Non-profit Organisations Need Websites

Despite the plethora of social media platforms and these channels’ rapid adoption by non-profits, it’s vital to have a website. Potential donors expect NPOs to have websites. Social media platforms alone do not suffice. Having a website adds credibility in a world reeling from the ever-increasing and more and more sophisticated scams evolving at an alarming pace.

Websites are organisations’ shop windows. They also provide an opportunity for an organisation to showcase itself and highlight whatever the team want focused. And potential donors do look at them. Ongoing and loyal donors – individuals, corporate staff and people from trusts – monitor NPO’s websites too. Potential donors look for information on board members (not just names listed but a brief bio on each person). It’s a good idea to add their photograph too. They expect to see financial statements on non-profits’ websites and, vitally, all required policies – updated annually and ‘wet’ signed by the chair.

And of course, information on the projects undertaken by NPOs, must be featured. Afterall, delivering projects is the reason NPOs exist! It’s important to have a balance of the problem being address and the success achieved to date – the change made – the impact. The message should be: ‘This is the problem; this is what we do about it; and, with your support, we can enable more such positive impact.’ Including theories of change impresses too.

I talk to donors of all stripes when researching for books, writing articles or developing training materials. I find most to be amenable to such discussions as I don’t request meetings to ask for money – only for information. Themes arise. People who don’t know each other say similar things:

  • Aside from the importance of having a website, legitimate charities’ staff and volunteers should have email addresses identifying their organisation.
  • I don’t trust applications from organisations with no website.
  • I mistrust a Hotmail or Gmail type email from someone claiming to represent a legitimate charity.
  • Our application forms are short – we expect to find much of the information needed for our due diligence on applicants’ websites.
  • No website, no money!

Websites need not be complex, overly sophisticated or expensive. They must be updated regularly, easy to navigate, and have a ‘donate’ page that actually works. It’s also vital and way overdue to ensure that a website is ‘mobi-friendly’ and can be viewed on a smart phone.

Share this: