This is probably nothing to do with ignorance – everybody uses the internet for everything and has done for at least 20 years – but may be due to an ever growing list of priorities of which digital marketing rarely comes top (although it really should!). In this age any organisation in any industry can increase their reach significantly and at a low initial and ongoing cost, by ensuring they invest equally across digital platforms alongside the more traditional print marketing and direct mail methods.
In a recent survey a shocking 50% of charities surveyed said they do not have a digital strategy and a total of 75% of charities think growing their digital skills would help them increase fundraising, yet 61% rate their digital fundraising skills as fair to low. If you’re part of the 50% that have no digital strategy it’s definitely time to review your online activities!
Why invest in great website design for charities?
A good way to think about your website is that it represents a window into your organisation. Often, before an interested individual gets in touch with you, they will hop on to a search engine and see what comes up. Are they going to be more likely to engage with you if they come across an up to date website with intuitive functionality and design or an outdated page that was developed in the 1990’s? Marginly worse than that, does your audience google you to find that you have no presence at all? How long has it been since you evaluated what your audience sees when they jump online to scout you out?
It is essential that a visitor’s first impression of your organisation is perfect. With the right design and content it is easy to engage the public with your cause through telling the powerful stories of your beneficiaries. This in turn raises the profile of your organisation and increases the amount people you can reach through your communications, all for a comparatively small initial investment.
What does great website design for charities look like?
When a website is developed you have to keep two things in mind. The first involves how the website looks to a visitor. Is it engaging to look at? Does the finished product communicate the culture, values and mission of the organisation? As we said above, often this initial visit will be the very first impression an individual will get of your organisation and so it needs to be perfect. Your finished product needs to communicate your brand perfectly whilst conveying your important message in an age where everybody is fighting for their attention at all times.
The second is how the website functions and includes how a user navigates and interacts with the website. This largely involves ensuring the navigation (the way a person will move around the website) and menu are intuitive to use. Anything other than this will mean visitors will become frustrated and leave before having a chance to soak in the importance of your services and/or cause. Equally we’d also include any micro interactions in this area. The small changes or animations that occur as a user navigates your website are subtle but incredibly important in engaging a visitor and keep them around your website for longer, ensuring that they have the maximum amount of time to digest what you are communicating.
Finally you need to establish what your call to action is and make sure that this is easy to for a user to follow. If you need somebody to get in touch, can they view your contact details effortlessly or fill in an easily-found message box? If your goal is for a visitor to download your marketing information and learn more about your mission, can they do this without becoming confused and leaving? Both of these areas are important for engaging interested parties. This is the ultimate goal of a great website – does it entice a user to stay around for the maximum amount of time and then finally take an action that you require?
So what now?
Now that you can understand the impact of investing in your online profile, we would be amiss if we didn’t write this little pitch at the end. At Liam Pedley Design we’ve spent most of our time working with not for profit and charitable organisations. We’ve also got a strong background working within the industry and therefore understand the unique challenges that face such services. If you’d like to enquire about how we can improve website design for charities or increase your reach through various digital marketing methods, we’d love to hear from you. We offer special discounted rates on all of our services for non profits and charities so it’s worth thinking about how you can take advantage of our website design and digital marketing skills at these affordable rates.
You can also see some of the other charities we have worked with in the past and view examples of our completed projects by clicking here.
We now offer a pay monthly website design service!
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent many years working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.