NonProfit Website Strategy & Planning


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When planning a website, don't start with colors, logos, email signup newsletters, and what system is used for donation processing! What's your mission and vision, and how can this translate to an awesome website? Jen will walk you through this process, as well as steps for writing a great request for proposal (RFP).

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NonProfit Website Strategy & Planning

  1. 1.   Jen Kramer  October 28, 2013 • •
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  3. 3. “I need a website and I want it blue. How much will that cost?” •
  4. 4. Translating your mission and vision to a website Questions you should answer before hiring the web team What is the job of a web designer, anyway? Finding the right person/firm for the job •
  5. 5.             Make sure you have an email newsletter and signup on every page Get on Facebook and post daily Identify keywords and use them on each page for a density of 4% Submit your site to Google for proper indexing Make use of microdata for enhanced search engine listings Look into budgeting for Google AdWords and set up campaigns for this Evaluate your Google Analytics on a weekly basis and tweak pages No more than 3 clicks from anywhere to anywhere on your site Make sure you have a donation page and you take donations electronically Purchase misspelled versions of your domain name and link them up to your site Make sure your site is backed up Pinterest is the next hot thing, so get on it and start posting •
  6. 6.   Translating your mission and vision to a website •
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  8. 8. The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. •
  9. 9. The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, is always there in times of need. We aspire to turn compassion into action so that... ...all people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope; ...our communities are ready and prepared for disasters; ...everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products; ...all members of our armed services and their families find support and comfort whenever needed; and an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives. •
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  16. 16.   And how can you do it? •
  17. 17.  Red Cross understands their mission and vision.  They identified the audiences they want to serve.  They know how the website should support the mission, vision, and target audiences. •
  18. 18.  Find your mission and vision (and values) statements for your nonprofit. o Are they current/up to date? Do they reflect what you’re doing now?   What audience are you serving? Now think about how your website could reflect this material. •
  19. 19.   Questions you should answer before hiring the web team •
  20. 20. Questions:  What are our mission and vision? What is our purpose?  What do we want to get out of the site?  Who are our users?  What do our users want?  What experience are we trying to provide?  How will we measure success? •
  21. 21.  An x% increase in the number of visitors  Reduce tech support costs by y%  Convey the mission and vision of our project and enlist sponsors  Increase our visibility in the marketplace by establishing our expertise  Reduce phone calls for hours and location  Promote events  Get grant funding How does this support your mission & vision? •
  22. 22.  Get as specific as possible o Good: 18-24 year old males in urban areas of the US with shoe sizes 12 and up o Not as good: Young people with fashion sense “Anyone who might be interested” is not the right answer. •
  23. 23.  What are their specific limitations? o Specific website needs: arthritis, wear glasses, colorblind o Type of internet connection: dialup still reigns supreme in rural areas o Old computers? Mobile phones? Tablets? •
  24. 24. Be entertained; share photos, stories; reconnect with old friends and colleagues  Donate money  Donate time  Find out how to sponsor your project  Purchase a widget at 11 PM in their PJs  Find the thought leader and see what they think about X  Tell me more about that thing I read about in the paper this morning  •
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  26. 26.  Efficient  Simple and straightforward  Meandering, wandering  Cheerful and peppy … and does that intro movie really support that experience? •
  27. 27. Deep thought: No one ever says they want to make a frustrating, difficult website. But frequently, under the banner of “branding”, organizations do exactly this. Websites are software, not electronic brochures. They should be predictable and easy to use. •
  28. 28.  It’s not all about Google Analytics, although this data is important. o Review your GA data for types of browsers, hardware, visitor patterns, search terms, etc. Are you getting what you expect?  Think about the goals for your website and write a goal that’s measureable. o Reduce phone calls about location and hours by 10% over the next 3 months. • Associates will track number of calls over next 3 months. o Increase number of donors by 10% and increase average new donation to $25. • Measureable via donation tracking software. •
  29. 29.  Make “store location” more obvious on the home page o And how will you do that? o And how will you measure the results?  Investigate online donation screens for usability issues. o And how will you do that? o And how will you measure the results? •
  30. 30.  Answer the questions for your own website: o What are our mission and o o o o o vision? What is our purpose? What do we want to get out of the site? Who are our users? What do our users want? What experience are we trying to provide? How will we measure success?  Find websites that might serve as a model for your own site. o The Red Cross ties their mission and vision into their site structure well. What other sites do this? •
  31. 31.   What is the job of a web designer, anyway? •
  32. 32. Web Designers Web Developers •
  33. 33. What they do         Make pretty web designs Improve usability and workflow Write code Provide web hosting Train clients to maintain their own websites Choose the best web technology for your needs Execute the web portion of your marketing plans Determine the links on your site     What they do not do Fix your computer Configure your email Configure your office network Develop your organizational strategy, mission/vision/values, or marketing plans •
  34. 34.   Finding the right person/firm for the job •
  35. 35.  Someone has built my exact website before, so they should be experienced in building: o o o o o o o A non-profit website serving my exact target audience and doing the same kind of work A startup/established/well-established non-profit With a blog, calendar of events, discussion board, zip code locator, contact form, newsletter signup, polls, surveys… And they should be able to build this website in my budget and on my timeline. And they should be able to show me 3 examples of this exact kind of work. And they should be local. And they should share all of my non-profit’s values. •
  36. 36.  I need to find someone who can: o Write perfect, search engine o o o o o o optimized code Write all copy for my site Manage the project Figure out my strategy, objectives, mission, vision, and values Pick the perfect technology Set up and run my social media campaign Network the office •
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  40. 40.   In 5 Easy Steps •
  41. 41.  State your mission, vision, values.  Answer the 6 questions addressing strategy from earlier in this talk. •
  42. 42.  Why are you redesigning your website?  How will you know you solved the problem? •
  43. 43.  Graphic design  Copy writing  Social media  Marketing plan execution  Video  Branding and message  Custom application  Mobile •
  44. 44.  How much do you want to spend on this project?  When will you start?  When does it need to be completed?  Is there a reason it needs to be completed then? •
  45. 45.  Let the designers and developers do their jobs. They are not button-pushing monkeys.  If you have requirements, list them, carefully and thoughtfully. •
  46. 46.     Do mention “Must integrate with our existing CRM system/donor system/etc” “We want to maintain our website after launch” “We need best practices employed for SEO” “We want to own our website after launch, allowing anyone to maintain it.”     Do not mention {no mention of existing donor system or its integration} “Must be built in WordPress/ Drupal/Joomla/something else” “We need a blog and backlinks to our content” “We prefer open source solutions over proprietary solutions.” •
  47. 47.       Be clear about who you are. Be clear about the problem you want solved. Be clear about where you need help. Be clear about budget and time. Don’t sound high maintenance. Be careful when talking technical. •
  48. 48. Jen Kramer Waltham, MA Phone: 802-257-2657 Slides available at Free 7-day pass to Twitter: @jen4web Facebook: •