Marketing words like “copy” or “branding” can sound like dirty words in the non profit space. But just because you are not making a profit does not mean you shouldn’t have a business savvyness, an edge, in convincing people of the worthiness of your cause. Keep these tips in mind when crafting your website.

  • Try not to use industry jargon – use common words. Write at an 8th grade level.
  • On the front page, don’t make it seem like your non profit does is a jack of all trades but master of none. Make sure there is a space for all your projects, but think about the main mission of the non profit and appeal to people with a simple message. Get them convinced of the mission and let them be inspired to discover the complexities and nuances of what you do in time. Make your prime home page real estate count.
  • Do journey mapping. Think about the experiance of the user and where you want them to go. Write out the personas of your potential donors, volunteers, grant makers, etc. Always write for your audience and guide them where you want to go with your copy.
  • People just scan nowadays. Assume they will read headers and subheadera. Focus on perfecting these and convince them to read below.
  • Try not to send people away from the website. Some external links are good, but you want to internally link as much as possible. Do not complicate their journey much, but try to send them in as fewest steps as possible to their final destination (newsletter sign up, donation, volunteer application). Make your calls to action clear. Just to note, unless you are looking for social proof, you do not need to have your social media prominently displayed as most non-profits are looking for action deeper than a facebook page like.

If you have time, do A/B testing on landing pages (home page, donation page, newsletter page, etc.) with different copy. Have a current donor, volunteer, board member, etc. look it over and offer advice. The website is the digital window into a non profit and you want to make sure it is done right and continually improved.