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Tips for setting up a charity website

Tips for setting up a charity website (image) 

Your charity website is clearly going to need to be different from that of a small business. It should not come as much of a surprise, then, that considerations when designing a website for your charity will need to be different too.

In this article we will be discussing some of the questions you will need to ask yourself before setting up a charity website, and provide you with some tips of how to make best use of your site. For information on prices and discounts please see our Charity discounts page.

1. Website goals

All good websites are made with a goal in mind and this is especially true for your charity. Your charity's goal will need to be big, bold and obvious when someone visits your website for the first time.

One of the best ways to share your goal is to make it your tagline or motto. For Oxfam, the motto (Oxfam is a global movement of people working with others to overcome poverty and suffering.) is displayed as a part of the heading section of the webpage. A variant of this goal is also prominently displayed in the page title.

2. Know your user

There are generally two kinds of user on a charity's website, those who are looking for help and those who are looking to help. This may seem obvious, but seeing things from your supporters point of view is essential.

Givers will be looking to see either how they can help, or how their money has helped. So you should provide fundraising ideas, feedback on how your campaigns have gone and thank your supporters for their support.

Those looking for help will have something specific in mind, so making resources and artilces easy to find will be essential.

Make sure that they are grouped logically from a supporters point of view and don't use internal brand names unless they are known to the general public. Your potential supporters may not have ever heard of you before, so your slogans may mean nothing to them, so categorise accordingly using more general terms.

For example: "Come Together Compound" might mean something to someone in the know, but something more general like "School Fund" would be more meaningful to most people.

Make sure that contact information is easy to find and helpful. Some people prefer to use the phone, others prefer to email - provide for both wherever possible.

3. Increase confidence

Before your supporters will be ready to give, they will need to feel confident that your organisation will use their money wisely.

Your website can achieve this by providing a wealth of supporting information in the form of updates, articles or perhaps even a news back-catalogue.

Regular updates informing your supporters of how the money was spent, how close to completing your goals you are and what money will be spent on in the future are essential. 

This will all link in with your main goal. The big goal may seem far off, but smaller goals help you and your supporters to realise that they are helping you to make progress bit by bit.

They say that 'a picture is worth a thousand words' and this is certainly true for a charity website, especially if your supporters can see the people that are being helped. This is not always possible, but photos and updates are crucial for getting the message out to your supporters, their friends and so on...

4. Make donating obvious

If your website is aimed at givers, donating should be made obvious. Providing a quick, easy and secure method of giving is therefore manditory.

If your supporter has decided that they want to give, don't put them off by making them have to search for it. Website users don't have much patience, if it takes more than a few seconds or clicks, they will leave.

Financical giving probably isn't the only way people can help. Try to make sure that the alternatives are featured highly and given equal significance on your website. One way of doing so is by regularly mentioning ways people have supported you on your news section, or in featured articles.

More Information

If you would like to know how much it costs to set up a Charity website with Doive Designs, and what discounts are available, see our Charity Website Packages page. For a free, no obligation, quote - click here.