Your website forms the foundation of your nonprofit’s digital presence. It’s where:
- Prospects from networking events can find you
- Links from social media posts will take you
- Visitors can discover your mission, vision, and goals
- Donors can donate to your cause.
The look and feel of your website is often a key differentiator between your organization and someone else’s. You need a web design company that knows how to turn your vision into your unique visual identity.
Not all companies specializing in web design for nonprofit organizations are created equal. Here’s how to find the right company for you:
Identifying Your Specs
You and your team should start asking questions before looking for a web designer. Here are a few to consider:
- What are your goals for creating a new website?
- Who is your target audience? The clearer you can define this, the better. Create a customer persona, if necessary.
- What is your budget and timeline? Quality websites usually don’t come cheap. If time is of the essence, you may need to make a few sacrifices.
- What are some of your competitors doing? What do you like/dislike about their websites? Conducting some competitive research will help you identify the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in your market.
- If your website is already live, what’s working? What isn’t? Compiling these lists will paint a clearer picture of the web designer you hire.
- What is your mission and vision? This will drive many of the stylistic choices for your website. It’ll also narrow down the pool of web designers you’ll want to work with.
- How is your organization different? Identifying your key differentiators will help your web designer project a site that highlights your uniqueness.
Determining Your Must-Have Features
What you need heavily depends on what you’re usually the site for. For example, if you’re not adept in coding, you need a content management system (CMS). If you need to share confidential information with your employees or board of directors, private pages are a must. You may also want a members-only section.
Here are a few more features to consider:
- Event registration capabilities
- Integrated donation forms
- Online directories
- Bandwidth for high-quality graphics or videos.
- ADA Certification
Fundraising and Marketing Strategy
Does your web design company also specialize in fundraising or marketing? Companies with experience in these areas can optimize your site for those particular needs. Then, when you’re conducting your next marketing or fundraising campaign, you can expedite these processes because you’re working with someone who already knows your goals, requirements, and idiosyncrasies.
If you go with another company, they’re starting from scratch and wasting vital time getting caught up to speed.
Find a Common Cause
It’s not a deal-breaker, but you should hire a web designer enthusiastic about your cause. When we work on something we’re passionate about, we tend to put the extra effort into it. It’s not just about getting paid, it’s about wanting to help.
These web designers usually have experience designing sites for like-minded organizations. They know what works and what doesn’t. They’re also often more enjoyable to work with.
Web Design for Nonprofit: Final Thoughts
The process of finding quality web design for nonprofit organizations is pretty straightforward:
- Understands your goals, wants, and needs.
- Know what features are must-haves and which ones aren’t as essential.
- Find a company that can also help you with other aspects of your organization down the line (though not a requirement, it’s great to have).
- Find someone who shares your passions and values.