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How to get your non-profit website re-design right

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If your non-profit has a website, it’s likely you may have come through that process with some challenges.  You’re all the better for it since you know what to do more efficiently next time with your website.  So you might even be ready to consider a website re-design.  It’s important to take what you’ve learned and reach out for information that would help the process go much smoother.

At Mode Effect we’ve had the pleasure of working with some great non-profit companies to help them build powerful and effective websites.  Non-profit companies are making the world a better place and since we’ve enjoyed helping them we wanted to share some helpful information to help get your non-profit website re-design done right.

We’re specifically talking about website re-design.  If you haven’t built a website yet these are great steps to follow to create a powerful website on the first go-around.  Whatever step you’re on with regards to website design you have to consider these key elements to get your non-profit website re-design right.

Getting your first impression “right.”

When a visitor or potential donor comes to your website it’s important how to win trust and convey your message to them appropriately.  [Tweet “So often non-profit business websites have their “donate” button in a place that isn’t very strategic and can easily be missed.”]  You can’t necessarily say one approach is the best either since not every user is your ideal donor or perhaps they are and the one reason they came was to donate to your non-profit business.

There is so much ground to cover when it comes to getting a “right” first impression so it would be tough to cover them all.  A couple of important items you’ll want to be sure that you nail will be:

  1. Tell your story – It sounds obvious but can prove tougher to accomplish without the proper know-how.  Your non-profit should be creating messaging and imagery tell the story that appeals to the user.  Engage with them and have them become a partner in your success.  It’s easier than you think!
  2. Mobile responsive format – The website has to be built using a mobile responsive format since it’s likely that over half of your visitors will be coming from a mobile device.  Heck, Google is even starting to penalize some websites over not being built in this supporting format.

Keep your website visitor(s) on your website.

What does that mean?  It means that so often websites have a link to push the user off the website and you risk the potential of them not being able to complete the process we’ve asked them to complete and in that process they lose trust!  Users always have a better experience and trust a non-profit more when they are able to do what they need to do while staying on the website.  Here are a couple steps to help get this “right.”

  1. SSL Certificate – This security measure helps to protect and encrypt your customer and donor information when they send any information through donation or regular information forms.  This can be a tricky process but it’s highly likely your website host knows enough to help you purchase and install this on your website.
  2. Payment Gateway – Yes this is a common step but a commonly misunderstood one.  There are easier services to use than others.  For example, Stripe has amazing integration with lots of services that would also be compatible with your website.

Now obviously this is not the exclusive or comprehensive guide but rather some things that we’ve been working towards with some amazing non-profit clients.  I’m truly excited to see them launch a website and gain great traction with their website as one of their most powerful fundraising engine.

Helping non-profits change the world is part of our job.  Now it’s your turn!  Re-design that website and make your change in the world!

Cody Landefeld

co-founder at Mode Effect. ECommerce consultant. Coram deo.

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