How to Use Data to Improve Your Nonprofit Website: 3 Tips

July 27, 2023

Your nonprofit’s website serves many important purposes. It’s a place where supporters can learn more about your mission, make a donation, sign up for an upcoming event, and more. Plus, you can leverage your site to recruit volunteers and attract corporate sponsors.

Building an effective nonprofit website does not have to be a “hope for the best” process. By leveraging key data points, your nonprofit can strategically enhance your website’s performance and better engage with supporters online.

In this guide, we’ll walk through three essential ways you can improve your website using data:

  1. Optimize your donation page.
  2. Improve user experience.
  3. Promote matching gifts.

By continually seeking improvements to your website, you’ll create a positive online experience for supporters and keep them invested in your purpose for the long run. First, let’s explore some basic website metrics you should be tracking.

Analyzing Your Website Data

According to NPOInfo’s nonprofit data collection tips, the right data can empower organizations to strengthen their relationships, improve their marketing efforts, and boost their fundraising results. Some website-specific metrics your nonprofit should keep in mind include:

  • Website traffic. This metric captures the number of visits your website receives over a period of time. Look out for increases and decreases in your website traffic, along with traffic sources including organic, referral, and social media. This allows you to recognize where most of your visitors are coming from, so you make more data-driven decisions on optimizing these sources.
  • New vs. returning visitors. This metric reveals how well your website content is attracting new visitors and engaging your existing supporters. By tracking these numbers, your organization can determine whether it needs to step up its efforts to cultivate new support or appeal to more returning website visitors.
  • Bounce rate. Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after visiting only one page. Identifying these specific pages enables you to pinpoint which pages could be improved to drive further engagement on other parts of your website, such as your donation page.
  • Conversion rate. Your website’s conversion rate captures the percentage of visitors who completed a desired action, such as making a gift, signing up to volunteer, or registering for an event. To improve this percentage, you may add more compelling calls to action or other content to inspire more people to take action.

Evaluate these numbers routinely to discover areas where your website is performing well and areas where it could be improved. To track these metrics, leverage a comprehensive website builder that will provide real-time performance reports. 

Of course, there are metrics indirectly related to your website that can inform changes as well. For instance, you might keep an eye on the number of match-eligible donations you received in a certain period of time and compare that with the number of matching gift requests submitted by donors. If you’d like to encourage more supporters to make the most of these opportunities, you could brainstorm ways to feature matching gifts more prominently on your website.

Improving Your Nonprofit Website

Once you’re equipped with your organization’s key metrics, it’s time to turn that data into insights for improving your website. Depending on your specific goals and current performance, you might make some of the following adjustments:

1. Optimize your donation page.

Your organization’s donation page is an indispensable resource to boost revenue. To increase conversions, there are a number of ways your nonprofit can enhance its donation page:

  • Incorporate powerful visuals. Rather than sending their funds into the online void, donors prefer to understand how their contributions will make an actual difference in someone’s life. With this in mind, ensure that your donation page features images of those you serve, so supporters can put a face to your organization’s mission.
  • Keep consistent branding. Use fonts and colors that correspond with your nonprofit’s branding and display your logo in an obvious place on the page. This assures donors that their funds will go directly to your organization and makes them more comfortable with completing the giving process.
  • Offer suggested donation amounts. Make it easy for supporters to give by providing them with a few suggested giving amounts on the page. Even if they decide to choose their own gift size, these suggestions can serve as a reference point and encourage them to increase the donation amount they initially had in mind.
  • Add a recurring gifts option. For those of your supporters who would like to deepen their involvement, add a recurring gifts option to your donation page. This way, all they need to do is click a button to opt into making a donation on a regular basis.

Remember to continue evaluating data such as your donation page conversion rate to determine how successful your improvements are. Then, keep strengthening your donation page for even better results moving forward.

2. Improve user experience.

Your nonprofit website’s user experience (UX) refers to the overall experience that a visitor has while interacting with your content, from navigation to visual design. A high-quality user experience has many benefits, such as reducing bounce rate, increasing conversions, and encouraging visitors to return to your website. To get started with improving your website’s UX, consider these tips:

  • Improve your load speed.
  • Ensure your website is easy to navigate.
  • Optimize your content for mobile users.
  • Add an accessibility widget.

Creating a nonprofit website that is accessible, easy to interact with, and visually appealing doesn’t have to be a demanding process. There are plenty of top nonprofit website templates that your organization can leverage to easily plug in your content and automatically create a positive user experience.

3. Promote matching gifts.

Matching gifts have the potential to bring in significant funds by essentially doubling or tripling a donor’s gift to your nonprofit, without asking your donors for additional funds. Instead, eligible donors’ gifts will be matched by their employers. 

If your data reveals that many of your eligible donors are not submitting matching gift requests to their employers, consider promoting matching gifts on your website to spread awareness of this opportunity. Some impactful ways to do this include:

  • Embedding a matching gift search tool into your donation page.
  • Creating a dedicated matching gifts page to inform supporters.
  • Crafting matching gifts calls to action.

Use your nonprofit’s website to boost your fundraising efforts by monitoring your performance and identifying ways to meet your goals. In addition to a matching gifts page, for example, your website should have landing pages for volunteering, upcoming events, and your nonprofit’s story to maximize visitor engagement.

The Gist

Your nonprofit’s website is a multifaceted tool that you can use for fundraising, marketing, and building relationships with supporters. Since there are so many elements to consider, it’s crucial to take advantage of your data to guide your website improvements. 

Morweb’s guide on the best nonprofit websites recommends using a CMS built specifically for nonprofits to ensure that your organization has everything it needs to create a stellar website that stands out. With the right technology and data on your side, you’ll be able to continually make refinements to generate more support and revenue to power your mission.

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