When your nonprofit decides to build a site, you should have certain goals in mind. This could be boosting fundraising, increasing volunteerism or any other number of mission-driven aims.
You could have the most beautiful website in the world, but if it isn’t helping your organization achieve your goals it’s not benefitting you as much as it could be. Generally you’ll want your visitors to be taking meaningful action throughout your nonprofit’s website.
And that’s where strong calls to action come into play.
What is a Call to Action?
Calls to action are what prompt your website visitors to take certain beneficial actions on your website. They are the stepping-stones between a visitor being a passive viewer and becoming invested enough in your mission to take action. On the web this can happen with a single click.
Some common calls to action for nonprofits are “Donate,” “Take action,” “Register to volunteer,” “Contact us,” and “Learn more.” The layout and design of these call to action buttons can greatly affect the impact of your site.
Examples of Great Call to Action Design Practices
On your nonprofit’s site, you’re likely trying to communicate a lot with your site visitors: what you do, who you are, why it matters, how to help etc. You may also be sharing a lot of photos, videos, stories, resources and on and on.
However, on every page there should be at least one thing that you drive your visitor to do. Ultimately there should be a call to action button (“Donate,” “Volunteer,” “Sign Up” etc.) that you want them to click.
Here are some examples of practices nonprofit’s are using to engage their visitors and make their calls to action stand out.
Make it big, colorful, and easy to see
Shining Hope for Communities, a provider of education to girls in Kibera, Kenya, has a clear call to action to “Donate Today.” They have achieved the ultimate goal when it comes to designing their call to action by making it stand out. It is very visible because of its size, brightness and placement at the top of the page. The color selection of bright green helps it stand out against the primarily orange, white and gray page.
Identify your most important call to action
As the largest independent direct-action environmental organization in the world, Greenpeace is a great example of a nonprofit with many website goals. Here you can see that their sidebar is full of call to action buttons and links.
However, Greenpeace has done a great job of letting one call to action rise above the rest. By coloring it orange and positioning it next to a compelling photo, Greenpeace has identified “Donate Today” as its most important call to action.
Why should you identify your most important call to action?
Believe it or not, users presented with too many options will often end up not choosing anything at all. This is a phenomenon called analysis paralysis. The way to fight this tendency is to feature one option over the rest. This also lets you clearly express to the unknowing visitor how they can best help your cause.
If you have a more involved vision in mind for your website visitors, take a page out of Gasland’s book and provide a series of call to action steps. Gasland is a film campaign aimed at increasing awareness about the environmental dangers of natural gas extraction processes. By laying out their calls to action in a step-by-step process they show their visitors how many different ways they can have an impact. Sometimes people just want to know where to start.
These are just a few examples of ways to empower your visitors and accomplish your nonprofit’s goals. Keep in mind that the cardinal rule of call to action design is to make it stand out. You can accomplish this by making it big, bright, and easy to see. You can also help your visitors choose between calls to action by highlighting your most important call or by breaking them down into steps. With these takeaways and a little of your own creativity, you should be ready to compel your website visitors into action!
Have any examples of awesome calls to action for me to check out? Or want to share the calls to action your organization is using on your website? Post links in the comments below. I’d love to check them out.
Image courtesy of Mark Fischer