3 tips for improving your nonprofit event website

Between posting, tweeting and tagging, nonprofits are continuously turning to the Internet for promotional opportunities. Beyond providing a main website with general information about the charity, philanthropic organizations are making Web pages for different projects and events, too. These more temporary elements to the online marketing strategy are as equally important as that central site. Follow these three tips to make the most out of your event page:

1. Integrate it into your main site
A study by the Nielsen Norman Group evaluated the nonprofit website user experience. Participants of the study noticed that the design and functionality of local chapter sites did not coincide with the national parent website. This lack of fluidity can decrease efficiency and may make Internet users believe they are being taken to a separate organization. The study revealed that donors want to see more cohesion through separate website entities.

While an event site is not a local chapter site, the same principles apply. You want your users to understand that each of your separate Web pages are connected to your charity. Therefore, it's important to carry over themes and operational methods. For example, if the link to the online donation form is in the top left corner on the parent website, it should be in that same location on the event page. Additionally, carry over the color schemes, font type and overall style to increase the cohesiveness of the website. According to the Nielsen study, fixing minor usability problems like these can increase donations 10 percent.

2. Post a picture
While you should include the logistical information - when, where, who and what - that won't be enough to really sell people on your event. Engage your audience with effective design. According to npENGAGE, images are a key component to capturing the attention of Web users. Specifically, feature images of people smiling at your event to show how fun this activity can be. You'll get others just as excited as you are and make them want to be there.

However, if you don't have photographs from past events or this is your charity's first time hosting it, include pictures that pertain to your mission. Tug at the heart strings of your donors by showing them what your cause looks like before your organization steps in to help. Demonstrating a real need for their participation and donations not only encourages them to give, but you provide a fun way for them to do it.

3. Incorporate information effectively
Using the Internet is convenient and efficient, so keep that in mind when designing your Web page. No one has time or patience to read through lengthy paragraphs, but what you include is important for readers to know.

A link to the registration page should be apparent right away, just as your online donation form should be. Additionally, separate information by categories so your audience members can easily spot what they're looking for. For example, in one section, include the event date, time and location, and in another area, provide background information about your nonprofit and cause. Bullet points, boxes and white space are all effective tools for distinguishing between topics.

4. Hire a professional design firm
If you're not familiar with web design, it might be beneficial to hire a professional. A web designer understands current trends and optimization best practices that can help maximize the potential of your event web page. 

With an abundance of website design firms, it's important to find a consultant that fits your organization's needs. Look for a company that has experience designing websites for nonprofits. 

Hiring a professional company that specializes in nonprofit web design means that they'll understand your main goal: fundraising. They can suggest ways to make your event page integrate with your main website and can brand your event page to match your nonprofit's existing themes and colors.  

Achieve an optimized website by implementing these tips into your event page.

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