It’s that time of year again — the fall board meeting. And while you may have the usual agenda of discussing this year’s successes and lessons learned and next year’s strategy, we hope you’re also including a line item about updating your website.
It’s easy to focus on programming, staffing needs, advertising, major gifts, new partnerships, and other big items with your board when they seemingly take up all the budget and resources. But maybe it’s time that your website gets the budget and attention it deserves and needs. If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then it sounds like you’re ready to get your board on board with your website project.
This isn’t about asking for another $2,500 to do some minor enhancements to your homepage. We’re talking about a nice chunk of change to make website improvements a MAJOR part of your upcoming strategy. We’re talking about a fully integrated site that is truly the front door to your community. A place where visitors can donate, watch videos, read stories, sign petitions, or just get educated about your cause.
All of this costs money! And it takes time. A lot of time. We get it.
So here are a few recommendations to secure that dream budget from your board and finally get your website to where it needs to be:
Shower them with stats:
With digital technology, stats are everything. And if you can show some solid numbers to back up your goals and website proposal, you’re off to a good start. Mobile and tablet traffic, online donations, email subscribers, traffic sources, and top visited pages are all good metrics to include, and then figure out what else you need to support your specific request. Never underestimate the power of numbers.
Make the site part of your story:
Why is the website such an important part of achieving your organization’s goals? If engagement through your site is a major element of your overall strategy, then that’s how you need to sell your story. Some of the biggest names in philanthropy, like Charity: Water or Malaria No More, are known almost as much for their amazing web presences as much as they are for the work they do on the ground.
Show them how they can benefit:
What’s better: a board member constantly calling you to find out where something is on the website, or overhearing them confidently point a donor toward it on their own? If you can show how your website redesign will help them to be better ambassadors to your cause, it’s a win all around.
Point out the competition:
Like we said, some organizations are famous for their digital footprint. If you have a board member who wants to keep up with peers and competitors, show them how a clean, updated website with awesome engagement is one way to the top as your organization increasingly grows your communities and funds online. (Plus: there are tons of cool awards out there for best websites that will get you traffic and noise around your cause!)
Ultimately, you want your board to recognize the ever-growing importance of a great nonprofit website in your overall mission. And to put it on the back burner is to do your organization, and the people or things you’re supporting, a disservice.