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20 Best Practice Features For A NGO Website
Non profit organisations are some of the most innovative in their use of websites to engage and communicate using the latest Web 2.0 technologies and social media channels to get their message out to their members, stakeholders and potential members. NGO’s and charities have some of the most passionate members and donors that allow the website to be a homebase for the enabling of their support and focus and Social Media is providing a means and platform for them to express that in a variety of ways. So what are some of the essential elements that a ”best of breed” NGO website should contain. This list is not in any order of priority but is an overview and guide to some of the best practices implemented by the top NGO websites.
- Good design that allows easy navigation, readibility and usability
- Website optimised both onsite and offsite for SEO so people can find them online via search engines
- Membership functionality that provides good control of current membership and makes it easy for new members to apply either free or paid
- Document management feature that provides easy searchability of documents within a site
- Blog that allows members and vistors to the site to read the latest information relevant to the organisation and sector that allows them to comment (moderation of the blog is recommended)
- Micro site capability to be able to run campaigns with their own domain or sub-domain either internally or on behalf of passionate members
- Forums either public or private to discuss issues relevant to donors and members
- Various online contact us forms with anti-spam capability that are spread through the site
- Events function that allows the NGO to book and register online as well as notify members of upcoming events
- Social media capable allowing sharing, interaction and promotion through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other channels that are appropriate to current and future members. Also in choosing your social media channels you should be considering where are my target market sectors hanging out.
- News feature that provides up to date news for members in easy to read format that is timely and current
- Online donation button that provides an easy functionality that encourages donation on the website (this should be spread through out the website)
- eNewsletter as part of the website that automates email address capture into a database can be used to distribute newletters electronically and regularly(this is extremely cost efficient in comparison to a printed newsletter and also good for the environment)
- eCard function that allows people to create a branded eCard onsite and send it out as an email to friends, family or colleagues
- Video capable either onsite or offsite (an offsite example is YouTube, where the NGO can create their own channel and not have to pay for the consequent website traffic down loads as well as the additional benefit of improving their SEO)
- Use an “Open Source” CMS” (Content Management System) platform that removes any requirement to pay annual licence fees and also lets you own your own code and have ownership of your website.
- Photo Gallery where photos of events, functions and campaigns can be posted for members and website vistors to view
- Google Analytics (this is free software by the way) loaded into the website code to measure website traffic and collect statistics to assist in continually optimising your website
- Multi-User Access control capability that allows different users to login and post content to authorised sections within the site along with appropriate approval management
- eCommerce capability so that the NGO can optimise its revenue by selling branded high margin products that provide another way to donate
Are there any other elements you think a best of breed NGO website should contain?
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