In the world of NPO's and NGO's influence and impact have become major drivers in our world today. We know that passion fuels your mission and vision and that your association has focused goals, a relatable mission, and dedicated members. So far, your efforts have gone towards creating meaningful connections with like-minded people and growing your base. However, your website may be lackluster, and some of your members are having trouble finding what they need online, especially as in-person communication dwindles more and more.
It's time to take the next step toward improving your website to better serve your association's goals. Whether you are looking at growing membership, expanding your campaign's influence, building a solid development platform, or just building better interaction between members; customizing your website to fit each need is a great strategy for maximizing your impact toward each goal.
If executed correctly, an effective association website will provide members the information and resources they need, inspire new members to join, and lead people to consider making a donation. Regardless of the bells and whistles on your website, the most important thing is that it tells your story. It explains why people should care, what they gain from being a member, and why they should give their time and money to support your association. The elements of your website should work to make that story clearer and easier to become a part of. Here's how.
Address each audience and their needs
Your association likely has a few primary audiences, such as members, prospective members, or potential donors. Whoever you're hoping to engage, think about what each audience needs and how your website can make it easy for them to find it. Consider the path each audience will take on your website, and eliminate any roadblocks that may get in their way. Having a tab in your navigation bar that speaks to each audience makes it simple. For example, a tab labeled "Join" lets prospective members know where to go when they're ready to get involved on a more meaningful level.
Create clear CTAs
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are generally clickable links or buttons that move people to a desired action. CTAs may be different for each of your audiences, depending on how they want to get involved. Whether it's volunteering, donating, expressing interest in a membership, or registering for an event, you want this process to be as easy and clear as possible. Make sure relevant content leads to a bold button with text that's clear and direct. Driving your audience to conversions will quickly lead to growth for your association.
Make membership exclusive
The main draw to membership is exclusive benefits. In addition to supporting your association, members pay for access to events, resources, ideas, and networking opportunities. Consider the tools, materials, and resources that your members may need, and place them behind a portal that can be accessed by a username and password. These might be association contacts, templates or materials for events and meetings, educational resources, discounts for products and services, and more. By placing these items on a separate, password-protected part of your site, members know they're getting benefits that non-members are not, making them feel valued.
Initiate a two-way conversation with your members
Your members want to be involved – that's why they signed up! Especially if they're contributing financially to the association, your members want to provide their feedback and have a say, however big or small, in decision-making. Incorporate user-friendly forms that allow members to provide their input, such as member surveys and suggestion or comment forms. This will facilitate a two-way conversation with your members and allow you to improve your association to better serve them.
Associations are all about connection and collaboration with other people, and your website needs to reflect that by making your content people-focused. On your website, include photos of your members interacting, videos of people out in your community, or profiles of members and their testimonials. Interactions with other humans are often what draw people to be a part of an association, so design your content to inspire them to do so.
Brand consistency is important on any website, but especially for associations because it exhibits trust and professionalism. This, of course, is important to members and donors because they're going to invest time and money in the organization. Ensure your tone and messaging, colors, and logo use – literally everything – is consistent with your brand. This should apply to your website and everything else you produce for your association. For more in-depth information about creating brand guidelines, read this blog.
Are you ready to take your website to the next level but don't have the right tools or expertise? Get in touch with us here at PRIME to see how we can help.
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