You probably give your website’s design and functionality a high level of attention as a nonprofit professional or volunteer manager. You’ve definitely spent work improving various areas of your website, ranging from SEO to online fundraising efforts. Have you considered utilizing your nonprofit website to communicate with your volunteer audience as an engagement tool?
Your nonprofit’s website may be a great way to introduce new volunteers to your goal or keep current volunteers engaged.
With these six recommendations, we’ll look at how you can utilize your website to engage volunteers in this post:
- Make it simple for people to sign up for volunteer opportunities on your website.
- Make use of eye-catching, unique graphics.
- Provide extra ways for people to participate.
- Volunteer success stories and accomplishments should be highlighted.
- Calls to action should be emphasized.
- Be as specific as possible.
Keep the volunteer journey in mind while optimizing your website for volunteer engagement. The volunteer journey describes the steps supporters take from learning about your organization to performing research and finally signing up for a volunteer opportunity. Consider how you might make your website more user-friendly by facilitating awareness, investigation, and action among your users. Here’s how to do it:
1. Make it simple for people to sign up for volunteer opportunities on your website.
Your website visitors should be able to readily register for any forthcoming volunteer activities and opportunities. A well-designed registration page allows applicants to complete the registration process quickly and easily. To prevent a stressful and time-consuming procedure, keep your volunteer sign-up forms short and sweet and only ask for the information you need.
You may also make navigating easier by directing people to your online volunteer registration page using your website menu links.
Also, double-check that your volunteer information pages are complete and current. Any background information you have about your program, as well as any facts about current volunteer opportunities and shifts, should be included.
A well-designed, user-friendly, and up-to-date website inspires confidence in potential volunteers. This will enable you to make better use of your website as a volunteer recruiting tool.
2. Make use of eye-catching, unique graphics.
You’ve probably heard of the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to the photos and graphics you use on your website. Images engage visitors by capturing their attention and conveying your organization’s narrative and mission in a compelling way.
To display what your volunteer program looks like in action, choose creative, appealing photographs. This is an excellent method to help potential volunteers visualize themselves as volunteers for your organization. Additionally, existing volunteers will be interested in browsing your site and attempting to recognize themselves in the photographs. Also, be sure to select high-quality photos that load quickly once visitors arrive on your page.
Tips from Double the Donation suggests using photographs and graphics that:
- Inspire emotion – Images are processed 60,000 times quicker than words in the human brain. With photos, you can express a lot of information and emotion. Use photos showing your volunteers collecting donated food items or cooking a meal for community people, for example, if your group focuses on eradicating food insecurity in your town. This will demonstrate to visitors how your organization has a positive impact on the community.
- Are aesthetically appealing and fascinating – Captivating, bright visuals instantly capture visitors’ attention. Look for action photos like volunteers planting a tree or lifting the side of a new house, for example.
- Break down critical information – Use visuals and graphics to break down key information and translate difficult concepts into readily comprehensible ideas for new visitors. Infographics that illustrate key data or charts that break down the need-to-know facts about your cause may be used to break up any long text blocks.
Remember to use photographs that were taken by your personnel or volunteers. Use stock photographs sparingly—audience members may perceive them as insincere if you use irrelevant or overly staged images. This might cause people to lose credibility in your website and your company as a whole.
3. Provide extra ways for people to participate.
Your volunteers are likely to want to get involved with your organization in a number of ways other than simply donating their time. By providing several ways to become involved on your website, you may transform volunteers and other advocates into more engaged supporters of your purpose.
Use your website, for example, to promote opportunities such as:
- Donation opportunities, such as recurring gifts like your monthly giving program or in-kind donations that might be beneficial to your organization.
- Professional opportunities, such as legal services, translation, internships, etc.
- Opportunities for advocacy, such as letter writing and social media campaigns
- Opportunities for events, such as future fundraisers or your annual gala
You can enhance the relationships between your organization and its volunteers by providing a variety of engagement opportunities. You also demonstrate to your volunteers that your nonprofit is prospering and busy in a variety of areas, which helps comfort them that your organization is deserving of their continuous support.
4. Volunteer success stories and accomplishments should be highlighted.
Thank volunteers for their time and efforts on your website, and recognize particular volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty. Volunteers will be recognized for their contributions and encouraged to continue volunteering.
Post a new volunteer shoutout on your website’s blog on a regular basis to keep your information fresh and entertaining. You may also use a “volunteer of the month” series on your website to encourage volunteers to become more involved. Volunteers will most likely tell their friends and family about your program, and they may opt to volunteer themselves after seeing how gratifying it is.
Now that you’ve mastered the fundamentals of using your website to engage your volunteers, it’s time to get creative! Remember to put yourself in your guests’ place, consider what can pique their interest, and plan appropriately.
When developing or updating your website, remember to follow web design best practices and essential website security best practices. Maintaining consistent branding, offering straightforward navigation, and making your volunteer opportunities easy to locate are all examples of best practices that can help your website become a more effective volunteer engagement tool.
5. Calls to action should be highlighted.
Unless it motivates the viewer to perform one or more particular actions, a beautiful website is simply that—beautiful. Calls to action, or CTAs, on a genuinely effective nonprofit website actively direct viewers to the most useful areas of the site.
Links, buttons, or phrases that invite the user to do something specific to interact with your organization are known as calls to action. Here are a few examples:
- Donate Now
- Get Involved
- Create an account
- Sign Up
- Please join us.
- Join us today!
Your calls to action should be strategically positioned to get maximum visibility and should be on numerous pages. To make the contribution procedure as simple as possible, your “Donate Now” button should be available from every page on your site. Simultaneously, you want to strike a balance between interesting, instructional content and straightforward solicitations for donations. Remember that it’s your enthusiasm for the cause that motivates others to give, so make your narrative the centerpiece of each page. The contribution buttons are only there to aid them in their efforts.
Your calls to action, of course, should point to the relevant locations. Users should be led to your donation form for requests to give, while volunteers should be sent to a volunteer signup form.
6. Be specific as possible.
When it comes to getting your message through, clear communication is essential. The same is true for websites: straightforward navigation guarantees that your visitors always know what they’re getting as they navigate your site. Make certain to:
- Place a prominent navigation bar on the top or left side of your home page. The navigation bar’s components are up to you, but they should be properly ordered and link readers to all of your site’s most significant pages. In the following part, we’ll go through how to direct your viewers to high-value sites.
- Present information in a clear and concise manner so that the audience is not overwhelmed. While visual appeal is crucial, an overabundance of photos, GIFs, videos, and buttons can only confuse potential donors. A well-designed website not only makes navigating simple, but it also exudes professionalism and organization, giving your viewers trust that you can deliver on your promises.
- Maintain the site and fix any broken links or forms as soon as possible. Regularly inspect your site for broken links using a site performance monitoring tool (like the free one from Google Analytics). Users and search engines alike are less likely to trust your website if it contains links that lead to 404 pages.
Even if it’s somewhat less than evident how to move from one page to the next, a potential donor may feel it’s not worth the extra effort if your website is confusing, crowded, or malfunctioning. Meanwhile, a positive user experience will increase the likelihood of the user trusting and engaging with your brand.
Volunteers are critical to the success of your virtual activities. Despite the fact that you are physically separated from them, these team members from outside your business contribute a fresh viewpoint, enthusiasm for your virtual event, and helping hands. This year, use these 6 Tips for Using Your Nonprofit Website to Engage Volunteers via a simplified virtual experience.