It’s all about the story. When visitors come to your nonprofit’s website, are they able to clearly understand your story within 15 seconds?  Can they feel your passion, energy, and commitment oozing from the powerful images and videos? Is the branding aligned and consistent? Does the limited but emotive text pull them in and keep them from bouncing? These are all important questions to answer, especially given the below:                      

  • There are approximately 10 million nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations worldwide. (nonprofitaction.com)
  • There are an estimated 1.3 million 501(c)3 organizations based in the United States. (National Council of Nonprofits)
  • The average time a person stays on a web page is less than 15 seconds. (giveforms.com)
  • 70% of visits to donation pages lasted between 0-59 seconds; of those visits, just 11% converted to donors. (2020 State of Modern Philanthropy)
  • If a donation page retained a visitor for between 2 and 3 minutes, the conversion rate quadrupled, to 44%. (2020 State of Modern Philanthropy)
  • Website navigation structure should allow a visitor to arrive any page on your website and find what they need within three clicks. (2020 State of Modern Philanthropy)

A clearly defined and aligned brand can help your nonprofit amplify its voice, increase its visibility and broaden its awareness. And that begins with a strong web presence. Bland content or poor site structure can decrease the time visitors spend touring your site. It might be drawing high traffic, but are these visitors staying? Or are they bouncing?  Rich, compelling and informative content can not only draw in high traffic, but it will keep the traffic on your pages, increasing the chances of conversion.

Statistics published by financesonline.com show that nonprofits received an average gift amount of $737, that’s up from $617 in 2019.  While overall giving increased by 2% in 2020, online giving increased by 21% in 2020.  

Still, according to the M+R Benchmarks report in 2020, the average nonprofit website has a 1% conversion rate. That means that a staggering 99% of the people visiting a nonprofit’s site leave without taking any action, including making a donation. When designing or updating your nonprofit’s website, consider this from the M+R Benchmarks Study:

  • Half of all nonprofit website visits came from users on mobile devices. The traffic share for mobile devices increased by 9% in 2020.
  • Users on desktop devices made up the majority of donation transactions (61%) and revenue (72%).
  • Organic traffic (website traffic generated by unpaid search results) comprised 42% of all nonprofit website visits in 2020.
  • Overall, 0.08% of organic website visitors made a donation, generating an average of $0.12 per visitor.
  • Nonprofit homepages took an average of 2.77 seconds to load on mobile devices, while donation pages took 2.38 seconds to load.
  • The average donor in the U.S. is 64 years of age.

Your website is most likely your organization’s first touch-point with external stakeholders, including potential or existing donors and volunteers. Think of your website as your organization’s chief storyteller and spokesperson. Its ability to effectively execute this dual role depends on the content it is given. When websites are done well, both in design and content, the benefits are tremendous:

  • Builds trust and loyalty
  • Strengthens fundraising
  • Projects strong leadership
  • Increases connections

Over the years, I’ve worked with numerous nonprofits to help them update and enhance their website. There was no shortage of challenges that needed to be addressed, including lengthy, conflicting and confusing mission statements, painful navigation, inconsistent messaging and other digital marketing faux pas. To help you avoid some of these common mistakes, check the below list against your website for common mistakes:

  1. Spelling and grammar errors
  2. Conflicting, confusing & lengthy mission statement (22 words max)
  3. Too many messages (focus on top three)
  4. Inconsistent brand fonts & colors
  5. Lack of a CTA (Call to Action)
  6. No engaging images or video on homepage
  7. Excessive text on home page

If you’re like other nonprofit leaders, you don’t have the time or the staff to focus on this critical marketing asset. With this is mind, my company, MDK Brand Management, is offering a complimentary 30-minute website assessment for nonprofit organizations. Your nonprofit must be a registered 501(c)3 to take advantage of this offer.

To apply for a complimentary 30-minute assessment of your nonprofit’s website, visit https://bit.ly/mdkwebassessment.

Denise Kaigler is the founder and principal of MDK Brand Management, a firm specializing in brand strategy, business consultancy and career coaching.  Prior to launching her business in 2015, Denise held senior, executive and C-suite-level roles at several global brands. Denise is the author of Forty Dollars and a Brand: How to Overcome Challenges, Defy the Odds and Live Your Awesomeness, available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She is also the creator and executive producer of Brand Rewind ™, a multi-media platform designed to entertain, explore and empower. To subscribe to the Brand Rewind ™ newsletter, click here