I worked for a non-profit (who shall remain nameless) who didn’t believe that investing any money in a user-friendly website would be beneficial. I mean, we had one but the homepage looked like a four year old had created it. A really boring four year old, with absolutely no artistic talent, and who may have been blind. We were in the process of re-branding and only had enough money to fund a logo change. After multiple attempts to convince a board of twenty people how important social media and an interactive website for not only donors but volunteers, board members, staff, community members and potential stake holders was, somehow the communication was lost and the website stayed the same. Okay, so I wasn’t great at my job.
Regardless of my failed negotiation skills, that non-profit missed an enormous opportunity to reach a huge amount of people in a minuscule amount of time. If you make it difficult for people to navigate through your social media sites, you make it difficult for yourself to garner support and collect donations. Not to mention the fact that you look like an amateur. I sincerely hope you’re taking a bit of time out of your day to size up your competition. If you’re making it more difficult for your audience to navigate, there are other places for them to go. And they know it.
On average a person will stay on a website for sixty seconds. Think about that for a minute…you’ve only got sixty seconds to make that first impression. Chances are that they’ve already heard about the good work you do so you’ve already got their attention. If you screw it up with a lack of information, a home page that doesn’t represent who you are as an organization and pages that make it too hard for your audience to get the information they need, you’re in trouble.
It’s very important you consider why people would come to your site in the first place. Do they want to make a donation or do they want to volunteer? Are they a board member and want to show their friends who they’re associated with? Is it an intern that might be interested in delving in to the non-profit industry or is it a community member who’d like to attend your next special event? Do you have a forum to keep your audience consistently involved in what you’re doing? If you don’t have a page for every single one of those people, you’re missing a huge opportunity for growth.
Just because you’re a non-profit doesn’t mean you get to fall behind on technology. Let me guess, the market is tight and you can’t get the funding? Take a look at your Development plan for the year and see where you’re wasting money and redirect it to your social media campaign. If I had to guess, I’d say you’re doing at least one too many events that are wasting your precious time and money and in the process, making your staff hate you.