I’ll confess it right here: I love a good makeover show. My daughters and I are avid fans of What Not to Wear. I also adore a good nonprofit website makeover, though they are harder to find than reruns of Stacy and Clinton steering women away from shapeless clothes. Most nonprofit websites are still at the “before” stage.
It is therefore with great excitement that I get to unveil a highly successful makeover from Project Hope. They took their website from dull to dynamic, meeting all the important requirements of a great site.
To be clear how I judge a site, I think a good home page should have the following:
- Something that tugs the heartstrings - an arresting image, a bold statement, the start of an incredible story
- A 2-second statement that sums up who you are and what you do so that anyone glancing at the page gets it right away
- Clear, intuitive navigation that is organized according to the brain of the people who come to your website and NOT your org chart
- A quick case or link to a case for why you’re THE organization to support
- A way to capture people whose interest has been captured (a great email signup that entices people to provide their email address)
- A big donate button for people ready to give
- A third-party endorsement (ratings from Charity Navigator or a testimonial from someone)
- Something that shows where the money goes or links to information on where donations go (this can be part of #4)
- Engagement opportunities - lots of them!
- Social media links - so people can take your message around the Internet
Let’s check out Project Hope BEFORE:
Here’s what Marisol from Project Hope told me:
We revamped our website in an effort to make it easier for our friends, donors and anyone seeking information on our international health education and humanitarian programs to navigate our website. The homepage also now allows easier access to our Facebook Fan and Cause page, and our Twitter and YouTube accounts. Also included in the new and improved website is an innovative tool to help us fundraise. Although Project HOPE is an older organization, founded in 1958, it continues to explore new ways to fundraise while raising awareness of our programs and mission. Now, from our website, fans and friends of Project HOPE have the ability to become an amateur fundraiser, by creating their own fundraising webpage, all underneath our brand. These fundraising pages are similar to the ones used by ActBlue during the 2008 elections. They allow the user to use the page to describe what Project HOPE means to them, highlight the causes that interest them the most and provide a quick and easy way for their friends and family to donate to HOPE.
I asked her what the results were and this is what she had to say: Website traffic is up (though some advertising on social media has increased the bounce rate). In addition, “Our new fundraising tool on the site that allows donors to create their own fundraising pages has raised nearly $16,000 in just a couple of weeks. The pages allow friends of HOPE to pick what focus or geographical region their donation should support.”
She wrote this before the Haiti disaster, so I’m sure the results have grown since then. [UPDATE: Marisol says: Project Hope is now over $53,000 raised through our personalized fundraising pages.]
I’m a fan of the big image, the instant understanding of what they do, the clear calls to action, the multiple ways to engage, the big donate link, and the clarity on what impact they have.
Great job, Project Hope! And thanks for your hard work for Haiti.