I can’t tell you how many times I have connected with passionate nonprofit startup leaders on LinkedIn, gone online to read more about them and their organization yet have found that they have not set up a website yet. When I ask why this task hasn’t been done the usual answer is either that they don’t have anyone on their team who knows how to do it or they aren’t convinced there is enough value to allocate time and money to put it on the top of the priority list.
Having run many types of businesses myself I can definitely relate to this situation. When you’re busy handling bigger problems such as human resources, program management, and developing your board of directors – taking the time to set up a website is the last thing on your mind. To many of us it seems kind of superfluous – why does it matter if we’re online? We have too much work to do – shouldn’t we be focused on things that really matter to our cause?
If you are the leader of an organization that has not set up a website yet I want to let you know that you are missing a huge opportunity to connect with others who could become active supporters of your organization. To help you bump this item to the top of your priority list (if you have yet to set up a website) check out the list below.
Five reasons why your nonprofit needs to set up a website now:
- It acts as an ice-breaker. Before people ever meet you in person, most likely they will Google you and your organization to find out who you are and what you’re all about. A well laid out website helps build rapport with a potential volunteer, board member or joint-venture partner. If no website can be found it raises question marks and your prospect quickly loses interest in working with you.
- It helps you spread your organization’s message. A smartly placed newsletter opt-in box gathering email addresses will help you build up a list of individuals who want to stay in touch with your updates. Even if you don’t have a ton of news that would go into creating a killer newsletter yet, start gathering the names of your website visitors as it won’t be long before you have a lot of great stories to share. Start building your email list now – don’t wait!
- It builds credibility. Because of the number of helpful website building tools available (many free) you can set up a website that is functional and beautiful within a few hours without any experience. Don’t worry about getting it perfect right away, just get something up and keep working on it little-by-little. Add some images of your team at work, post some client testimonials (even if you only have a few) and show where you’re located on a map. All of these ideas help a site visitor feel more connected to and interested in your cause.
- It gives you a platform. Most website templates come with the option to feature blog posts. What better way to share your ideas about how to change the world than through regularly publishing high-value articles about your cause that anyone with internet access can read? Having a blog is a great way to stand outlet from your competitors as it helps your community know what is going on with your organization and excites them about getting involved with you.
- It engages potential donors. When you set up a website you open a door to engaging donors at a whole new level. Not only are you able to share up-to-date client testimonials and other success stories but you now have the capacity to add “Donate Now” buttons to your sidebar. Not everyone will click to make a donation but some definitely will. Many organizations use their website to share their organization’s financial reports, their wish-lists, and info about potential projects they’re looking for funding for with links to said items at Walmart online, etc.
If you’re still not convinced I want to encourage you that it is much easier (and much quicker) to set up a website than you think. Gone are the days when you need to hire an expensive web developer and a high-priced graphic designer and then wait months for a result. In many cases with the right technical teammate on board, you can go from nothing to up and running within seven days. Need some help in this area? Request a quote and I’ll be happy to get back to you with an estimate.