4 Nonprofit Web Design Tips to Boost Transparency Online
When site visitors land on your website for the first time, your nonprofit needs to do everything possible to make them feel comfortable with your organization and eager to give , volunteer, or get involved in another impactful way.
Explore these essential web design tips to boost transparency and help supporters develop an emotional connection with your nonprofit:
- Use a Secure Payment Processor
- Create a Testimonials Page
- Optimize Your Page Layout
- Publish Authoritative and Educational Blog Posts
The best nonprofit websites give website visitors every reason to stay by establishing credibility (a crucial component of your Asking Rights™) and trustworthiness in their digital brand. When you build trust with site visitors, they’ll be more likely to support your organization over the long run.
Let’s explore how to communicate transparency on your site!
Use a Secure Payment Processor
When donors, or as Convergent refers to them, investors, go to donate to your nonprofit, they need to feel confident that their funds will be safely transferred and their bank account won’t be compromised.
Use a secure payment processor and let supporters know the details of how you will process their payment so you can both feel secure in the transaction process. To ensure your supporters feel confident in their decision to donate, consider offering a full picture of the donation process, such as:
- Acceptable payment methods. Depending on your website’s payment processor, communicate which payment methods are acceptable (PayPal, debit, credit, etc.).
- Where the payments will be stored. Let investors know exactly where their payments will be stored, so they can do additional research if they’d like to ensure their accounts will be protected. For instance, you might say, “We’ll store your payment through X secure payment processing platform.”
- Donation amount confirmation. Ask the supporter to confirm the amount they intended before they submit the final payment. This lets them double check their payment amounts.
- Payment type confirmation. If you have options for recurring payments and for one-time payments, make it obvious to supporters which option they have selected.
- Tax deductible information. Make sure supporters know that their contributions are tax deductible! Provide tax information such as a receipt or confirmation email.
Additionally, reiterate the supporter’s rights to change, edit, or cancel payments – this will put them at ease as they know they are still in complete control of their donations. Charity:water provides a great payment information example on their donation page:
“100% of your monthly donation will fund clean water projects. You can pause, cancel, change the amount, or edit your payment method whenever you want.”
Use clear language to explain how a donation will be processed, where it will be stored, and how it will make a difference.
Create a Testimonials Page
Collect and share quotes from beneficiaries sharing their experiences with your nonprofit. This will help to legitimize your cause and show that you’re making a difference in people’s lives.
You’ll want to compile testimonials that are accurate, descriptive, and compelling, so that they build credibility to your cause and tell your story in a dynamic way. To find a testimonial that lives up to those standards, follow these tips:
- Follow up regularly with supporters. Long-time supporters like volunteers or investors who have a long track record of backing your cause are a great place to start when asking for testimonials. Check your nonprofit’s CRM and narrow your selection based on a potential contributor’s quality and quantity of experience with your nonprofit.
- Offer thoughtful prompts. Perfectly expressed quotes don’t just come out of nowhere. Give your supporters thoughtful prompts, like “How have you seen our mission in action?” and “What makes our organization different?”
- Give an example. Draft an example of what sort of testimonial your team is looking for. This can act as a reference point or you can encourage supporters to edit the testimonial to fit their individual experiences and opinions.
- Ask for permission. Double check that your supporters are okay with you using their testimonials on your website. Ask them to sign agreements so that everyone is on the same page and your organization is legally covered.
- Add identifying details. Ask to include the supporter’s name, position, years of support, and a photo to verify their claims. This helps earn website visitor trust and can assure them that these testimonials are true and from real people.
Remember to choose your messengers wisely when selecting testimonial prospects. Think about what sort of message you’d like for new visitors to encounter, then find people whose experience aligns with your testimonial vision.
Optimize Your Page Layout
Nothing is more suspect than a technically slow, disorganized website. In fact, the probability of seeing a high bounce rate, or the percent of site visitors who leave after viewing one page, increases 32% as load time goes from one second to three seconds.
Depending on your nonprofit’s web development needs, you may want to research website builders to edit your existing site or help you set up a new one.
To assure site visitors that your website is legitimate and keep them engaged, use this checklist to keep your site in top shape:
- All links lead to correct pages
- Load time is under 3 seconds
- Navigation is intuitive and user friendly
- CTAs are relevant and compelling
- Information is organized in a logical order
- Content is free of spelling and grammatical errors
- Images are up to date and relevant to your cause
- Content is optimized for mobile access
Once you’ve checked off this list and made any necessary changes, reach out to team members and volunteers to test out the site’s functionality. To make the technical process easier, Morweb recommends using a custom template where you can easily drag and drop your content into an accessible layout, without worrying about technical logistics.
Publish Authoritative and Educational Blog Posts
A blogroll is a great way to show prospective supporters that you are knowledgeable about your cause and are doing important work towards making the world a better place. It also highlights your industry expertise and provides visitors with more ways to engage via blog comments or by sharing your content on other platforms.
Regularly update your blog with content about your projects and progress surrounding your cause so site visitors can learn more.
Some common, credibility-lending nonprofit blog topics include:
Recent impactful campaigns. Update your supporters by telling them how your recent campaign impacted beneficiaries. Use statistics and photos to capture your mission in action and be sure to thank all supporters involved. Clearly defining the outcomes that are enable by the dollars that you raise helps cultivate a perspective of long-term investment among your donors.
- How-to series. Fundraising, volunteer program tips, supporter thank yous — the options are endless! Use your unique industry knowledge to put together a helpful guide for supporters and other nonprofits to follow and interact with.
- Expert interviews. Leverage your connections and tie your organization to other thought leaders in the field. Including these will add credibility to your organization and showcase your nonprofit’s desire to learn more.
- Conference insights. Include your reflections on recent conferences. These don’t have to be long drawn out reports. Instead, opt for bite-sized insights to show your organization was present and engaged at meaningful nonprofit events.
- Volunteer or supporter shoutouts. Show your gratitude for dedicated supporters. You can keep these posts short and sweet, just be sure to include how an individual volunteer is making a difference and why you value their support.
When in doubt, Double the Donation suggests looking into popular blogs to stay on top of industry news and keep up with new trends. Incorporate any new insights your team finds into educational posts to build supporter trust.
You can also see how your team can add its own perspective or spin on a well-known nonprofit topic like drafting a case for support or hosting an in-kind donation drive.
You want your website to build a bridge of trust between you and prospective supporters. Use every opportunity to communicate your nonprofit’s mission authentically and prioritize user experience. Assess technical aspects like your website’s load time and content structure regularly to close any gaps and remove accessibility barriers.