Seven website content tips for grantseekers and grantmakers
Whether your organization is applying for grants or offering them, creating compelling content for your website is an essential part of showcasing your credibility, offering transparency, and demonstrating impact. Learn how to uplevel your grant writing and grantmaking efforts by putting your website to good use.
The benefits of great web content
The vast majority of nonprofits and NGOs have websites these days. But standing out from the crowd doesn’t always mean that you need fancy design or website features. Most organizational goals—spreading awareness, raising money, building partnerships, and mobilizing the community—can be achieved with the types of information, or content, that you offer on your website. With well-crafted website content, your nonprofit or foundation can:
- Demonstrate professionalism to people who want to learn about your organization
- Be more transparent about your operations and financials
- Demonstrate the impact of your programs, services, or awards
- Generate traffic from search engines when your site matches relevant queries
- Easily repurpose information to use in offline materials, like applications or reports
- Measure what’s resonating with audiences and use website data to be more strategic
Tips for grantseekers
Looking to fund your cause through grants? Take note of website content best practices and examples from fellow nonprofits.
Have a plan to acknowledge funders on your site.
Some foundations require that they are acknowledged on grant recipients’ websites, like adding a logo and link. Be consistent about how you highlight funders on your site, and regularly review this content to make sure you don’t forget to fulfill this basic commitment. For good examples of funder acknowledgment content, check out Special Olympics New Jersey and Think of Us.
Make sure that who you are and what you do is up-to-date.
Just as you might prepare to meet with a foundation’s program officer, you should be equally prepared for grantmakers to check out your organization’s website for background information. Make sure that details about your leadership, programs, and activities are up-to-date, looking their best, and simple to find. Partners in Health offers a great example of well-organized program content that’s easy to browse.
Don’t forget to include the latest financials and reports.
If your site doesn’t already have a financials page, now’s the time. Add important documents like your most recent audit, annual reports, and even your IRS determination letter to show that your organization is eligible for grants and responsible with donor funds. Need inspiration? Visit the financials pages of Heifer International and Together We Rise.
Show and tell the impact of your work.
Avoid hiding away all of the updates about your nonprofit’s impact in an annual report PDF. Create a space on your website where you feature content that describes the awesome work you’re doing, whether in the form of statistics, video, photos, testimonials, stories, or a combination of them all. Visit the She’s the First website to see how a variety of content can come together for a compelling impact page.
Tips for grantmakers
Sharing well-thought-out content on your foundation’s website not only serves grantseekers. It can help you cut down on inquiries from groups that aren’t a good fit and achieve internal goals on accountability.
Have a plan to showcase current and past recipients.
Inquiring minds want to know the sorts of proposals you’ve funded in the past as they try to determine if their application is a good fit in terms of scope and budget. Plus, highlighting former award recipients is a nice way to give those causes a boost. See how the Jerome Foundation offers short summaries of past grantees.
Help others understand your goals and interests.
Having a snippet about your program areas or interests doesn’t give nonprofits a lot to go on when determining how to approach foundations. Even if you don’t accept unsolicited applications, sharing information about who you are, your priorities, and strategic vision offer transparency that can build your reputation and lead to future collaborations. Check out the Groundswell Fund and the Humboldt Area Foundation for ideas about how to put this content together.
Leverage a blog to offer news and insights.
Blogging on your foundation’s website is an opportunity to show how your philanthropy makes a difference in the world. In addition to posting about the latest news or press release, consider sharing thought leadership pieces about the issues your organization is working on. As an example, the Kendeda Fund blogs about news and issues related to their program interests. Power your grant giving or application goals with website content that works toward your goals. Even starting one page at a time can keep your organization on track to see great results. For more tips on what to include on the pages of your website, check out Wired Impact’s free online guide to Essential Web Page Content for Nonprofits.