4 Non-profit Website Tips

All non-profit organizations need a website and all of those websites need quality content. These ideas post aren’t about non-profit website hosting or using non-profit website templates. It’s about when you’re either starting a non-profit website or modifying the one you already have and what the main elements your site needs to achieve your organization’s goals.

4 Non-profit Website Tips

Non-profit Website Design Elements

Your website needs these design elements to help you achieve your nonprofit organizations fundraising goals:

  • A properly focused donation form that’s mobile friendly
  • Links to your social media pages so people can follow you
  • An email subscription method that encourages signups
  • Content that engages visitors and quickly gets them involved
  • An easy way for people to volunteer to help
  • Various ways for people to join your organization
  • Storytelling videos that show the results of your charity work

Let’s talk about content for a moment. It’s not about writing to fill the space on the page. It’s about sharing your passion for your cause and using evocative images to help tell your story.

Boring content is going to drive people away. Be real, be fierce about what you believe in, and show that you care. Use videos to help convey the transformations that your group helps happen. Be proud of your successes and humble about your needs.

Show your website visitors what you’re all about and help them get engaged with your organization. A good way to help that engagement is to have a page on your site that lists all the various ways (big and small, but not monetary) that people can get involved.

Call it your “One Good Thing” page. Have a laundry list of tasks that people can volunteer for simply by checking a box next to an item, add their email address, and hit Submit. Have your website automatically send them the appropriate details for volunteers for that task. Easy peasy.

Also list other future projects, upcoming events, and other ways they can help. Make it easy for them to get engaged and on board with your cause. You can ask for money and referrals later.

Fundraising consultant Alan Sharpe talks more about these critical non-profit website content elements in the guest article below.

Online Fundraising – Are These Four Vital Words on Your Non Profit Fund Raising Website?

Your success at online fundraising depends on four words. If you want to acquire members and donors, raise funds and encourage others to advocate for your cause, these four words must appear on your website.


The secret to Internet fundraising is not your website, but email. Your donors won’t return to your website repeatedly anymore than they will read your fundraising letters repeatedly or return to your banquet hall repeatedly.

You must give them a reason to return. A compelling reason. And you do that with emails. Emails sent to website visitors who gave you their email addresses voluntarily.

The most important job you have as an online fundraiser is capturing email addresses.


I heard of a father who was having a chat with his four-year-old son. “Son,” asked dad, “how come you don’t watch much television? When I was your age I watched TV all day.” The boy didn’t have to hunt for his answer. “Television is so yesterday. It doesn’t do anything.”

Your website visitors arrive at your fundraising website or non-profit homepage with their itchy index fingers poised over the back button. They are looking for something to do, something t0 click. Or they’re gone.

They don’t want to sit and read. So unless you give them something to do (complete a poll, sign a petition, give their opinion, refer a page to a friend, volunteer) you won’t attract or keep many donors with your website.


The most important button on your website does not say DONATE. A donate button is simply the online equivalent of an offline check book.

It is the medium, not the message.

It is the resource, not the reason.

Which means your charitable website has to persuade visitors to become donors.

Not just make a donation. You don’t just want donations. You want donors.

And your donors don’t want to be treated like Automatic Banking Machines with a pulse.

They want to feel that they are joining with like-minded individuals in a common cause. They want to feel appreciated.

So you must give them a case for support that stirs their emotions, satisfies their inner skeptic, and motivates them to join your cause. If they feel like they are joining a cause rather than making a donation, they will make the donation.


Your non-profit website needs more than words on a screen to keep the attention (and loyalty) of today’s donors. Websites that feature short, interesting videos attract more visitors and keep them on the sites longer than static websites that feature words and images only.

Same goes for charities that have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They attract more eyeballs.

And Then Donate …

Naturally, your Internet fundraising site also needs the word DONATE to appear on every page. You can’t raise funds without it.

But those other four words are more important. They must come first.

In a restaurant, you view the menu, place your order, eat until satisfied, then pay. Restaurants that get the decor, service and food right, make money. And repeat business.

Learn more

Read Online Fundraising Secrets. Learn the latest tactics for attracting website visitors and raising money online with compelling webpages, irresistible email appeals and engaging email newsletters.

About The Author
Alan Sharpe, CFRE, is a fundraising practitioner, author, trainer and speaker. Through his weekly newsletter, books, handbooks and workshops, Alan helps not-for-profit organizations worldwide to acquire more donors, raise more funds and build stronger relationships. As the Director of Direct Development with The Gideons International In Canada, Alan manages their direct mail, major gifts and planned giving programs. Sign up for “Alan Sharpe’s Fundraising Pointers,” Alan’s free, weekly, email newsletter, at http://www.raisersharpe.com.

More Nonprofit Fundraising Ideas

The Art Of The Ask – No matter what type of fundraising you are doing, you have to do the ask. The Art Of The Ask varies depending on how you’re raising funds – in person, online, in an appeal letter, or in an email – but it all comes down to getting people to donate money to your cause.

Six Key Fundraising ROI Benchmarks – There are six key nonprofit fundraising ROI benchmarks that every group should be tracking. After all, if you don’t know your fundraising costs per dollar raised, then your nonprofit will quickly become a no-profit. Of course, the fundraising ROI formula has more to it than just measuring costs.