In the age of digital it becomes even more important for nonprofits to demonstrate their credibility on the web and beyond. Propagating a positive, reliable image is key in making sure that potential donors convert into actual ones. There are so many ways to prove your organization’s credibility through your work in the community and positive branding, but it comes down to sharing those stories with your patrons. Let’s take a look at how you can boost your nonprofit website’s credibility to help you tell stories, improve your brand image, and establish trust so that your nonprofit can continue changing the world.
1. Start with proper user experience (UX)
Traditional website design and marketing tactics tell us that we should promote what we deem to be most important. The reality is, though, that everything we promote needs to be based on what our users want and need. Diving into a web design with an initial UX consultation lays out your most important user groups and what actions they will likely take on your web page. We call these navigation paths.
Let’s take a look at an infamous UX phrase: “I as a [INSERT USER GROUP] on this site need to complete [INSERT NECESSARY ACTION].” Based on your knowledge of your user groups and what actions they need to take, you might fill this in as: “I as a volunteer on this site need to complete logging my volunteer hours.” Now we know who is visiting and what they need to do, and we’ll use this to strategically place our content and buttons.
2. Consistent Branding
Daily distractions and stressors make it difficult to keep track of even our highest priorities so how we can expect the public to remember our organization and brand? We have one word, consistency.
The classic saying is that people don’t remember what you said but how what you said made them feel. The same applies for your brand. Does your logo include a local monument that your community would resonate with? Do your colors represent shared meaning among your audiences? Do the images and copy on your site work to provoke that same feeling? Keeping these questions in mind and maintaining consistency will ensure that your brand is never forgotten.
3. Share Impact Stories
Your staff works hard all year round to ensure that your programs are not only executed properly but also successful in reaching your community. When you’ve wrapped a successful program or initiative, craft a story about it.
Who was helped? How is their life better now?
Be sure to put the spotlight on the donor as the change agent, not your organization.
All of this information should be featured on your site. Start with a smaller section on the homepage where users can easily find it as they browse your site. Also include a more detailed interior page where this information is laid out. The more stories you’re able to produce, the more trust your site visitors (and donors) will have in you.
4. Keep up with that blog!
One of the easiest ways to keep your site looking fresh is to maintain an active blog. This is also the easiest way to share stories about your organization. You can share updates, photos, event recaps and everything in between.
Always share them on social media, too, where your followers can find out about your great work! This will prove to your audience that you are out in the field getting stuff done and it all starts with your website.
A good rule of thumb is to share a post at least twice a month. For those who have time and staff hours, posting weekly is ideal. One of the worst things you can do for visitor perception is to have a blog but not update it regularly. You don’t want a visitor to see that your last post was from two years ago.
A blog can also help make your website SEO-friendly.
Every time you share a new post, your site grows. You add an extra URL and expand the number of pages you have. Google takes all of this into account when it crawls your page for its search rankings.
Credibility is such an important component of any successful nonprofit. There are lots of areas where nonprofits can look to establish trust, but your website comes first. As you make tweaks to your site or even as you build a new one, keep these 4 principles in mind to keep yours ahead of the game.
What others would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below, we love hearing from you!