There are many reasons why every charity, no matter how big or small, needs to have a functional, representative, and contemporary website.
I know it sounds daunting and a time consuming, but the benefits of a good charity website with a nice design and functionality, cannot be overstated.
Or, if you already have one, but maybe it’s seen better days and is feeling a little neglected, I hope this article will help you see why it’s essential to take your charity’s website seriously.
Your Website is the core of your online presence
We live in a digital age, and we turn to the internet – mostly Google – to help us in almost every area of our life.
In this digital world, your website is your main presence.
Not only does everyone expect you to have one these days, but they will also access it to find the information they need about your charity.
I’ve noticed that many charities put all their energy and focus on building their social media channels. While social media is great for raising awareness about your cause and reaching a wider audience, it’s often not enough to convert your audience into supporters and donors – that’s what your website is there for.
A good website is designed to help you convert these people into donors – to stay in touch with them and build long-term relationships.
2. A website gives your charity credibility
Before I decide to support a certain cause, I always make sure I’ve checked the charity’s website and done my research.
Just as people have become savvy online shoppers, who are adept at finding the best prices, they also expect to see that their charities are credible and using money well before opening their wallets.
If you can’t find a website for a charity you are interested in, or the website is outdated and gives outdated information – you’re going to be hesitant to support that charity.
People want to be reassured that their money is going to make a real difference and be used well. If you’re neglecting something as fundamental as your website, you will be putting doubts into potential donors’ minds.
Remember that we are also facing a cost of living crisis and a looming, long-term recession. People are much more aware of and careful about how they spend their money than ever.
So use your website to add a level of credibility to your charity, and offer reassurance that the donations will go where they are needed.
Your website is a powerful storytelling tool
Storytelling is really important in marketing – and vital when it comes to marketing a charity and inspiring people.
It’s how you get across your charity’s mission, vision, values, and goals most engagingly and effectively to your audience.
Your website is one of the best storytelling tools for charities, simply because you have complete control over it. You decide what pages you need, what sections, and in what order, so you can take a visitor through your story any way you want to.
You can have different pages and content dedicated to different audiences. For example, on your blog, you might educate your readers about your cause, and why it’s important to support it.
On another page, you can present your past projects, and the impact that supporters and their donors have made possible.
You can bring these results to life through storytelling – which also encourages people to donate again, as they see the money being used well.
Of course, other digital tools will also help and complement with this – like your social media platforms, and email marketing.
You can use your social media channels to pique your audience’s curiosity so they want to learn more, and then lead them to your website and its content.
4. Raise awareness about your cause
You might have heard of Search Engine Optimisation. It sounds technical – but the bulk of it is actually very simple.
If your website has content (videos, blogs, articles) that people want to read on it – then Google will start to promote your website in its search results.
This can then lead to a lot of new people discovering who you are and what you do.
By creating a website that is filled with educational, informative and engaging content about your cause, you can reach a wide audience naturally in this way.
A website can help you get more supporters and improve your charity fundraising
Your website is your dedicated, little corner of the internet. It’s there 24/7, presenting your charity to the world.
While other communication channels are dependent on you, once you establish a solid website, it will start working for you in the background.
Of course, you need to update it regularly, but it doesn’t need your active presence to do its job.
So no matter the day or the timezone, people around the world can land on your website and get all the information they need, without you having to do anything – which is a very effective way to reach a wider audience and, eventually, get more supporters.
In addition, as I mentioned earlier, you have full control over your website. So you can have dedicated landing pages to certain campaigns that – if they are created strategically – can increase the percentage of the donations more than any other digital communication channel can do.