Nonprofits rely heavily on donors and volunteers. And, when there are thousands of amazing nonprofits out there bidding for the attention of volunteers and donors, it’s even more important that your nonprofit website stands out. 

So, how can your nonprofit attract donors and volunteers to its website?

There are a lot of changes you can make on your website (both big and small) to help your website stand out and get the engagement you want– and need– from aspiring volunteers and donors. Some of these changes include having clear and compelling messaging, including testimonials, being transparent in the work you do and how you spend your funds, having a volunteer-specific landing page, and clearly outlining available positions. 

In this blog, we’ll closely examine some of the things you can do in order to attract donors and volunteers to your website, including items you can get started on today!

Dreaming about all the ways a new website could help you attract donors and volunteers but first need to get your board on board? Then download our PDF and learn how to create a clear, compelling case for your board so that you can get their support as you push into new and exciting projects.

5 Ways To Attract Donors to Your Nonprofit Website

Getting and engaging with donors on your website is not only vital for the funding of your organization, but it also helps to spread the word about what you are doing and raise awareness for your cause. So, how can you separate yourself from all the other organizations out there? And how can you not only get donors on your website but also get them to engage with your content and cause? 

We listed five things you can do to help your nonprofit stand out, appeal to your audience, and attract more donors. 

Create Clear and Compelling Messaging

Having a website should be more than an item to check off your checklist. Not only do the design and navigation need to be created with your audience in mind, but the words on the pages have to speak to them. 

Does your website content provide users with personal anecdotes? Does it engage visitors emotionally? Create a connection? Does it inspire action?

You need to speak to your audience in a way that aligns with their desire for change. You need them to understand the why behind what you do and evoke passion in them. 

A great way to do this is by using powerful stories to highlight your mission, impact, and the beneficiaries of your organization. This can include using:

  1. Impact Stories: Share stories of individuals or communities that have been positively impacted by the nonprofit’s work. 

  2. Volunteer Experiences: Highlight personal stories from volunteers who have dedicated their time and skills to the organization. These stories can showcase the volunteers’ motivations, their experiences working with the nonprofit, and the fulfillment they derived from their service. 

  3. Founder’s Journey: Narrate the story of the nonprofit’s founder or key stakeholders, outlining their inspiration, challenges, and the journey that led to the establishment of the organization.

  4. Beneficiary Success Stories: Share stories of individuals or communities that have transformed their lives with the support of the nonprofit. 

  5. Visual Storytelling: Combine compelling visuals, such as photographs, videos, and infographics, with written narratives to create a more immersive storytelling experience. For example, a nonprofit focused on environmental conservation could showcase a series of before-and-after photos to demonstrate the impact of their restoration efforts.

Present stories in a way that resonates with your audience, evokes their emotions, and clearly communicates the organization’s mission and impact. By effectively incorporating compelling storytelling elements, a nonprofit website can engage visitors, foster empathy, and motivate them to take action to support the cause.

Optimize The Mobile Experience

In today’s age, an increasing number of people are using their mobile devices to navigate the web and place online transactions. As such, ensuring your website is mobile-friendly and responsive is vital to the success of your site.

Mobile optimization ensures that the website’s layout, content, and features are adapted to fit smaller screens and touch-based interactions.

A seamless mobile experience enhances accessibility and improves conversion rates. Mobile-friendliness also matters to search engines such as Google and thus will usually cause mobile-friendly sites to rank better. 

Streamline Donation Process

Having a simple and user-friendly website– and specifically a simple donation process– ensures potential donors can navigate through the steps easily, complete their donation quickly, and feel confident in the security of their transaction. Making them more likely to complete the donation process rather than abandon their cart” mid-way through. 

Some elements that contribute to a streamlined donation process are:

  1. Clear Donation Options: Present different donation amounts or levels, allowing donors to select their preferred giving amount. 

  2. Custom Donation Amount: Offer the flexibility for donors to enter a custom donation amount if they prefer to contribute a different sum.

  3. Personal Information: Request necessary donor information, such as name, email address, and optionally, a phone number or mailing address. Keep the form fields minimal and avoid asking for excessive or unnecessary details.

  4. Secure Payment Process: Utilize a trusted payment gateway and clearly communicate the security measures that are in place to protect the donor’s information. 

  5. Progress Indicators: Use progress indicators to guide donors through the donation process. 

  6. Donation Summary: Provide a summary page that donors can review before finalizing the donation. Display the selected donation amount, donor information, and any additional options (e.g., recurring donation checkbox).

  7. Thank You Page: After the donation is successfully processed, redirect the user to a thank you page. On this page, include your expressed gratitude, share the impact of their contribution, and provide the next steps or additional ways to get involved.

  8. Confirmation Email: Send an automated confirmation email to donors, acknowledging their donation, providing a receipt for their records, and expressing appreciation once again. 

Include Social Proof and Trust Indicators

Unfortunately, there are so many scams out there today, making people weary of organizations they haven’t heard of before, especially ones asking for donations. Gathering and displaying testimonials, reviews, and success metrics help build trust and credibility with your audience.

Some examples of how including social proof and trust indicators can help gain new donations include: 

  1. Credibility and Trust: Social proof and trust indicators provide evidence that others have already trusted and supported the nonprofit. This, in turn, reduces skepticism and hesitations about making a donation.

  2. Validation of Impact: Seeing that others have donated and supported the organization’s cause validates the impact and importance of the nonprofit’s work. It reassures potential donors that their contributions will indeed make a difference and align with the values of a larger community. 

