hand of someone designing a web page using markers on paper

6 Website Mistakes That Are Costing You Donors

Many nonprofits unknowingly make critical mistakes on their websites, directly impacting their ability to attract and retain donors. Let's explore six common website mistakes that could cost your nonprofit valuable support and donations.

drawing of a man and woman adjusting elements of a web page


1. Lack of Clarity in Your Mission

Your website should clearly and concisely communicate your organization's mission and the impact you aim to achieve. However, using vague or jargon-heavy language can confuse visitors about what you do.

Using plain language and relatable examples that illustrate your mission will ensure that visitors of all backgrounds can easily understand and connect with your cause. By articulating your impact in tangible terms, you empower potential donors to see the difference their support can make, inspiring them to take action.

2. Ignoring User Experience (UX)

A cluttered and poorly designed website can overwhelm and frustrate visitors. If users need help finding the information they need or have difficulty navigating your site, they will likely abandon it altogether. 

Investing in a clean and intuitive website, with well-organized navigation, a clear content hierarchy, and a user-friendly interface, will enhance the overall user experience and encourage visitors to explore further. A well-designed website captivates potential donors and reflects your commitment to professionalism and efficiency in fulfilling your nonprofit's mission.

3. Missing or Buried Donation Call to Action

For most nonprofits, a key website objective is to inspire visitors to donate. Yet some nonprofit websites contain unclear, inconsistent, or hard-to-find donation buttons, making it difficult for potential donors to contribute.

Strategically placing prominent and compelling donation CTAs throughout your website and persuasive messaging that highlights the impact of contributions will encourage visitors to take action and support your cause. 

Try to make the donation process as seamless and hassle-free as possible. A smooth user experience from the first click to the final donation can make all the difference in converting visitors into committed donors.

4. Overlooking Mobile Optimization

These days, most people browse the web using mobile devices, so neglecting mobile optimization is a grave mistake. If your site doesn’t work well on smartphones and tablets, you risk alienating many potential donors. If your website is difficult to use, visitors are more likely to leave quickly and less likely to return.

Optimizing your website for mobile devices ensures a broader reach and demonstrates your commitment to accessibility, inclusivity, and staying up to date with technological advancements. It allows potential donors to engage with your organization seamlessly, increasing the likelihood of attracting sustained support from a diverse audience.

5. Inadequate Storytelling

Your nonprofit's impact stories are perhaps your most powerful tools to connect with potential donors emotionally. However, some websites don't effectively incorporate storytelling, relying instead on dry statistics and impersonal content.

By weaving personal narratives and testimonials into your impact stories, you can create an emotional connection that resonates deeply with your audience. This fosters a sense of empathy among potential donors and helps them understand the benefits of your work. Humanizing your cause through storytelling helps potential donors envision their role in transforming lives, inspiring them to become passionate advocates and committed contributors to your mission.

6. Lack of Transparency and Accountability

Donors want to know how their contributions are used and their support's tangible outcomes. A lack of transparency about a nonprofit's finances, goals, and progress can raise red flags for potential donors.

With that in mind, be transparent about your organization's financial stewardship and provide regular updates on project milestones and achievements. Doing so builds trust with donors and reinforces the credibility of your nonprofit's impact. Demonstrating accountability and openness assures potential donors that their generosity is making a meaningful and measurable difference. It also encourages long-term commitment and support for your cause.

Drive Donations with Your Website

Remember, your website is a static online presence and a dynamic platform for cultivating relationships with your audience. Continuously assess and update your website to ensure that it aligns with your nonprofit's evolving goals and communicates your dedication to creating a lasting impact worldwide.

Need to optimize your website to increase donations? TechSoup Web Services is here to help. From diagnosing and improving your website to building a new website from the ground up, we have a solution for you. To get started, get in touch with us.


Additional Resources

Top photo: Shutterstock