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What Your Nonprofit Webpage Must Have

Your nonprofit webpage -- your home page -- must entice readers right away. Web usability guru Jakob Nielsen reports that 17% web page views last 4 seconds. That’s not a lot of time.

When I’m web surfing my index finger stays poised on my mouse, ready to click off a site that doesn’t answer my question or grab my interest immediately.

Your visitors are the same way.

That’s why your home page is so important. Readers intuitively use certain criteria when visiting your site. Take steps to make sure your nonprofit webpage - or any website that you write, for that matter - pulls in visitors and keeps them reading.

Must-Have Elements on your Home Page

What your home page MUST have with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter
  1. A quick summary. This is THE most important element on your homepage. Who are you? What do you do that makes a difference? What special niche do you fill or need do you meet? Visitors should be able to see your identity summary above the fold - as soon as they get to your page - and understand you immediately. Keep it short.
  2. A compelling hook. This can be a powerful statistic, a heart-wrenching story, or an outrageous trend that your organization addresses. (Tips for writing a hook.)
  3. Clear navigation. Organize your information in a logical way for your readers – not for you. Navigation bars and box links should take visitors to key pages that interest them the most and answer there questions.
  4. A sign up box. According to entrepreneur phenom Ali Brown, 99% of your website’s first-time visitors will not contact you. Instead, they’ll click away and you’ll have lost them forever. But if you capture their names and email addresses with an enticing invitation in an obvious box, you’ll have them in your communication hopper for a long time.
  5. A “Donate” button. Make it easy for visitors who come to your site to give to do so. The Donate button should be above the fold and obvious.
  6. A third-party endorsement. A beneficiary testimonial, celebrity endorsement, membership logo from ECFA or Guidestar, or a rating from Charity Navigator builds credibility.
  7. Ways to engage. Link visitors to lots of volunteer opportunities and upcoming events.
  8. Social media links. Connect visitors to your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages. Studies also show that home page video gets and keeps visitors at your site longer.


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Nonprofit website checklist: 10 items you need on your website template

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