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Why Web Design Matters in Online Fundraising

Your nonprofit does great things, making a huge impact with limited resources.

Your efforts are so focused on changing lives and transforming communities that mustering up the energy simply to execute a fundraising campaign overwhelms you.

The thought of setting up a well-designed fundraising website: your undoing.

Can’t I just create a fundraising website then, ‘set it and forget it’? Didn’t someone say something about judging books by their covers being a bad thing? You think, that applies to nonprofits… right?

Well, yes and no.

Fundraising, unfortunately or fortunately, bears more similarity to dating than to reading.

Here are three reasons why you need to invest in good design for your fundraising website:

1. Good design builds trust.

Let’s expand a bit more on the dating analogy, shall we?

Your mission is compelling and your work speaks for itself; your nonprofit’s got a stellar personality that would charm anyone into joining the cause.

Yet a less than sparkly online presence won’t intrigue a potential suitor, er, volunteer or donor.

In the same way you’d expect your blind date to put his best foot forward in the way they dress and present himself, visitors to your website expect a somewhat aesthetically pleasing experience.

A successful fundraising campaign will include well-designed website, one that invites the viewer to learn more.

First impressions matter.

If you can convey that your nonprofit can at least clean up nicely on the internet, you lend a bit of credibility to the quality of the work you do offline to accomplish your mission.

2. Good design encourages longer visits on your website.

As a visitor to your website – perhaps a friend of a current supporter – gets better acquainted with your mission and your work, she will be compelled to connect at a deeper level.

This would require that your online presence be inviting enough for a viewer to linger.

3. Good design raises more funds.

Finally, studies have shown that well-designed websites garnered more donations than less attractive websites.

Let’s switch analogies and discuss the job hunt; pretend you are a recruiter for a company and you could only hire one candidate from a pool of three.

All things are equal except for the way they presented themselves during their phone and in-person interviews.

Wouldn’t you select the one who left the best impression on you – the well-groomed, not-heavily-perfumed, cleanly and appropriately dressed, well-spoken, polite candidate?

Nonprofit fundraising isn’t very different from searching for employment. You hope to win the confidence and earn the trust of someone who wants to give you one of two (perhaps both) of their most valuable assets: their time and money.

Don’t let design be the stumbling block, let it pave the way to further your mission and expand the impact you make.

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