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  • June 22, 2016
  • By Chuck Jones
  • Comments Off on 3 Reasons Your Non-Profit Needs a New Website
  • in Thinking

3 Reasons Your Non-Profit Needs a New Website

A new website, recently completed by Chuck Jones Direct Response for the Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama. (click to visit the site!)

Here’s a cringe-worthy fact for most non-profits—three to five years is a normal lifespan for a website. It’s something most of us don’t want to face, but that doesn’t change it. If you know your website looks like it was last updated in 2005 (but your board and donors are still not convinced), here are three other big reasons to update your website.

Your current site not only looks old, it acts old.

If I were to visit your website right now, would I see a page that was created in Microsoft Word and somehow put online for the world to see? Did one of your volunteers create it after “learning” web design over a long weekend? Would it take an eternity to load?

After paying someone thousands of dollars for a website just a few years ago, facing another redesign is a bitter pill to swallow, even if you don’t like your current site anymore. But keep in mind that most companies change their websites every few years, if not more frequent. It’s important to stay on top of new technology, code and online tools, features, design and functionality. If your website bothers you because it’s not much to look at, or it functions poorly, then think how your supporters feel.

Another point to consider— your donors are using smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices to find you. If your website doesn’t come up, if it’s super tiny, or looks like it’s broken into pieces, then it’s past time for a redesign.

You can only make changes through your third-party vendor (IF you can find them).

It has been said that one human year equals four Internet years. That’s how fast technology is progressing. Still, some website platforms and content management systems seem like they date back to the Dark Ages (aka, 2005). They may have been great a few years ago, but if your website is built on older technology, at best you may find your editing choices limited, and at worst, you have to depend on a third-party vendor to make the changes, and they are nowhere to be found.

And as new we technology has evolved, your site may now be more vulnerable to security breaches and unwanted hacks.

By having your website rebuilt on a more contemporary, flexible and progressive platform, you’ll have access to an easy-to-use content management system (CMS) and the ability to maintain greater security.

Your current site doesn’t make it easy for donors—or any other visitors.

Even if your website design is pleasing to the eye, you may not be getting the donor response you had hoped.  If a site doesn’t engage and convert, then it’s just a brochure.

Does your site ask users to do anything—i.e. make a donation? Is it easy for them to do so? Are you missing chances to ask when they are on your site (it could be your only chance)?

Your non-profit website should:

  • Get attention
  • Engage
  • Have a call to action

Do you want your web users to be able to click to donate? Submit a form to volunteer for an event? Contact you with questions or for more information? Then make it easy for them.

All the other non-profits are doing it.

We understand. Just when you may need the money the most, it’s complicated. But crowdsourcing and one-time gifts could be all you need to renew your website and stand out among all the other non-profits competing for donor attention.

If you think your website is starting to look a little tired, chances are everyone else does, too. A fresh design is often necessary, and has the added bonus of stirring up a little excitement in your organization, from the board to your staff and volunteers, and most importantly, your donors.

A well-designed, well-functioning website is one of the most effective marketing tools you’ve got. Make the most of the opportunity by keeping it up-to-date, easy to use and engaging.

And trust us. A website redesign doesn’t have to be painful. Partner with a good web design team and the process will be easy and even fun!

 

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