Monday, August 25, 2008

What Your Strategic Plan and Website Should Have In Common – Each Other!

I blog about strategic planning and technology for nonprofits. Today I want to talk about how they should work together. When in the implementation phase of strategic planning, communicating to all constituencies is very important including using your website to communicate your mission, vision and strategic goals and accomplishments.
Today, I want to suggest you take it a step further. If you are updating your website, integrate your strategic goals into the design of your website.
Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Fundraising
I’ve never worked on a strategic plan where there weren’t fundraising goals, but they are different for each organization. If you want to increase individual giving having a donate button on every page is of course the simplest approach. Read my blog post on summer reading and go to the Donor Digital article for advice on the fine details. If you want to increase grants, you should do your homework about what might help you with your potential funders. Funders will check out your website. Some basics are:
- List your grantors with an optional link to their websites
- Your home page should clearly state your mission.
- Have a page with your strategic plan and goals.
- If you will be making grant requests for a particular program make sure the web information on this project has pictures and updated information.

Advocacy
If advocacy is one of your goals design advocacy into your navigation and have strong tools to support it. Provide brief position papers that your supporters can understand without having to be familiar with all the nuances of the issues. List who you want supporters to write or call. Provide email links so that a message can be sent straight from your website.

Education
If education is one of your goals, include a resource section. This can include information papers, videos, publications for sale and links to other websites.

Program Marketing
Many nonprofits fail to use their website for marketing effectively. Build your navigation so that visitors can clearly see the opportunities. Show the schedule, fees, who to contact for more information, event dates, etc.

Relationship Building
Your website isn’t just about providing information and collecting donations. It is an important tool in relationship building. Keep it fresh and updated. Consider using web tools such as blogging, social media, video and widgets. If one of your goals is to build relationships with the millennium generation, you have to get your feet wet with these approaches.

Volunteers
If volunteers are important to your operation, make sure you feature this section on your website. Keep it updated and feature changing volunteers with a brief bio, what they do when they volunteer and quotes from them about their volunteer experience.

Your strategic plan and your website are both important. They both become more effective and powerful when they work together.

Marion Conway Consulting

2 comments:

Matsonian said...

Nice Post. You might want to check out QuickPlanner Plus, an excellent strategic planning software that was originally developed for use in a non-profit.

VitalTech IT Solutions said...

Your website should be a part of your business, not a separate entity. Great post.