Are you cultivating website visitors? 10 suggestions for your site.

in Associations - Membership,Cultivation & Stewardship,Website - Nonprofit

Cultivation, stewardship, building stronger relationships . . . these are vital activities for any charity or association. How confident are you that your website is cultivating your visitors?

While there are a variety of ways to cultivate and build stronger relationships online, today I’m focusing on a single variable: Make it easy for visitors.

How can you make the experience visitors have to your website easy?  Here are ten items that immediately pop to mind:

1 – Regardless of how I enter your site (e.g., donate page, blog, home page, page describing a specific program, etc.), can I look at your header and KNOW within 2-4 seconds who you are, what you do, and where you do it?  Or do I have to search for answers?

2 – No acronyms in your header.  Name of your organization – especially relevant for associations – is written out.

3 – If the name of your nonprofit doesn’t clearly express the essence of your mission, do you have a clarifying slogan or tagline in the header?

4 – Can I make a donation or join your organization in two or less clicks of the mouse?

5 – Is the font large enough to read?  And is the body copy on web pages black font (notice I said BLACK and not gray) on a white background?

6 – Are there two places where I can find the “About Us” page and “Contact Us” information?  Perhaps put these links in the header or footer in addition to the regular navigation.  And are these links EASY to see (not super tiny and in a dim or very light-colored font that doesn’t stand out on the page)?

7 – If I want to contact you, do I have to fill out an online form or can I email or call someone directly?  Ooh.  What a treat that would be.

8 – Use terms that donors and members understand and recognize.  This is especially important for prospects and new people to your nonprofit.  For example: A navigation link that says “Transforming” may as well be written in a foreign language.  It has no meaning to people who don’t work for your nonprofit.

9 – Visitors can sign-up for email in two or less clicks.

10 – When joining an association, don’t make me give you my life history.  Get the credit card info and what is required for a credit card payment FIRST.  Make it easy to join.  Collect any other demographic info you may desire later – maybe even right after you’ve confirmed receipt of my payment.

You may not view this as cultivation but it is.  Anything that enhances the experience donors, members, volunteers and prospects have with your nonprofit is cultivation.  Don’t overlook any detail.  Make it easy for web visitors.

What other ways do you cultivate and build relationships with your web visitors?