  3. Social Influence: People are influenced by the actions of those around them and often look to others for guidance on what to do. When individuals observe their peers or influential figures supporting a nonprofit, it creates a sense of social influence, making them feel compelled to contribute as well.

  4. Emotional Connection: When potential donors see stories, testimonials, or images of real people who have benefited from the nonprofit’s work, it can evoke an emotional response. Emotional connections are a big driver in decision-making and ultimately are used as a tactic to gain support from donors.

  5. Reduced Perceived Risk: Donating to a nonprofit can be perceived as a financial risk. When donors see that the organization has a solid reputation, transparent financial practices, or security measures in place, it alleviates concerns about the legitimacy and safety of the donation process.

Provide Impact Reports and Transparency

Providing regular impact reports on your website creates transparency and builds trust with past and future donors. 

These reports show people how donated funds are being utilized and the outcomes they’ve helped the organization achieve. Making the donor feel confident in how their donation was/​will be used. Plus, it provides reassurance to your donors that their monetary contribution is genuinely needed.

An effective impact report communicates an organization’s achievements, outcomes, and the positive changes they have brought about. 

5 Ways To Attract Volunteers to Your Nonprofit Website

Even though some of the tactics mentioned earlier may also appeal to potential volunteers, it’s important to recognize that volunteers have their own distinct priorities, pain points, and behaviours. To motivate them to take action on your website, you must address their specific needs. 

To attract and engage potential volunteers, there are various strategies you can implement. We’ve listed a few below that have been highly successful. 

Create Clear Volunteer Opportunities

A great way to encourage more people to volunteer, is to simplify the process of finding opportunities within your organization. Avoid making volunteers search for information as it can be frustrating and discouraging. By making it easy for them to find what they need, they’re more likely to apply. 

All volunteer opportunity listings should include:

  • The name of the role

  • Its responsibilities

  • The time commitment

  • Any required skills

Make it easy for potential volunteers to understand how they can contribute and sign up to be a part of the change your organization is creating. 

Share Impactful Volunteer Stories

With so many amazing organizations out there seeking volunteers, there is no lack of choice for people. That’s why you need to tell and show your volunteers just how impactful their time will be at your nonprofit. 

This can be done by sharing inspirational stories, experiences, testimonials, and quotes from current volunteers. In these stories, be sure to highlight the positive impact volunteers have had in the organization and the communities they serve. 

Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteers are the backbone of many organizations. They do so much to push the nonprofit’s mission forward and are great advocates for the work they do. Even though they mostly all do this out of the goodness of their hearts, they still want to feel wanted and appreciated.

It’s important to acknowledge the contributions of volunteers and showcase their impact by featuring individual volunteers or teams on your website’s blog or news section.

In these spotlights, you can highlight the benefits and rewards of volunteering with your nonprofit. These may include personal growth, skill development, networking opportunities, and the chance to be part of a passionate community. 

These spotlights can motivate and help potential volunteers understand the benefits and rewards of getting involved.

Easy Volunteer Sign-Up Process

As mentioned earlier, it is crucial that potential volunteers can easily locate all available opportunities on your website. Equally important is ensuring that the signup process for volunteering is straightforward. This can be achieved by having a user-friendly volunteer sign-up form on your website that captures necessary information without being overly complicated.

In addition, we recommend providing a FAQ section or resources page that addresses common questions and concerns potential volunteers may have. This should include details about training, scheduling, expectations, and any necessary qualifications.

Make it as easy as possible for people to sign up on the spot without having to come back. Also, by clearly listing the requirements upfront, you’ll get more applications from people who more closely align with who you are looking for. 

Volunteer-Specific Landing Page

Finally, we recommend creating a dedicated landing page specifically for volunteer opportunities. This page should provide a comprehensive overview of your organization’s volunteer program, including benefits, available roles, and the application process. Make it visually appealing and easy to navigate to encourage exploration.

Remember to regularly update and refresh your website’s content to reflect new volunteer opportunities and success stories. Engage with volunteers through email newsletters, online forums, and volunteer-specific events to foster a sense of community and encourage long-term involvement.

And Finally, Don’t Forget to Optimize!

In addition to the ideas we mentioned, It’s important that you regularly test and optimize your website’s design, content, and donation process to improve conversion rates (number of people on your website vs. number of people submitting a volunteer form/​donating).

Provided you get enough traffic, you can analyze user behaviour, track metrics, and make data-driven decisions to refine your strategies for attracting more donations. Or, if you’re not getting enough traffic, you could always conduct user testing sessions. During these sessions, you’ll test users as they perform specific tasks or scenarios on your website. After the testing, you can interview them to understand their thought process, the challenges they encountered, and suggestions for improvement. 

Get More Donors and Volunteers Today! 

In this article, we listed lots of ways you can make changes to your website in order to attract more donors and volunteers. Some of these are easily implemented and can be done today. Others, such as optimizing forms, creating a mobile-friendly site, or streamlining the donation process, take more time and even may require outside help.

At Bound State, we get nonprofits. We know how they tick and just how tough running them can be. That’s why we focus on solutions to help nonprofits by building websites that increase organizational awareness, improve operational efficiency, and drive more donations — so you can focus on making a bigger impact.

If you have questions about how to optimize your donation or volunteer sign-up forms, look through how to make your site mobile-friendly, or just have questions about how your website can work for you instead of against you, reach out!

We love hearing about the amazing work nonprofits are doing and want to make the work you do easier!

What are you waiting for? Reach Out!