Stories can support an explanation of your non-profit’s work. They articulate the impact of your non-profit’s work in a way that your audience can empathize with. There are dozens of ways to use stories, but one of the most underutilized is integrating them into a non-profit’s website.
Clearly integrating and featuring stories on your website makes it easy for visitors to engage with what your organization really does.
There’s really nothing worse than visiting an organization’s website to find out more about them, only to discover that your only option is to read an uninspired “About” page. As Fraser Green recently pointed out – donors don’t care about the organization, they care about the cause you serve. Why not reinforce that connection by telling website visitors about your non-profit through the lens of your impact? I’m going to show you what a before and after would look like for a non-profit repositioning their website in this way by using stories.
Sacramento SPCA – an example of a website that buries their stories and inundates a visitor with information.
I am a serious animal lover. The SSPCA is all about saving and supporting animals, but their choice of language for the menu header does not capture that spirit in an enticing way. As a potential donor, it would be far more interesting to be taken on a journey showing me this, rather than telling me through laundry lists on the “Programs/Services” and “About” about pages.
Revise, reuse and reorganize what you’ve got on your website to allow stories to natural surface
I took a stab at reorganizing this website navigation and this is what a story-based SSPCA website would look like:
Here’s why this works:
– It condenses the information presented to a website visitor. No need to duplicate information!
– The headers themselves now tell a story, which makes it easier for someone to immediately identify with the messaging and engage with it by clicking on a subsequent link. The new organization also creates a flow to lead the visitor through the website with ease.
– It feels more personal, less corporate. Yes, a non-profit is a professional organization but that does not mean that it has to be devoid of all personality.
-The language used in the headers naturally creates opportunities for storytelling, and therefore make it easier for you to communicate information about the cause you serve to donors.
That’s this week’s website assessment and the first in a multi-week series about non-profit websites. I hope that my insights on the SSPCA’s website highlight for you the simple changes you can make to leverage your website!
I’m on the hunt for websites to use for future posts like this so if you would like me to use your website as an example in exchange for my advice and insights, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look forward to hearing from you!