Setting goals for your organization’s website can be daunting. Many times, the goals of the website haven’t been thought through past “we want it to be an online brochure.” Your website can do so much more than that.
If you haven’t thought through your nonprofit’s website goals yet, let’s keep it simple:
Your number one goal: your website should help you meet your mission.
Your website should help you meet your organization’s goals, and you should be able to measure those goals.
For example, if you’re a charity that provides clean water, and your goal is to serve 1,000 more people in any given year, then you may need funding to pay for it. So, use your website to host a campaign to raise money for it.
Make sure that when you set up the campaign that you can track how much money is coming in towards that campaign. If you receive donations from sources other than your website, then keep track of the percentage of donations that come in from your website to see how effective it is.
If you’re a charity that provides volunteers to clean up playgrounds and parks, then use your website to recruit volunteers. If you need a specific number of volunteers, then you can track how many volunteer applications it brought in. And not just the number of applications, but how many qualified applications it brought in.
You may get the occasional spam applications, or you may get applications from people who clearly aren’t qualified for it or are looking for something else. I managed a nonprofit’s scholarship program for several years. I’ve seen plenty of completely unqualified applicants. It happens.
What if the goals are not being met?
If you find that your website is not raising enough money to provide clean water or not bringing in enough volunteers to clean up playgrounds and parks, then you can dive in to figure out why.
Perhaps you’re not promoting your website enough using your various communications channels. Have an email list? Let them know about it! Have a presence on Facebook and Twitter? Shout it out!
One thing that you can’t do is simply put up a website to help you meet your mission and hope that people find you. It won’t happen. Proactive promotion is a must.
When your stakeholders are engaged, from donors to board members to program beneficiaries, then you have a fighting chance of having a website that helps you meet your mission.