PR Tips For Breaking Non-profit Websites Out of Brochure Mode

Is it just me or is it very noticeable when you come across a website that’s essentially brochureware? Lately, I’ve noticed that some of my favorite local non-profits have very static websites and in some cases they list information that’s clearly a few years out-of-date. I know that many small non-profits don’t have dedicated communications professionals, so here are some not too time consuming ways to keep websites up-to-date and dynamic.

  • Do a yearly review of your website to determine if there is any basic information that’s out of date. Update functional items like hours of operation and dates of events for the coming year. Consider also using this opportunity to refresh outdated photos and update any feature type content.
  • If you don’t have one, consider adding a blog as a freestanding page on your website. While ideally someone should “own” the blog and make regular posts, active non-profits can use a blog like a continually updating newsletter. You can publicize events, acknowledge milestones, and post updates and photos from activities. By using free blogging software blog posters don’t need to learn HTML so adding new items is a breeze.
  • Add a Twitter feed to your website and Tweet regularly. Don’t forget to re-Tweet you fellow non-profits and news items relevant to your area of focus.
  • Consider adding a feature story with a photo that you change periodically to one of your website’s main landing pages. Change it monthly if you are ambitious or quarterly if you don’t have communications support
  • If your website was literally created as brochureware, do an inventory to determine whether it’s missing any of the key functions that an updated website can provide. Non-profit websites can and should offer the following: a compelling statement of the organization’s purpose, a description of the community served by the organization (this is a great opportunity for feature stories), the details of upcoming events, organizational history and leadership information, and a call to action which at the least gives up-to-date information about how to get involved. Update content or add pages to at least cover these areas and customize your website further to meet your organization’s needs.