Developing a nonprofit website for 2014

It's important for charitable foundations and other philanthropic groups to realize their websites are essentially a window into their organizations. While it might seem like anyone can run an effective website nowadays, the truth is many nonprofits aren't taking the time to develop an online experience that will welcome donors and others who are interested in learning more.

Optimize online giving forms
An organization's website also shouldn't simply be an engine for fundraising outreach. While online donation forms and capabilities are a crucial aspect to integrate into the overall layout, the entire site shouldn't be dedicated solely to garnering contributions. According to npENGAGE, it's a smart idea to embed an online donation system into the homepage and nonprofits have a number of service providers to work with if they're looking to create a customized form.

Put fingers to the keyboard
Blogging is far from a new concept, but it's not going anywhere either. People go online specifically to read content, and providing donors and prospects with an engaging blog can help foster a stronger connection with people than through a newsletter or email alone. One resource that nonprofits can turn to in developing their blog is bringing in guest experts to provide insights. This will lend credibility to the organization and likely earn it greater notoriety.

Simplify the layout
According to Fox Business, one of the leading trends heading into 2014 is for greater simplicity in how websites deliver content. This doesn't mean developing a boring website with little content for donors and users to interact with. Instead, the site should be intuitive with clear menu links. However, a nonprofit's idea of simple and that of users might be different. Accordingly, Fox Business recommended organizations use split testing to analyze how users respond to different site designs.

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