Why Should Our Charity Have a Website?
In today’s world it is essential that a non-profit organization, group or business has a website. Below I have listed what I feel are the top 10 reasons why every charitable organization needs a website and what they will beneficially gain by having one:
- Websites are much simpler and less-expensive to create than you might think. You don’t need to be a computer nerd to create a great looking website, nor do you need to hire an expensive design team. If you know how to use Microsoft Word, then you can understand WordPress or Joomla quickly and actually create your own site. You may choose to hire a design team that specializes in WordPress or Joomla because of their artistic talents and that they know all the additional modules that will make your website interactive with it’s visitors. But even there, you will save a tremendous amount of money having the website built due to the fact that the module programming is 2/3’s of the way you will want it and will only require a little adjustment to the code to make it exactly the way you want it to work.
- If you don’t currently have a website, then you are leaving money on the table. People today who are looking to donate and support various charities, conduct a Google search first, looking for the various options, backgrounds and exactly what the organization does and is all about. Obviously then, without a website there is no chance of being found by those conducting the search.
- Individuals you on the Internet. A latest study by Piper Jaffray® reveals that the online searches for contact information has far surpassed the use of printed Phone Directories. Even the use of an Internet Phone Directory is very limit is its use and what it can say about your organization. A direct link to your website is what tells the complete story.
- Make a strong first impression. Having your logo, mission statement, video clips, and images on your web page with a nice, clean layout design makes a professional presentation for your supporters and contributors. Developing video clips, uploading your logo and posting images are a breeze in WordPress and Joomla. In fact there is several very inexpensive programs available to allow you to create videos and edit photos before uploading them to your website.
- It’s an excellent way to develop public trust and community confidence which will then establish for you a following and continual support. By disclosing public information and details about your organization, your goals and your needs for support on your website. Expose yourself to the community and they will get behind you – Americans are givers and love to give to groups that are legitimate, grass roots and actually giving to the cause they are working for. Some key elements to help solidify your group is to show your non-profit status letter from the IRS, list your board of directors, annual report and display your 990 forms.
- It makes it much simpler and quicker for your organization to “Go Green.” Today, non-profit as well as for-profit organizations are simplifying the process, cutting overhead and creating paperless offices. For example, you can create virtual documents available over the Internet for contributors to download rather than saving and storing hard copies. Now you can reduce labor costs, printing costs, storage costs, and the time spent on the phone receiving requests for copies to be faxed over. You can even contribute to carbon emissions and travel expenses by allowing people to access your resources and information over the Internet from the comfort of their own home.
- Your website is working for you 24/7. Your office hours may be 9 to 5 Monday thru Friday, but the beauty of the Internet is it is open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, and does not close for holidays. Your supports can access information, download documents and make donations around the clock. Your website is working while you are sleeping.
- Enhance the picture you want. Because your web page is a visible reflection of your organization, it is essential that you present the right image. The words are important, but it is the graphics that can speak 1000 words. The website is the perfect place to show photos and videos of your charity in action, helping those that you help and giving checks to those you support is what will make a lasting imprint on your community. With a website you are able to choose what stories and experiences to tell.
- Guard yourself against negative publicity. In the changing world of rapid media coverage, social media sharing, reputation ratings and viral gossip news, an organization must guard themselves against negative publicity, whether intentional or unintentional. Your website is the perfect place to proactively counter, head off and rebuttal negativity should it ever happen.
- A website can help you plan and concentrate your time and effort. Having a website that allows feedback from your contributors and supporters will keep you abreast of the trends and pulse rate of the individuals you are trying to target. With proper tracking analysis on your website, you will be able to see what the visitors are looking at and be able to make the changes necessary to interact with them and direct them over to the data you want them to see; keeping you in the know as well as keeping them in the know.
Does your charitable have a website? Is it working for you the way you want it to work? If not and you want to discuss how a website can best work for you, give us a call and let’s talk – 714.486.1452