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Some suggestions for getting visitors to keep coming back to your nonprofit website

Provide Useful Articles to Your Clients and the General Public

You probably already have materials such as brochures on "What to Do When You're First Diagnosed With..." or "A List of Legislators to Write to About..." Those materials should be made into your first web pages. After that, get your service providers -- nurses, social workers, lawyers, pastors -- to write monthly articles or stories.

The best way to do this is by having a blog based website, so you can update it frequently without the help of a web expert. (See set up a blog for how to get a blog.

Post relevant news, along with events such as your annual meeting or fundraising dinner.

If you don't have the staff to write stories, you can link to other websites that carry relevant news about the latest Federal Budget Cutback, legislation or medical discovery related to your cause.
There are sites such as Localendar and which will host your calendar of events. Some are free. Others charge a small fee. Usually you can customize the calendar's appearance to blend with the rest of your site. It is then your responsibility to keep it up to date.
If you've got a WordPress site, there are free plugin event managers such as GAM event manager or Quick Event Manager that you can add to display events.
If your organization has several local offices, here's a good deal: Free will provide you with a free local office locator. Visitor to your site puts in her ZIPcode and a window opens with a list of nearby offices and a link to a map. No ads except a small "brought to you by" acknowledgement.

Send your printed newsletter out online as an enewsletter

If you give your clients or donors a choice of receiving the newsletter online instead of in the mail, you can even save on postage.

Vertical Response lets nonprofits send 10,000 emails a month FREE.

Provide a Forum For Your Clients to Share Their Experiences

Not only are you providing a real service to people who can offer each other online support and advice, you are demonstrating to every visitor to your website that you are a provider of helpful services. If you can afford it, you can have someone monitor the forum to provide expert responses where appropriate (See this page for information on setting up a forum.

Create a page of relevant links

These add value to your website. Also, reciprocal links can be a way to build traffic to your site. For more, see Getting Traffic.

Have Something for the Kids

Materials for children will make your site "stickier".

  • Provide an address for kids to send their drawings, stories or photos, then post them on the web. That's easy to do if your website is blog based.
  • Provide simple outline drawings on web pages that children can print out and color. An informative caption is a gentle way to spread your message.
  • Provide fun facts and quizzes. Again, this will help educate people about your organization and your mission.
  • Suggest projects or experiments related to your mission.