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 18 years of fundraising experience to his role as a Senior Team Lead on Blackbaud’s Professional Services team. He leads a team of digital consultants and works with nonprofits to improve their digital fundraising, monthly giving, email marketing and peer-to-peer fundraising programs. Prior to Blackbaud, Mike managed the turnaround of the Ride For Roswell from 2003 to 2005 in his hometown of Buffalo, NY. When he’s not contemplating fundraising, Mike enjoys hide and seek, tag, and dance parties with his two kids.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *