Building Effective Websites for Nonprofits: Navigating Challenges and Finding Solutions
In the digital age, a well-designed and functional website is crucial for any organization, including nonprofits. However, nonprofits face unique challenges in website development due to their specific needs and often limited resources. This article delves into these challenges and discusses how Accella, with its deep expertise in digital strategy, can help nonprofits navigate these complexities.
The Unique Challenges of Nonprofit Website Development
One of the most common challenges nonprofits face is budget constraints. With limited funds, nonprofits must carefully decide where to allocate resources. This often means balancing the need for a professional, well-functioning website with numerous other operational costs.
How Accella Can Help: At Accella, we understand nonprofits’ budgetary constraints. We work closely with our clients to understand their needs and budget and tailor our services accordingly. We strive to provide cost-effective solutions without compromising on quality or functionality.
Nonprofits often rely on various systems to manage their operations, from donor databases and event registration platforms to email marketing tools. Integrating these systems into a seamless user experience on the website can require specialized knowledge.
How Accella Can Help: Our team has extensive experience in integrating various systems and platforms. We can ensure that all your essential tools work together seamlessly, providing a smooth user experience and streamlining your operations.
Nonprofits typically have a wealth of content that needs to be moved to a new website during a redesign. Ensuring this transition is smooth, and no valuable content is lost can be time-consuming.
How Accella Can Help: We have a proven track record in successful content migration. Our team can ensure that all your valuable content is transferred to your new site efficiently and effectively, minimizing disruption to your operations.
Information Architecture and Governance
Nonprofits often have a lot of information to share with their audience. Organizing this information in a user-friendly way requires thoughtful information architecture. Additionally, clear governance structures must be in place to manage content creation, approval, and publishing processes.
How Accella Can Help: Our team includes information architecture and governance experts. We can help you design a website easy for your audience to navigate and manage your content effectively.
Nonprofits serve diverse audiences, and their websites must be accessible to all, including those with disabilities. This means ensuring the website is navigable by screen readers, text is easily readable, and all functionality can be accessed using a keyboard.
How Accella Can Help: Accessibility is a priority for us at Accella. We design websites with all users in mind, ensuring that your site is accessible and user-friendly for everyone.
Understanding the Investment
Building a fully custom, beautifully designed, and easy-to-operate website is an investment. At Accella, most of our association websites are around $250k, reflecting the level of customization, design, and functionality we provide. Mobile apps, another crucial aspect of a comprehensive digital strategy, start at about $150k for an initial delivery of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
These figures might seem substantial, but it’s important to remember that a well-designed, functional website or app is not just an expense—it’s an investment in your organization’s future. A well-built digital platform can enhance your outreach, improve efficiency, and provide a return on investment far outweighs the initial cost.
Moreover, it’s essential to consider the ongoing costs of maintaining and updating your digital platforms. Accella offers a program called Foresight to help manage these ongoing needs. Foresight ensures that your organization’s digital experiences are aligned with business goals and constantly evolving to meet brand ambitions. It includes security audits, third-party and library maintenance updates, analytics review, general digital strategy and planning, usability & user experience review, production issue resolution, and code clean up & refactoring for improved performance. This proactive approach allows us to focus on enhancements rather than simply reacting to issues, ensuring your digital assets are always at their best.
Empathy is Key
At Accella, we understand nonprofits often work under constraints and pressures that many other organizations don’t face. We approach our work with nonprofits with a deep sense of empathy. We’re not just here to build a website but to support your mission.
As an agency, we specialize in supporting organizations and nonprofits where empathy is built into their ethos. We understand these organizations’ unique challenges and needs and are committed to helping them succeed. We believe that our role goes beyond just providing technical solutions; it’s about understanding your mission, values, and goals and helping you communicate these effectively through your digital presence.
Our commitment to nonprofits is not just professional but also personal. Since 2018, Accella has been committing a portion of our time to help smaller charitable organizations and nonprofits with their digital needs through our “Accella Cares” campaign. We donate 40 – 80 hrs of our time every quarter to support a new organization with their technology projects. This initiative is a testament to our dedication to the nonprofit sector and our belief in the power of digital technology to make a difference.
We have worked with various association clients, providing them with digital solutions tailored to their unique needs. For instance, we have worked with the Credit Union Executives Society (CUES), the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), the National Urban League (NUL), and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), among others. Our work with these organizations has ranged from building event microsites and mobile apps to integrating AMS and LMS solutions.
While building a website for a nonprofit can be a complex task, with the right partner, it can be a rewarding journey. At Accella, we’re committed to being that partner. We understand your needs, have the expertise to address them, and are here to help you succeed.