speak from your soul, keep it as human as possible, and always be honest!

Dedicated Landing Pages

These could be for any specific purpose you deem worthy of having a special page. You could have a place to list all your social media pages, or a podcast that you work directly with. Anything you want to direct more traffic towards is appropriate to leave here. It is a good idea to include strong and clear CTAs to go with each, along with some information about what it means and how it relates to your nonprofit. 

Upcoming Events

This is a particularly useful idea if you do a lot of fundraising as a main channel of income. The success of your events is imperative to the success of your projects, so directing attention to these wherever you can is a really good plan of action. You should include:

  • A clear and easy-to-read calendar for your upcoming events

  • A map of how you are using the event to help the community

  • A simple sign up or RSVP process

  • Any important info about the events, including amenities, activities, or defining characteristics of any kind 

Pro Tip: If you are looking to connect your organization to the outside world with email, blog, newsletters, and an easy-to-use nonprofit website builder, you can do all of this (and more) with Springly!

Financial Transparency

When you make your financial information public for your stakeholders and potential donors, you generate a more trusting relationship between all parties. Like the rest of your website, make this page easy to read and highlight or otherwise accentuate the most important information. 

You may even want to include your annual reports from your IRS Form 990/990-EZ. When you are willing to be upfront about this kind of information, people are that much more confident in your organization’s credibility. Your potential donors or members will see that you are proud of the impact you have had, including the numbers. They will know it sets you apart and solidifies your status as a valid and useful operation. 

what-should-a-non-profit-website-include-must-haves-vs-nice-to-haves-end

Springly is trusted by over 20,000 nonprofits to help them run their organizations on a daily basis. Try it, test it, love it with a 14-day free trial!

Communication & Marketing
Alvina