Avoiding and correcting nonprofit web design problems for better results

January 15, 2015

Avoiding and correcting nonprofit web design problems for better results

When a nonprofit group has organized an engaging outreach campaign that catches the attention of donors, the last thing that staff members want to have happen is technical issues. A great piece of nonprofit marketing content or appeal on social media should end with a successful donation, not a frustrated contributor who decides to take their gift somewhere else. The inability of an organization to bring in funds also has a functional impact on operations, creating doubt in an area that, for many nonprofits, is a major source of operational income.

The good news for nonprofits is vigilance and proactive decision-making will help organizations avoid chronic problems with donation forms and other parts of a website. Here's some advice that can help nonprofits move past this especially frustrating issue:

  • Test, test, test: Testing a website is obviously important for making sure there aren't any issues with the code itself, or with specific browsers or platform. With the rise of mobile devices, the number of  ways a website is interpreted and displayed by various Web browsers has grown significantly. Whenever a nonprofit adds new functionality – such as a link to the donation form and a new seasonal campaign page – all the relevant components of a website should be tested. Making sure the link isn't causing problems for donors visiting the site on a tablet or smartphone can mean the difference between receiving donations and being left behind as the potential contributor moves on to another organization or something else entirely. A quick test done by staff members on their own mobile devices and workstations can help diagnose problems without taking up too much time. The key is to test on many different browsers and devices to find any potential issues.
  • Make it as easy as possible to report problems: Although regular testing will help eliminate the majority of problems with a nonprofit website, there will always be concerns or functionality issues that spring up. Nonprofits should have an easily accessible pathway to report such problems. While not all visitors or potential contributors will notify staff members, having a link and a line of text at the bottom of each page can make a big difference. Staff have to do their part and respond quickly to such messages as well as take the needed steps to fix problems and thank the person who pointed out the problem.

Content presented by First Nonprofit Group, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.

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