top of page

Why Your Nonprofit Website Must Be Engaging

Desktop, laptop, iPad and mobile highlighting your website
Your nonprofit website is the foundation to your platform

There are many ways potential donors can meet you and hear about your vision. They may find you through a blog post, seminar, speaking engagement, podcast, virtual summit, word of mouth, or social media post. Regardless of this initial introduction, it is essential to have a central location where you can interact with them. There must be a hub where your vision, mission, values, and stories live. 

You will never be fully funded without this hub; it's called a platform. 

Very simply, a platform is the thing you have to stand on to get heard. It’s your stage. But unlike a stage in the theater, today’s platform is not built of wood or concrete or perched on a grassy hill. Today’s platform is built of people. Contacts. Connections. Followers. - Michael Hyatt

Your nonprofit website is the foundation of your platform

Your nonprofit website is the place you completely control, where you can craft the message and guide the donor’s journey.

Without a nonprofit website, your message and fundraising are at the mercy of others who are building their own platforms. 

Unfortunately, many nonprofit organizations often mistakenly believe they can rely on someone else's platform and bypass the work of creating their own. They do this by creating a social media page bypassing the investment of a well-designed web page. The number one problem with this approach is it severely limits engagement.

The purpose of your nonprofit website is engagement not just providing information.

Remember, we are visionaries with a powerful message trying to break the curse of being ignored. A nonprofit website whose purpose is to display information will be ignored. Your site must engage visitors before it informs them. 

A nonprofit website whose purpose is to display information will be ignored.

According to M+R Benchmarks, the Facebook algorithm only allows 5% of the fans of your organization’s page to see your posts. That means that for every 1000 followers you have, Facebook will hide your post to 950 of them.

This is Facebook’s intentional strategy for making money since you are required to pay Facebook for a “boost” to reach more of your page’s fans.

This is the major reason why building your platform on social media isn’t effective.  It severely limits engagement. This happens so much that it now has a name, “digital sharecropping.”

In Robots Make Bad Fundraisers, Steven Shattuck dedicates a whole chapter to this idea of digital sharecropping for nonprofits.  He discusses how it will always keep you perpetually in bondage to someone else, hindering your ability to secure the necessary funding to accomplish your mission.

Remember, Facebook is not your “land”; it belongs to Mark Zuckerberg. Instagram is not your land; it belongs to Facebook. X is not your land; it belongs to Elon Musk. Likewise, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest are not your land. 

Your nonprofit website is your land. 

When you rely on the wealthy landowner’s land, the wealthy landowner (Mark Zuckerberg) is not getting the short end of the stick; you are. He sets the rules for habitation on his land, ensuring he will get rich, and your organization will not. On your land (your nonprofit website), you set the rules.  On Mark's land, he sets the rules.

Without warning, many organizations have had their Facebook pages deleted, erasing years of hard work. Business growth guru John Nemo wrote a famous article “What I learned when my Facebook business page was deleted without my consent.” He recounts how he had no warning beforehand and could find no way to communicate with Facebook about it afterward.

So, to recap: A Facebook Fan Page I spent several years (and thousands of dollars) building is suddenly gone, and it’s unlikely I can do anything to get it back. - John Nemo

To achieve success on social media, it is crucial to have an engaging nonprofit website as part of your strategy.  Merely farming the land of the wealthy landowner (posting your content on social media) will keep your organization in bondage and poverty. The key to attaining financial success is to redirect people from your Facebook page onto your website/platform. 

Leaders are platform builders. And building a platform in today’s noisy and distracted culture is tough. - Brad Lomenick


bottom of page