This is the second post in a series of articles on the topic of digital marketing for nonprofits and creating the perfect nonprofit website. In the first article, we discussed creating mission pages, which are like bio pages for your nonprofit.
There are only five pages you need to launch an effective website for your organization and to get found online. This series of posts will give you the tools you need to create a great website or to turn a critical eye toward your existing website and learn how to improve it so you can reach more potential donors and volunteers in the new year.
In this article, we’ll discuss the second type of nonprofit web page you’ll create: a program page or impact page.
What Are Program Pages and Impact Pages
A program page is a place on your website that lists the major programs or services offered or performed by your organization. These pages go by many names including What We Do, How We Help, Programs, Services, etc.
Sometimes, you’ll see a page for each individual program or service rather than a listing of all programs on one page. Groups that work to affect legislation often call these advocacy campaigns, or just campaigns more broadly.
An impact page is a place on your website that displays the results of your programs, services, campaigns, etc. These pages also go by many names including, Impact, Results, Outcomes, Our Success, etc.
Together, these pages tell readers about the important work your organization performs and the effect that work has on the people you serve. These types of website pages are extremely important for grant makers who seek to quantify the impact of the dollars they invest into local nonprofits.
Should You Create Impact Pages or Program Pages?
Some nonprofits have specific programs they organize under, and rather than looking at overall organizational impact, they look at impact by program. In this case, you might want to create an overall program page in place of the single impact page, and then show impact specific to that program somewhere on each program page.
The program page model works well for those nonprofits that have programs and subprograms under the main program. Those subprograms become sections on the individual program page, or they become links to individual subprogram pages. The latter can help create more content for your site and increase its SEO value.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters displays their campaigns on one page, and then each campaign has its own page and details too.
The Conservation Fund uses individual programs and program pages, but assembles them in one area underneath their drop down menu bar.
Lutheran Services Florida displays main topics by the groups served; Children & Families, Adults & Elderly, Victims of Natural Disasters, etc. Then, each main topic page shows the programs that fall underneath it.
For groups that include program pages on their website, it’s important to show the impact of your organization and how it relates to that specific program. You can see how the Conservation Fund shows their individual program impact on each page like this:
Organizations that have a more singular focus and fewer programs sometimes opt to skip individual program pages and go straight to displaying their impact.
Results.org has a dynamic impact page showing the outcome of their fight to end poverty and a timeline of their accomplishments, giving the reader a sense of their long history and the progress they’ve made through the years.
Toys for Tots opts for a simpler, but no less effective, display of their immense impact over the years:
Whether you choose to use program pages, impact pages, or both, make sure to break longer blocks of text with images, headings, and buttons. Breaking your impact statements into separate sections works well for these types of pages too. Think about the different areas or categories of work you do and present them in an organized way.
How Much Impact Should You List?
Start with just three or four top impact statements, keep them as brief and concise as possible, while still capturing the essence of the outcome. Work in numbers and statistics if possible. These make for great graphics.
Lead with your biggest impact first. Don’t push it to the bottom of the page and force readers to scroll for days to find it.
After you’ve done a few top line impact statements move into the secondary outcomes. These are those items that are just outside of the focus of your work, but which are still meaningful and show the value of your organization. They may be smaller numbers, overall, but you can highlight how your work goes beyond just the main mission, and has a broader appeal and impact on the audience you serve.
Resist the temptation to put 10 impact statements on your site. It’s too much for any one reader to absorb in one visit. If you truly have that much impact to show, consider using single impact pages.
Expanding Your Site with Single Impact Pages
If you’ve got enough to say on a single impact statement consider adding it as a separate page on your site. This would be an offshoot of your overall impact page and be linked to from that main impact page. This is excellent content for your site; it adds to your search engine optimization efforts and help you get found on the web quickly.
A single impact page is also great for sharing on social media and in email appeals when you want to focus on generating engagement around a specific outcome.
Groups like Climate Resolve display their impact in a report each year and then make that report available on their website.
Some organizations take this a step further and create individual success stories or blog post write-ups to highlight big wins and little wins as they occur.
These individual stories can also be rolled up into an overall outcome or impact page. That’s exactly what the Rural Community Assistance Corporation does with their impact page:
RCAC’s impact page offers a downloadable annual report, information about their funds and major initiatives. They show their impact graphically with a map of their programs at work, and then individual stories (with video) of the success they’ve experienced. Theirs is a dynamic and informative impact page that works really well.
Use Images and Video to Represent Your Impact
According to Stanford Social Innovation Review, when sharing impact stories on social media, video saw a 505% lift in sharing over plain text links and graphics provided a 367% increase in sharing.
Don’t just slap on any image from a stock media site. Use images and videos that are contextually relevant to the outcome you are discussing. It’s even better if you have an image or video showing the people who benefitted from your work. That lends credibility to your impact statements and personality to your overall site. The old saying, “a picture says a thousand words” is very true in this scenario. Media can be a powerful tool to display impact.
Even if you do use stock media on your impact page, try to use photos that look candid or evoke a specific emotion. Again, make sure the image is contextually relevant. A nondescript image of a stethoscope to represent “healthcare” isn’t terrible, but a picture of a doctor attending to a child might be better.
A Good Impact Page Can Create Advocates for Your Nonprofit
People will engage more frequently with an organization that serves the same interest they do. Your impact page is always another opportunity to move supporters around your ladder of engagement.
It’s human nature for us to support people and organizations we like and who have the same values. If you believe curing cancer is the most important issue and I believe the same thing I will be more inclined to support you. And if I can’t volunteer, I might send you a donation of $25 because I know it will help the cause.
Calls to action on impact pages are critically important. Make sure to capture that interest and turn it into advocacy for your cause. A well placed form at the bottom of your impact page, or a sign up link after each impact statement will help build your list.
Grant making organizations want to know that the money and resources they provide are being put to good use, and impact pages are a great way to show the success of your programs and the work that you do.
Using the tips in this article, you’ve learned a few ways to organize your program pages and display the impact of those programs and your organization in general.
As always, we love sharing creative websites from our nonprofit community. Take a moment and share this article with a friend or family member or colleague you think can benefit from its lessons. When you do, share a link to your own website and tag Salsa on Facebook so we can amplify your message and help bring more traffic to your site!
The next article in our series on nonprofit websites will examine how nonprofits can create website pages that engage supporters and encourage volunteering. Stay tuned!