10 Steps to a More Effective Nonprofit Website | npENGAGE

10 Steps to a More Effective Nonprofit Website

By on Jun 8, 2012


GUIDE Creative by BlackbaudIt’s official; we launched our new full service creative agency for nonprofits this week – GUIDE Creative – Where we LOVE web design and making effective nonprofit website(s)!  Learn more about us at www.guidecreative.com and make sure to sign up for The Great Guide Giveaway.

Top 10 Ways to Create an Effective Nonprofit WebsiteCreating an effective nonprofit website isn’t easy.

Like most things in life worth doing, creating great websites takes effort, persistence and some know-how. We can’t help you with the effort and persistence, but we can definitely give you a little web design know-how.

If you missed the first 3 posts in the series, check out Part One (tip 1 & 2), Part Two (tip 3 & 4) and Part Three (tip 5, 6 & 7) to catch up!

On to the last three tips for creating an effective nonprofit website.

Keep Content Fresh

Users have short attention spans.  Great web design understands this.

If you’re not updating your website regularly, they will assume you A) don’t have anything new to say or B) aren’t putting time and energy into communication.  These are actually best case scenarios – worse is if they simply leave and never come back, which is the biggest risk of stale content!

Remember, content is KING and creating an effective nonprofit website takes a lot of it!

Try these easy steps to showing your timeliness:

  • Utilize automatic feeds
  • Add dates to content posted to the homepage
  • Gather user-generated content via blogs, forums or posts and let your audience help keep content fresh!

Be Social

“Integrating the social experience into your organization’s web site will help promote the channel, engage supporters, and provide a constant source of dynamic content …”– Melanie Mathos and Chad Norman “101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide.”

Nonprofits going Social
The world of social media is changing.  It’s not enough to have a Facebook page or a Twitter account.  The real power of social media is in harnessing its viral capabilities as an integrated channel with reach beyond the limits of your database and lists.

Make sure your web design is action packed with social capabilities.

  • Incorporate social sharing on your site via AddThis or ShareThis.  It will contribute to website traffic and brand exposure
  • Tweet, blog and post.  Often.  Make it a priority.
  • Use the Facebook and twitter widgets to pull social posts to your website for fresh content and relevant, engaging activity.

Provide a Personal Touch with Multimedia

Your users’ preference for consuming content varies, just as their browsing and navigation styles do. 

Nonprofits Using Multimedia

  • Allow users to consume information in multiple ways – video, imagery, text, interactivity and audio.
  • Invest in interactive design elements like virtual tours or maps – it helps bring a personal touch to your users, even through the web.

Thanks for reading the series! I hope you took away at least one useful tip to make your nonprofit’s website more engaging and impactful.  Please comment with stories, ideas or examples – we’d all love to hear them!


Check out our new endeavor and sign up for The Great Guide Giveaway where you could win free web design services for your nonprofit!


After graduating from Clemson University, Kelley Jarrett began her career as an advertising and branding strategic account manager in Atlanta, where she helped both for-profit and nonprofit organizations realize their branding goals through web strategy, marketing and advertising. In 2003, Kelley joined Blackbaud and now is the market manager for Blackbaud’s new creative design agency,Guide Creative where she uses her passions for bringing creative ideas and online strategy to nonprofits together.  She speaks annually at Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits as well as various nonprofit trade conferences on the topics of web strategy and design.  Kelley lives downtown Charleston, SC, is married to an architect, has two little girls and enjoys urban gardening, chicken farming, living close (enough) to the beach, and live music.

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