Find your position and stick with it. Your website is the face of your organization—what people see online should reflect who you are as a nonprofit. Think of it as a window into the soul of your organization.
One of the keys to building viable websites for nonprofits is to make sure that everything on your website speaks to your mission and your cause. This is called positioning, or the “voice” of your website.
Your mission should come across loud and clear on every page. It should permeate every part of your site so that each one of your online visitors comes away with a clear understanding of who you are and what you do. If you fail to create a website with a voice that’s clear and cohesive, then visitors may get confused or lose interest and never come back.
Why is the voice of websites for nonprofits so important? Because the way that we relate with people today has largely shifted from face-to-face meetings to digital communication on websites, social media and mobile devices. When you’re talking with someone in person, it’s easy to verbalize what you’re passionate about—your “voice” and personality are evident. But when people shift their communication to the web, many times they lose their voice, and they become stiff and lifeless.
If you want to have a viable website, you need to make sure your voice is alive, consistent and you, in everything you put out there. If it helps, pretend that your website is a one-on-one conversation with your most important constituent. Don’t create content as if you’re speaking to a group—write it as if you’re having an important conversation with your top donor. You certainly wouldn’t speak in generic terms with a lifeless tone and a robotic voice.
You’re not a generic organization—you have a unique personality, a clear position and an important mission. Be sure your website does as well.