Must haves of a Successful Charity Website

Jan 23, 2021

Let’s talk about the essential elements that need to be present and can help make your charity website successful. Having spent more than a decade helping charities and non-profits design, build and maintain affordable but intuitive websites, we know what works and what doesn’t.

It’s no secret that being effective at convincing donors to give generously is a key part of making a charity successful. After all, this is what is at the core of making charity work.
In today’s economic climate, gaining financial support has become even more challenging. Presenting a credible existence is vital to building the trust required for a monetary donation, and all of that starts with an engaging and plausible charity website design.
Read on to discover the essential pieces that your charity website needs to work for you 24/7.

The basics of a good charity website

Once you’ve managed to get visitors onto your website, there’s still a lot of hard work and convincing to do. You’ll need your website to be consistent with your overall brand, easy to use, and an attractive place to visit. It also needs to have calls to action so that your visitors know what to do next.

In addition to delivering on a visually appealing environment, the website needs to have what it takes to encourage donors to open their wallets.

As with any website, the secret to keeping it useful is to keep it simple. Website copy needs to be welcoming and friendly, and have high-quality images optimised for search engine success.

A responsive design that will fit any size screen such as PC, mobile phone, laptop or tablet is essential to ensure you do not miss out on a lot of traffic. If the website is not responsive, your search ranking results will suffer then Google won’t include you in search results pages, and you won’t get the visibility that you’d hoped for.

Easy to use donation page

A visitor may land on your website with the full intention to donate, but if the page isn’t easy to use, they can get distracted or even worse, click away to another site without giving. One way to avoid distractions is not to have links for people to click. The page should be simple with a clean sidebar and contain only the most basic information.

There are many reasons people do or don’t give when it comes to donating. One of them is that they want to give to a specific sector or action for your charity to do. If that is not detailed on your page, they will likely leave. They want to be sure that the money they give is used in a way they can envisage helping. By adding extra buttons for that particular donation, bucket can encourage them.

As with any marketing effort, you need to help your giver through the journey of donating. Please don’t repeat the message you’ve already delivered in social media or an email that led them to your site, build on it. You’ll move them further along the path.

Methods of continuing contact

Your charity website needs to have a place to capture your visitor’s contact details or enable them to connect to you. This might be in the form of a subscribe to our newsletter option and/or links to Social Media.

Links to your social media should also be included in your newsletter, in emails or anywhere you can cross-promote your social media accounts and the newsletter.

Ideally, you’ll also provide a way for your visitors to share and promote your work for you. There are tools available such as Share This so you can add a button for your visitors to share what they love most about your work.

Pages where they can get to know more about you

Another great way to connect with donors is to show what goes on behind the scenes, who is involved and who has which responsibilities. People love to see faces, and it’s the only way they can emotionally connect.

By being transparent about what you do, you can show how much passion and effort you put into helping your chosen cause. Ideally, you’ll make it possible for visitors to connect to charity staff members by sharing their social media account so they can connect.

Transparency

Everybody wants to know how their donation is used. You may wish to add links to annual or quarterly financial reports detailing expenditure. By breaking down how a monetary donation can be put to use, and showing for example what £5 can do right up to £250 or more, depending on how generous your donors are.

Calls to action

Calls to action are essential on a charity website to encourage donors to do what you want them to do. You don’t want visitors to get confused, so stick with one call to action that you want them to do on each page.