Common Nonprofit Website Issues vs. Broader Organizational Challenges

As a web developer who has made it a priority to help nonprofits and advocacy groups pursue their missions, I am always on the lookout for articles and stats that may underscore the value of a great website for those groups. Wired Impact is a great resource for nonprofits seeking information on redesigning their websites, and this article is a good roundup of some of the specific considerations that often get neglected by organizations when it comes to their sites. Among these considerations are color contrasts, ease of navigation, performance/speed issues, image quality, having effective calls to action, and making sure the site is responsive for mobile devices.

However, it might be easy to guess the reason for WHY these issues get neglected — they are just not as important as the everyday work required for a nonprofit to effectively further its cause. When I meet directors and representatives of nonprofits, a lot of the time I find that while they may have a vague understanding that many specific problems with their websites are important, they haven’t really had time to connect the dots from their website design to the core functioning of their organization. That’s where developers come in!

For the broader aspects of effective website design, I point to articles like this one:

Your website should be the center of your brand. Everything your organization does and believes in should be reflected in the content of your website. Your mission should come across clearly on every page, so that visitors can gain a strong understanding of who you are and what you do.

But when it comes to the ever more-important issue of having a responsive website, statistics like these have to be taken into account:

  • [For] online donation pages… the number of transactions completed through mobile devices increased by 50%.
  • Half of all nonprofit website traffic last year came from mobile and tablet users. The share of desktop-based traffic decreased by 9% over the previous year.

As much as developers (like me) might wish it, new devices and changing screen sizes aren’t going away any time soon!

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