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A well-designed website can be a powerful tool for raising awareness, engaging supporters, and driving meaningful change. However, many organizations make common mistakes that can hinder their website’s effectiveness and impact. In this post, we’ll discuss four mistakes to avoid when designing a website for social impact.

1. Failing to Clearly Tout Your Achievements

Social impact organizations often have websites as part of their fundraising. To appeal to donors and prove to granting organizations that your org is qualified, you need to talk about your wins. 

One of the most critical aspects of a social impact website is showcasing your organization’s achievements. Failing to display your successes prominently can be detrimental to your fundraising efforts. It may lead to not effectively communicate your impact to potential donors and granting organizations. Make sure to highlight your accomplishments, backed by data and compelling stories, to set clear expectations and demonstrate your organization’s value.

2. Not Designing for All Audiences

A common pitfall in social impact website design is tailoring the site to only one audience, such as donors, while neglecting the needs of other key stakeholders, like the clients of your program. Social impact organizations often have complex structures and multiple target audiences. For example, a nonprofit may have several sister organizations or partnering agencies, each with its own unique mission and goals.

Additionally, nonprofits often need to cater to different groups of stakeholders, including donors, volunteers, and recipients of their services. It’s essential to create a website that caters to the diverse needs of all your audiences, providing relevant information, resources, and engagement opportunities for each group. By designing with a holistic approach, you can ensure that your website resonates with and serves all who interact with your organization.

You may also want to consider creating dedicated sections or pages for each target audience. For example, you might create a separate “Donors” page that highlights the impact of their contributions and provides easy ways to give. Similarly, a “Volunteers” page could feature opportunities to get involved and stories of successful volunteer projects.

3. Selecting a Design and CMS That is Difficult to Update

One mistake we see organizations make is paint themselves into a corner with a flashy but inflexible website that’s difficult to update. Custom graphics that can’t be reproduced internallySocial impact organizations often need to make frequent updates to their websites, especially for resources and events. To avoid the mistake of selecting a website design that’s difficult to update, choose a flexible and adaptable design. If your website has a lot of content, consider working with your website agency to create custom templates using page builders. This approach allows for easy updates and maintenance, ensuring your website remains accurate, relevant, and engaging without requiring extensive technical expertise.

4. Inconsistency in Branding and Appearance

Nonprofit organizations often have staff members pulled in many directions or rely on volunteers to update their websites. Over time, even a beautifully designed site can begin to look frayed and unfocused. It could cause a lack of consistency in content updates and imagery. To maintain a professional and cohesive brand identity, it’s crucial to implement safeguards that prevent different administrators from straying from the brand guidelines.

Learn More About Designing Websites for Social Impact

Designing a website for social impact requires careful consideration of your organization’s goals, target audiences, and resources. By avoiding these three common mistakes – hiding valuable content, not considering all target audiences, and selecting a difficult-to-update design – you can create a website that effectively engages and inspires your stakeholders. Looking for more information about developing effective nonprofit websites? Read Lessons Learned From Designing Websites for Social Impact.

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