11 April 2016

4 Common Nonprofit Homepage Design Mistakes

Developing a home page that attracts, informs and engages can be a feat, even for the most seasoned nonprofit marketers. Because today’s web users want information to be presented in a way that’s both accessible and attractive, web developers and marketers alike struggle to find a suitable balance.

Studies have shown that it takes about 50 milliseconds for a viewer to form an opinion about a website. If your organization is looking to make changes to your website, take a look at the list below to make sure you don’t make the same missteps.


  1. Identity Crisis

Take a moment to think about your nonprofit’s mission and vision.

Now, pull up your website and glance at the first page.

Is there a disconnect?

The first step to ensuring that a homepage is on brand is to complete the above exercise. Organizations such as Friendship Place make it clear upon first glance at their homepage what sort work they do. Clearly articulate your brand’s mission and vision through words and photos and other multimedia assets.


  1. Slow and Antiquated

As with fashion, website trends come in and out of vogue often.

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, responsive or is using Flash technology, you may be losing out on website traffic. Last year, Google Adwords released a report confirming that mobile Google searches have finally surpassed desktop searches. Additionally, Fast Company has documented just how quickly Flash websites have fallen from grace: “Five years ago, 28.9% of websites used Flash in some way, according to Matthias Gelbmann, managing director at web technology metrics firm W3Techs. As of August, Flash usage had fallen to 10.3%,” says journalist Jared Newman. If your website’s homepage has Flash-based elements, make sure to remove them for this next go-round, while keeping your site mobile friendly.


  1. Too Complicated to Give

In 2015, Nonprofit Tech For Good reported that for every one thousand website visitors, a nonprofit raises $612. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that “Donate Now” links or other elements that encourage visitors to give, are visible on your homepage.

Check out the Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center (ECAC). Their bright orange “Donation” button is hard to miss. Additionally, it links to a comprehensive page which details the various ways people can show support.

If your donation link is hiding in the corner, make sure to bring it front and center.


  1. No Call-to-Actions

Besides “Donate Now” buttons, some nonprofits fail to direct visitors to their other channels.

If your organization is big on social media, make sure to include links to profiles for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Trying to build your mailing list? Use Mailchimp, or another email platform, to create a plugin that generates a pop-up “Subscribe Now” form for users that have been on your homepage for more than 30 seconds.

Make sure that any marketing initiative is prominent and visible on your home page.

Have you made any of the mistakes mentioned above? How did you fix them? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us with your questions: @amdeellc.

Amar Trivedi

President and founder of AmDee, Amar provides insight of nonprofit technology through occasional guest blogs for AmDee and others