As with any charity website design project, “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance”, so choose a capable experienced professional web design team, who will work to understand your charity, its reasons for being, its plans for the future and the results that are required from any charity website. Think of the project as BIG, something to make a serious difference, rather than just be a small digital postcard or brochure website.
Done well, a good charity website design can help recruit volunteers, increase donations, reduce costs, find sponsors, promote events, communicate with supporters and get feedback, all of which will make the organisation stronger.
“The best part of the project was the relationship with you at MEANit. Working with you was easy, the way that you communicated with us. Nothing was too much trouble. And no question was considered silly”
What to include in a Charity Website
Some advice on what you could include:
- Clear Mission Statement – why do we exist – Unique Propositions “Cure Cancer” “Patient Lobby” “Awareness Platform” “Build Resource” “Change Laws” “Provide a service or support”
- How volunteers can help – work or visit with patients, organise events, get involved, fundraise
- How Donations can help – what the money can do, type of donation mechanisms
- Transparency – where the money comes from and where it goes to – Statement of Accounts
- Events Calendar – what is on, when & where and who is organising it
- Community – who is involved, where are they, how to connect
- Gallery – People, Places and Programmes – make it visual
- Social – Social Media integration, allow feed to website from Social platforms
- Fundraiser – news and thanks, images of events or receiving cheques, say Thank You, make volunteers feel appreciated
- Donate – A simple Button with low fee rate Paypal or Stripe – suggest amounts to give and what for exactly. Or if you need a bigger platform for fundraisers to use as their own micro sites to raise funds when participating in events, look at iDonate or Everyday Hero integration. Check out the links for their Charity rates.
- Shop – Sell cards or t-shirts, wristbands, tickets or other promotional material
- Targets – what do you want to do and what is the required investment required for each item
- Focus – allow people donate to a specific goal of their choice
- Newsletter – Keep the community updated – collect Names & email addresses for Central Database
- Membership – option, ask people to join up for an annual fee
- Recruit supporters, helpers and fundraisers.
- Educate – Be an Authority website on your charity issue or topic, provide information, videos, case studies, links to research & facilities, advice and support
- Affiliates – set up Partnering programmes, get involved with Communities or Corporates
- Forums – Become a Speakers Corner, a place for interested parties to ask questions, get answers, educate and disseminate
- Help ! – be the ‘Go To’ resource for help regarding your cause – connect people in need with people who want to help by talking or visiting
In essence, we would recommend doing 4 stages, write up a web brief, to document what exactly should be on the website and then do a wireframe or plan, to show how it would be laid out on a desktop and a mobile view. Then get it custom designed and then get it developed. One step at a time.
Web Brief – a written statement of what will be on the site and why have it – what are the objectives
Wireframe – a graphic layout plan with boxes showing where everything is to be and where it links to
Graphic design – an image of exactly what the website will look like before any development work begins.
Development – the production of the website as per the brief, the wireframe and the graphic design, on an easy to use CMS Content Management System platform, allowing your team add, edit or delete content at will.
Proceeding in these stages will ensure that you get no surprises, you get what you want or plan for. It allows you agree to each stage, especially if you have a committee, without committing to any more than one stage at a time. This process will ensure that any website you create will last a lot longer than a stop gap brochure site. A good website should provide a source of income through sponsorship or by advertising services or events to generate more income.
”So simple, (not easy) but simply a must for any charity – Thank you so much for helping our charity become a success” Dara Woods HHT Ireland
“Brilliant, design, quality, reliability, ease of use, service, reaction, value, return on investment – everything, just Brilliant” Isobell Doherty GM Donegal Hospice
Charity Websites Examples
Google Adwords Grants for Non Profits or Charities
Google offers a wonderful grant for Non Profits or Charities of up to $10,000 a month, to a max of $100,000 a year – wow! Think of this Google Grant as real money if you use it well. This would allow you get found for your keywords or terms at the top of the SERPs Search Engine Results Pages. You can also advertise in YouTube or use Google Maps, so place adverts where your target audience hangs out. You get to use GSuite free too, including your email accounts.
Some tips on how you could use this grant to:
1. Create Awareness
2. Answer questions
3. Be seen by the vulnerable people you aim to protect or help
4. Recruits volunteers or staff
5. Drive memberships
6. Thank sponsors
7. Look for Sponsors
8. Manage communications
9. Create Forms to gather information or do surveys
10. Build websites to promote or fundraise
11. Store information and publication in Google Drive.
12. Share information using Drive
13. Arrange online meetings using Google Hangouts.
14. Use Google Sheets or Slides to create presentations
15. Create an online Google+ identity
Google already in mid 2018 supports more than 20,000 non profits or charities with this grant in over 50 countries. Find out about your eligibility here. And apply here. There are guidelines and policies that you must adhere to, but this is so useful. Government bodies, schools, universities are not eligible, although some educational philanthropic endeavors do qualify.
If you are connected with a similar group or groups in another country or countries, you could work together on a plan or template on how to maximise the benefits to be derived from of this grant.
Some things to remember when you are preparing your plan, would be that the adverts will be text only, that they will appear below the top three paid adverts in SERPs and must not be worth over $2 per click.
Lastly, be aware that Google also donates over $100 million a year in to charities and not for profits. So consider making an application for some help for yours.
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