Regardless of how active your nonprofit is with social media, your Website still operates as “home base” for representing your brand online.
Whether you’re planning to revamp your site or simply haven’t done much to update in a while, now is the time to take a close look at improving your online presence. As opposed to filling your site with excessive copy or trying to position your marketing message throughout, consider alternative ways to tell visitors about the value and mission of your organization.
In other words, put your people first.
Whether it’s your employees, your volunteers or your advocates – your nonprofit thrives because of this base of support. The challenge is then for your organization to seek out creative ways to deliver your messages through these support channels. Here are three tips to make it happen:
1. Use Video
We all love interactive, engaging video content (as of September 2009, 84% of Americans online were watching video). Find time to shoot a quick one to two-minute video with your Executive Director that explains the mission of your organization and incorporates b-roll of employees, volunteers, supporters, advocates, etc. Alternatively, get creative and find a way to integrate employees behind a unified message as depicted in the example below.
Providence Saint Vincent Medical Center – Pink Glove Dance
2. Use Photos
This tactic seems blatantly obvious but I’m mesmerized by the number of nonprofits that fail to use nice, large photos to help convey the human perspective behind their mission. Conduct a photo shoot, compile testimonials from your advocates and put these folks front and center on the home page. Not only does this help convey your organization’s mission through third-party credibility, but you are also empowering your advocates and further integrating them into your core online communication efforts.
American Red Cross – Best Photos of the Decade (photo collection placed into nice video slideshow)
3. Model After Other Successful Sites!
The best part about the Web is that we all have access to everyone else’s work. Don’t be afraid to integrate elements that work on other sites into your own organization’s site.
Be sure to check out this great post from Smashing Magazine which profiles best practices and 20 examples of solid nonprofit sites.
Feel free to add your own tips below. Time to get cracking!