Capturing the interest of your website visitors with an attractive visual appearance and good ergonomics is essential to make them want to stay on your site.
Capturing the interest of a new visitor and encouraging them to explore the site is especially important for non-profit organizations, as they are often selling an idea rather than a tangible product. Communicating your mission and nonprofit goals requires careful consideration of the visuals that will keep users on your site long enough to absorb your message.
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This article focuses on five key tips to help association and foundation website builders create visually appealing websites. These tips can be applied to almost every website. However, successful implementation of these tips can improve your website, increase its traffic and therefore increase the visibility of your association activities.
1. Create a clutter-free homepage that encourages browsing.
A cluttered home page that is overloaded with too much text or too many graphics can turn potential donors away. The home page is often the first impression a user will have of your structure. It should never be haphazardly designed just to have a web presence. Network for Good, a nonprofit that provides fundraising ideas for other nonprofits, recommends “… for simplicity and clarity of design. It should be attractive, attractive, but unfussy.”
2. Create recognition of your structure with a logo.
Having a logo that reinforces the spirit of your establishment or serves as a reminder of the cause helps make the site memorable. Visual identification through a logo is part of the emotional experience users have when they interact with your organization. Creating a logo is an investment and should be a budget item with high priority. Ideally, a nonprofit logo should be instantly recognizable, promote and communicate your nonprofit or your mission, and remain effective across different colors or presentation modes.
3. Create a graph.
Keeping visual elements that repeat throughout the site helps unify the site and make navigation easier. Help establish consistency by choosing colors and fonts that complement your association or foundation’s identity and ensuring they are maintained across all pages. Maintaining this visual consistency on the website and reflecting it in your other information and communication media will strengthen your organization’s identity. The visual theme should reflect the culture of the organization and at the same time aim to attract the donors, volunteers and supporters you want to reach.
4. Create an audiovisual presence.
An engaging video that tells a story helps capture the attention of Internet users. Even if your website can exist without video, it will give it a certain advantage. Creating a video like this can be expensive if done professionally. But it can also be done with a simple camera, with minimal editing, certainly less polished, but which will do the required function very well: tell your missions in pictures. Profit will not be measured only by the number of visits to the site. A well-produced video can extend its usefulness beyond the website itself as the centerpiece of your nonprofit’s communications efforts.
5. Create an emotional connection by using photos to tell a story.
Using static or rotating photos helps put faces to volunteers, recipients and donors. Avoid photos that can be used elsewhere, as your photos should reinforce your image and not anyone else’s. Unlike video, images allow the user to focus on a specific moment in time, allowing them to think and create a lasting connection.