There are good reasons why your US NGO needs a website, but before we get into that we’ll talk about the value of helping people. Serving others is an act that many of us have placed tremendous effort into accomplishing. Whether it is feeding the hungry or helping families we have made it our moral duty to practice philanthropy. One of the greatest joys that a person can experience is in meeting a particular need of someone else. Famous host Bernard Meltzer said, “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up” This is a principle that is universal and applicable today. In a technologically advanced world we need to use the internet to help others.
Entities such as small businesses, political organizations, government agencies, and banks make their online presence known by featuring a website. A website allows them to communicate information, raise public awareness and call people to carry out a certain action. The NGO that you run or work for should not be an exception to these practices. When you decided to help others was not your motive to connect with as many people as possible? Did you not envision yourself reaching out to supporters of your cause or to those that could benefit from it? In this article we will explore the reasons why your US NGO needs a website.
Reasons your US NGO needs a Website
People in the US will find your NGO on the internet
Without a website the alternative methods of people finding out about you have their limitations. Word of mouth, social media, news outlets, ads and community events are some of these methods. While they are essential to bringing public awareness, solely depending on them might not be the smartest approach. Firstly, a website can reach people in far greater numbers than relying on word of mouth can. Secondly, with a website you can present a lot more information to people online than you can through social media. Thirdly, the cost of ads and the expense of having to host local events in your community can be high. Lastly, the chances of your organization appearing on news outlets more than twice a year are very slim. And do NGO’s really keep count of the number of people that discover them via these avenues?
It gets people in the US involved in your NGO
An organization is only as strong as the number of people that support it. In order for an NGO to survive it needs volunteers, donors and individuals who are a part of its mission. You do not need to be a data analyst to recognize that fewer people means less of an organizational impact. Similar to how businesses shut down when they lose clientele NGOs can become extinct if they fail to reach people. A website can increase the amount of donors, get people to volunteer and connect with them on a regular basis. According to Ironpaper,
Content marketing serves as one of the most economical ways to increase awareness, find new leads, and convert more prospects 1
Time, resources and people are three areas that your NGO might be struggling with at the moment. There is no reason to make things more complicated for yourself by not featuring a website.
Informs people of your organization’s authenticity
In today’s world the sad reality is that there are many people who fall victim to scammers and fraudulent schemes on a daily basis. You might have been the victim at one time or another of a scam and it is something that each person should take precautionary measures in avoiding. National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCSS), reports,
Each year, 1 out of every 10 American adults are at high risk of being a victim of fraud2
In a country of more than 300 million people that is a large percentage of human beings that are at great risk of being scammed. The internet is a place where lots of scammers like to conduct their services. Websites, emails and text messages are means used to illegally elicit great amounts of money from innocent people. Scammers will even go as far as creating fake online charities in order to extract finances from others. Through a website you can prove to people that your NGO is not there to empty out their savings accounts. You can also show that your organization is an authentic entity that is registered with the government and has an actual physical address.
More reasons your US NGO needs a Website
Builds trust with people
This reason might overlap with the previous one, but convincing someone through a website that you are not out there to scam them is not the only way to build trust with that person. You can gain their trust by interacting with them on your website through chat boxes, forums, newsletters, social media links, and reviews from people who have engaged with your organization. These are features that not only will provide your NGO with a good first impression they will inspire people to continue exploring what you have to offer them. The last thing that you want is for a person to discover you and then forget about your existence because you made no effort to connect with them. One of the main purposes of having a website is to get people from knowing who you are to being regular supporters of your mission.
Helps your organization stand out from the crowd
As an NGO you are in a large company with others like you across the globe. People can easily search for your type of organization on the internet and not ever find you on the first few pages of Google. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCSS),
1.54 million nonprofits were registered with the IRS in 20163
Having a website is definitely a must, but there is no guarantee that you will easily stand out. Do not get me wrong, this isn’t a popularity contest or a race of which organization can outperform the rest. It is human nature to be competitive, but you should recognize that you exist to serve. Even though there are many NGO’s out there, you still need to reach people through a website. There are several methods that can allow your website to stand out. One, is making sure the layout and the information on it is up to date. Second, is that the pages on your site do not take more than three seconds to load. Third, that your website provides people with something they perceive as valuable. Last, that your site ranks high on search engines.
Communicates your mission to people
You probably already have a very well thought out mission that thoroughly explains the purpose of why your organization exists. You also likely have a mission statement that you and the people you work with abide by. My question to you is can people that you try to reach easily identify what your mission is the first time they come across your organization? If not, how would you expect anyone discovering you to care and take action? With a website all you have to do is provide a short summary of your mission and make sure that it is visible on the homepage. Once people read it then they can be provided with further information through an about page. And if you want them to get involved you can even feature a donation or volunteer page.
Conclusion to Reasons Your US NGO Needs a Website
Now that you have explored the different reasons why your US NGO needs a website the next step for you to do is to create one. Even if you do not have any coding knowledge or any experience in putting together a site you can use a website builder like WordPress to make the process easier for you. You do not have to worry about it being expensive or tedious. Just think about the positive benefits that a website will have upon you and those who are involved in your mission. Not only will your NGO grow, but you’ll be able to own something that’ll impact the lives of future generations.