Website Strategy For Not-for-Profits

The web is changing fast – from the introduction of mobile-first indexing to advanced content marketing strategies pioneered by SAAS companies like Hubspot, staying up to date with website strategies in the not-for-profit world can feel like a full-time job.

Luckily, we’re here to help (because it is our full-time job!).

Here are a couple ideas for evaluating & optimizing your current website strategy.

Benefits vs. Features

High-quality copy is essential to any optimized website. How you communicate speaks volumes about your organization. Does your organization understand who your donor base is? Do you speak formally or informally? What action does your organization want users to take on their website?

At Phil, we often see clients stall when it comes to putting together text content for their website. Tackling a website’s worth of content can feel overwhelming. One way to adjust your copywriting strategy is to focus on benefits instead of features.

Feature: A distinctive attribute or aspect of something

Benefit: An advantage or profit gained from something

As a certified benefit corporation (or B-Corp), we have a thing for highlighting benefits. Let’s take the example of a not-for-profit that organizes community gardens. This organization could list their features on their website like this…

“We have more than 40 volunteer coordinators who operate 4 community gardens which produce more than 20 varieties of fruits and vegetables per year”

A bit robotic, right?

Contrast this with a similar statement that focuses on the benefits of their community actions…

“We operate community gardens which produce delicious fruits & vegetables, serve as local meeting places, and prevent more than 4000 pounds of waste from heading to landfills annually.”

Which org are you more likely to tell your friends about?

Speak To The End-User

Historically, the web has been a very self-centered place. Organizations viewed websites as an opportunity to speak about themselves – if the person visiting the website found value in content, great. If not, no problem.

Recently there has been a shift towards making websites revolve around the website visitor instead of the organization. Why should the visitor care about your organization? Why are they important to your organization?

By viewing your website from the perspective of a new visitor, with no prior knowledge about your organization, can be very helpful in identifying problem areas & structural issues.

Oftentimes websites are thought as an online brochure representing an organization. This led to standard website navigational structures, such as the following…

  • Home
  • About Us
  • Our Services
  • Blog
  • Contact

However, a website can be much more than just an online brochure! A website visitor is an opportunity to provide an experience rich with content, exploration, & branding. More than just an informational resource, your website can become a powerful branding tool – an experience rather than a transaction. Keeping this in mind, you can explore adjusting your website’s navigation to better speak to your audience. In this case, the site navigation could be changed to…

  • Home
  • Our Story
  • Our Gardens
  • Learn To Garden
  • Get In Touch

We’ve found that re-evaluating a website’s navigation can be a powerful starting point for rethinking how a website can embody an organization.

 

Quality Over Quantity

In 2019, the pressure is on to produce a lot of content. Blog posts, newsletters, Instagram posts, Pinterest boards, hashtags, & more can leave your head spinning.

It is easy to become overwhelmed when it comes to your options for content creation. At Phil, we recommend only creating as much content as you can create well.

Put another way…

  • If you can only post to instagram once a month, it’s probably not worth operating an instagram page
  • If you’re deciding between 3 short, ‘fluff’ blog posts or one lengthy, high-value post, go with the latter
  • If your Twitter page has 34 followers after 4 years of consistent posting, either adjust your strategy (we can help!) or invest your energy elsewhere

You can’t do it all. Doubling down on your best content allows you to focus on what your organization does best.

Email us or give us a call to discuss your digital strategy today!

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