web 2.0

Nonprofit Websites - An Expense Or An Investment?

The internet has become an indispensable part of our lives today. It has become a repository of common and uncommon knowledge. For any information that we seek to find we first take help from the World Wide Web before referring to any other source of information. Chances of getting the right data are 99.9% on the internet. There are millions of websites that flood the internet. Even the nerdy high school kid has his own website. In this era, any organization that is serious about its work uses a website to talk to the world, communicate with associates and to manage its entire business online.

The question then arises whether NPOs should also invest in websites. The inevitable answer to this question is 'Yes'. And what benefits can an NPO reap from a website of its own? The answer to this question is 'Many' and we will try our best to list those perks here. But before we analyze the benefits of hosting a website, let's try and understand what people expect from nonprofit websites.

First and foremost, visitors to nonprofit websites explore the site to obtain information about the organization itself. They might like to get details about the domain in which the charitable trust works. They visit the website to get information about the various events that the charity organization has conducted so far.

Secondly, websites also act as a portal for fluent communication. Visitors to nonprofit websites can leave their feedback, comments and/or suggestions in the guest-book. They might want to get in touch with the charity to join as a member or to work as a volunteer. To get in touch with the right person, an online messaging system can help them communicate with the NPO.

Thirdly, people who are interested in making donations but don't have the time to drop a check at the NPO or to meet someone in person, can easily donate online through nonprofit websites. In fact, a lot of people feel secure transacting over an internet gateway than asking an unknown person to handle a check or cash.

For a charity to make utmost use of internet, it must have a simple yet elegant website that has been designed to fulfill the expectations above.

The website must be a rich source of information. The website must be designed from a template that uses an elegant but professional color theme. Navigation through the website must be simple and quick and information should be spread over multiple sections. Information should be presented not only in the form of text but also through images, videos, blogs, etc.

The nonprofit websites should also cite accurate information that can help a potential member, volunteer or donor communicate easily with the organization. The website must list the contacts of the important people and should also have a guest book that allows users to leave their feedback. There should be a simple form based email utility that allows a visitor to send an email to the charitable organization.

The most important feature of nonprofit websites is to establish a quick, comfortable and secure channel for receiving donations. Nonprofit websites must have a module that focuses only on donations. Links to this module must be displayed in a catchy banner on the home page of the website. Transactions should be routed through a secured gateway or utilities like PayPal can be used to ensure that the highest degree of online security is offered to the donors. Else the donors will hesitate to make a donation online.

To create a website in the minimum possible budget, help should be taken from a professional team that has expertise in designing nonprofit websites. These organizations offer services for a very small fee and minimum expenses are spent on building and maintaining a website. This decision makes a nonprofit website a smart investment than an unnecessary expense.

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charity websites