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Non-profit and marketing. The latter concept so critical to the first for survival in this competition-driven society. One can write the words and dance the dance, draw supporters and build awareness; what is the most effective and efficient way to do this when functioning on limited resources?

Speaking from experience, digital marketing efforts, including those of a nonprofit website, often get pushed to the bottom of the “to do” list of priorities in the nonprofit sector, especially when there are limited time and resources. In a blog article by Marc Koening he states, “Ultimately, becoming a better storyteller is about marketing your nonprofit in the most effective way possible.”

Functioning as an interactive portal of knowledge and experience, a website is a powerful marketing tool with the ability to share stories and engage society, on both a local and broad level. Following are some basic tips to improve your nonprofit website as smoothly as possible, and enable you to reap the benefits that a quality website should offer.

The five key elements of a quality website include:

  • Structure
  • Design
  • Content
  • Functionality
  • Vitality

To get detailed advice on each element, visit Firespring.org.

Something to keep in mind is your audience. Who you are targeting? Think of your audience as just that, an audience; real, human people seeking a chance to interact, engage and react to content that reaches them. This can be achieved through various methods including blog posts, social sharing, contact submission forms and polls.

Additional questions to ask yourself when analyzing the effectiveness of your nonprofit organization’s website:

Is the site …

  • Donor friendly? Are you optimizing the donation form?
  • Media friendly, providing ease for journalists to find information about your organization?
  • Volunteer friendly?
  • Consistent with other promotional material & social media platforms?

Does the site …

  • Show clear purpose for the organization that is easily recognizable? Is the messaging streamlined so that your mission is clearly understood?
  • Have content as its cornerstone?
  • Have a news or blog section?
  • Include pictures and videos?

By this point you may be finding yourself a little overwhelmed and thinking there is so much to do! Good news, Checkerboard is hoping to make a difference by running our first-ever Nonprofit Web Rescue contest to give back to a deserving nonprofit. Through July 28, 2014 we are accepting nominations for any nonprofit organization operating for at least one year as a 501(c)(3). Then anyone can vote once per day for the nominees. The winner will receive a professional, brand-new website built to the latest web standards and best practices, elevating them to a position to most effectively and efficiently get their message out.

If you work or volunteer for a nonprofit organization, or know of one that could benefit from a web rescue, visit the contest page to nominate, vote and share! If you would simply like to get some professional help with your website, either designing a new one or improving the existing, contact us today at 612-798-7244 to discuss your online needs.

Image courtesy of Placit on Flickr.