Using Your Nonprofit’s Website to Build Trust with Visitors

Trust and the Nonprofit Website

We think trust is pretty important when it comes to running an effective nonprofit website.  In fact, we think it’s so important we wrote up a whole article for GuideStar all about trust.

The post not only details a few reasons trust is so key, but also provides a list of suggestions to help develop trust with your website visitors.

Below is an excerpt from the post.

Using Your Nonprofit’s Website to Build Trust with Visitors

Trust is more than closing your eyes, stiffening your body and slowly falling backwards into a fabric of interwoven arms. Trust often comes from a process of slow cultivation, carefully built through the development of a meaningful relationship.

It’s much easier to build a sense of trust when we get to know someone well. We learn they’re true to their word and grounded in principles we find admirable. It often takes us multiple interactions and prolonged discussion to realize we can truly trust another person.

Unfortunately, when it comes to your website visitors, an abundance of time and multiple interactions are luxuries you can’t bank on.

But there are many ways you can use your nonprofit’s website to build trust with your visitors. And as it turns out, building trust is crucial to your nonprofit ultimately achieving website success.

Why Trust Matters

Trust is a necessary precondition to inspire website visitors to take action on your behalf. If a visitor can’t trust your organization, the chances of them sending in a donation, signing up to volunteer, or even filling out your contact form drop substantially.

Some studies have looked directly at the role trust plays in prompting action. According to one study on Millennials (age 20-35), 84% said they would be “somewhat or very likely to donate to organizations that they can fully trust.” Alternatively, 90% said they would stop giving to a nonprofit “if they did not trust the organization.”

In another study on high-income donors, 51% of respondents said they either somewhat or strongly agreed their fear that “the charity will sell, rent or exchange” their email is a reason not to give online. Such fears come from a lack of trust.

Another study on donor motivations found that both individual donors and financial advisors listed “financials” as the most important piece of information when deciding whether or not to make a donation. For both groups, info on the “effectiveness” of an organization was listed as second most important. Both types of information, if easy to find and effectively presented, can help engender a sense of trust.

Such findings aren’t shocking. It stands to reason that trust is important when it comes to any nonprofit’s website.

How Your Nonprofit Can Build Trust Using Your Website

Your nonprofit’s website can be a tool that helps you cultivate a trusting relationship with your visitors, ultimately increasing the likelihood they’ll support your cause in some way.

The following are meant to be options, not simply a checklist.  Mix and match them to fit your specific situation and appeal to your audience.

Make financial data easy to find.  As mentioned above, many visitors will want to see your financials before giving you money.  Make this information easy for them to find.  If they have to hunt for it, chances are they’ll leave without getting involved.

Make reaching out easy.  Make it simple for a website visitor to get in touch with someone if they’re interested in lending support.  Provide staff member names and targeted phone numbers whenever you can.  Make sure you give visitors multiple ways to reach out so they can choose the method that makes them most comfortable.

Read the Whole Post

There’s more where that came from.  If you want to read the rest of the post, head on over to GuideStar.

Related Reads

Getting Online Donors to Care Today and Into the Future

4 Pages Your Nonprofit Website Should Include

Image courtesy of Terry Johnson, Flickr