8 Ways to Make Your Nonprofit Website Unwelcoming to Potential Donors | npENGAGE

8 Ways to Make Your Nonprofit Website Unwelcoming to Potential Donors

By on Jul 1, 2014


When someone visits your nonprofit’s website, it takes them just 5 seconds to:

  • Learn your mission
  • Form an emotional reaction
  • Decide credibility
  • Choose to engage

Those 5 seconds are critical if you want to make a potential donor feel unwelcome.

Use too many compelling images and you risk people becoming emotionally attached. Make navigation intuitive and visitors may return. Showcase why you’re different and they may tell their friends.

As a follow-up to our npEXPERTS donor acquisition eBook, I’ll host “First Impressions Matter: How to Optimize Your Website for Impact and Engagement” this Wednesday at 1:00pm EST. (register here)

As a sneak preview to the webinar, here are 8 ways to make your website visitors feel unwelcome:

  1. Rely on words, not images, to describe your organization. If people simply took the time to read your content, they would understand your mission.
  2. Refrain from highlighting your accomplishments. That’s what annual reports are for.
  3. Give each department real estate on the own home page. Keep everyone happy internally by showcasing events, annual giving, major giving and planned giving simultaneously.
  4. Don’t test the user experience. Stick with your gut. As long as it makes sense to you, it should make sense to your website visitors.
  5. Don’t simplify your mission statement. You’ve spent a lot of time developing it. Include the official version on the home page, even if it’s wordy.
  6. Don’t include links on home page slideshow images. If something interests your visitors, they can use your website’s navigation to try to learn more.
  7. Keep email signup out of the limelight. If visitors want to learn more, they can take the time to search for the email sign up page.
  8. After a redesign, don’t revisit your home page. The unexpected alerts, added content and competing interests are all part of how a home page evolves.

Join us on Wednesday, when I’ll discuss in more depth what NOT to do to boost new donor acquisition online.

Got additional tips for making nonprofit websites more unwelcoming? Post them in the comments section below.


Mike Snusz brings over 11+ years of nonprofit experience to his role as a principal strategy consultant at Blackbaud. He focuses on helping nonprofits create online fundraising, email, P2P, social media, SEO, analytics and website optimization strategies to maximize giving opportunities. Mike previously managed the turnaround of the Ride For Roswell, including the event’s growth from $330,000 to $1.2 million over a three-year period. Connect with Mike on LinkedIn and Twitter at @mikesnusz. To learn how Mike can help your organization’s next fundraising campaign, contact him at mike.snusz@blackbaud.com.

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