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  • Larry Mabena
  • Sept 13, 2020

Essential Elements Of An NGO Website

    Different types of non-governmental organisations exist today tackling a wide range of development issues at various capacities.Like most organisations today, non governmental organisations are seized with formulating strategies on establishing their work in the digital space. In an earlier article we looked at reasons why organisations and businesses today have to build a strong online presence. So we will now dive into the strategies and tools for building a solid online presence. On this article we will look at the website, a very key part of building an online presence .
    Before setting out to developing or hiring a consultant to develop a website, goals and objectives of the website must be clearly defined. These will be very instrumental in guiding the direction and scope of the development process. This is key to avoiding getting caught up in the aesthetics at the expense of the objectives .

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    The Essentials

    We appreciate that they maybe many other elements depending on the type and growth stage of the organisation. In this article we highlight ten basic elements that would support the activities of a small to medium sized organisation

  • A Clean Succinct Landing Page
  • A clear home page that succinctly highlights the important aspects of the non-profit organisation with an intuitive navigation to different pages and resources. The landing page is where the first impression is made and it determines whether the visitor will click on or click away,much attention must be paid on the UX design.

  • About Us Page

    An about us page that tells the story of the organisation covering the history and the vision,mandate, mission and values of the organisation.Basically where the organisation is coming from and where it is going. It may be a good idea to profile the team behind the organisation, it enhances the credibility of the organisation as it showcases the skill, the passion and experience in the organisation's people.

  • Programs Page
  • This page showcases the different projects and activities of the organisation.Compelling good quality content that clearly enlightens potential donors and any other site visitors on how the organisation is making a difference. A ‘get involved’ volunteer signup form as well as an events calender can also be featured on this page although they can have their own seperate pages

  • Blog Page
  • The content on this page would be regular posts on information that is of interest to the organisation and its cause. This page features content such as news, reviews and other cause related articles. The blog can also feature report backs and forthcoming events although these can also be featured on their own separate pages.

  • Good Quality Visuals
  • Visuals are a very important part of the professional image of any organisation. So the organisation has to invest in this either by purchasing good quality photography and video equipment or through hiring a professional to capture images and design the visuals. It is very important to understand how bad images can hurt the image and perception of an organisation. Only high quality standard visuals are to be presented on the organisation’s digital platforms. Priority should be given to capture impactful photographs that convey the message of the organisation and the emotions of the lives touched by the organisation’s interventions.

  • Donation Button
  • The ability to collect donations on the website is crucial for fund raising. A donation button must be positioned prominently on the header, call to action and other sections of the website. The button may link to a crowdfunding plaform or donation page within the website. Consideration must be made on the user experience and security.

  • Email Marketing
  • Email marketing tools are essential for organisation’s digital communications strategy. Regular email updates and newsletters to subscribers keeps the organisation in communication with its stake holders.Tools like Mailchimp help in automation and also in the analytics. A Subscription form or call to action for this purpose can be designed as a pop up or can be featured on the sidebar or footer of webpages.

  • Social Media Integration
  • A solid digital communications strategy involves integrating social media to the website.Elements such as links to share content on social media as well as likeboxes and social media feeds. DATAREPORTAL reports that as of 20 July 2020 3.96 Billion people are on social media with Facebook having 2.603 billion monthly active users,YouTube-2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp has 2 billion monthly active users. All these statistics reveal that we can take advantage of social media to reach our intended audience and to drive traffic to our websites.

  • Volunteer Signup
  • A ‘Get Involved’ sign up form can be found at the bottom of the programs page or can be a pop up depending on preferences.A seperate volunteer program page can also be set up for this purpose.This simplifies the volunteer recruitment process.

  • Contact Us page
  • Key contacts of the organisation must be clearly represented on this page. This may also include an embedded map to display the physical location of the offices.

    Finally

    Keeping the website up to date encourages engagement and is a sign that the organisation is alive and active. An outdated website discourages prospective donors and volunteers and other visitors. Maintaining an organised calendar of updates is an effective way of ensuring consistent updates to the website.

About the author

Larry Mabena

Larry Mabena

Larry Mabena is an experienced, multiskilled ICT Consultant, focusing on solutions that range from web development and design, data analysis and visualisation, digital branding to other allied solutions.He holds a BSc Hons in Informatics from the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo,Zimbabwe and has a passion for Geographic Information Systems and other geospatial technologies.

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