Development is all about getting the message of your mission out to donors. In this technological age, this means that your website must be as up to date as possible, must be fluid not stagnant, be easy to maneuver and succinctly share your vision. Brainstorming about your website as a development tool is essential on an annual basis. Some questions you might ask are:

  1. IS IT EASY TO DONATE? Springs Rescue Mission (Colorado Springs, Colorado) is very effective with its call to action. All areas focusing on fundraising are in red. They are front and center and numerous. There is a “Give Monthly” link, a “Make a Donation” link with a drop-down menu, and there’s a “Donate Now” in the top right corner.
  2. DO DONORS KNOW WHERE THEIR MONEY IS GOING? Hopelink (Kirkland, Washington) understands that donors want to know what effect their donation will have. As such, they provide top level gifts ($25,000) as well as smaller gift increments ($25) and what each gift supports.
  3. IS YOUR MISSION FRONT AND CENTER? Rebuilding Together (Washington, D.C.) has its mission directly in the center of the page. If not your mission statement, is your tagline easily seen?

In many cases, the first place that a foundation program officer or a donor will go to check out your organization is your website. Make sure that the website connects its message to your mission.

Want to explore further? Check out the 2013 best nonprofit website awards at

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