Nonprofit website calls to action: ideas to use in your copy

Nonprofit website calls to action: ideas to use in your copy

Feb 7, 2018

This is a follow-up to my post about creating your detailed website content plan. In that post, I explained that your plan should include a call to action for each piece of content. Combined with the key message, it ensures your content has a purpose.

There are many ways your content can invite visitors to engage with your organization while on your site.

And, no I don’t mean asking visitors to donate on every page.

To help get you thinking about your calls to action, today, I’m offering a list of ideas.

When planning your #website content, specify a call to action for each element #contentplanning #NPMC Click To Tweet

20+ nonprofit website calls to action – other than “donate”

In addition to “donate,” there are certain calls to action that the majority of nonprofit organizations will feature on their websites. For example:

  • Contact us
  • Volunteer
  • Register for a program or service
  • Join (for membership organizations)

These are important but won’t fit in every context. For example, if someone is just checking out your About page to get to know who you are, it’s probably not the right time to ask them to volunteer or make a donation. However, given their interest in what you do, it could be an excellent place to suggest that they sign up for ongoing email updates.

Context will determine the appropriate request, which might be a smaller step toward deeper involvement. For example:

  • Register for an event
  • Sign up for a webinar
  • Participate in an online forum

There are seasonal, event or campaign-related actions, such as:

  • Take a survey
  • Join a challenge or contest
  • Sign a petition
  • Send a letter (generated via campaign site)
  • Provide input
  • Register your fundraising team

And in some cases, you might invite visitors to simply engage with your website or blog content:

  • Sign up for email updates
  • Download (a tip sheet, report, guide or other publication)
  • Share content on social media
  • Comment on a blog post
  • Click through to related content
  • Submit a story or pitch a guest blog post topic

What other calls to action make sense for your nonprofit?

What else do you need visitors to do when on your website? I’m sure that you can come up with many more ideas, based on your organization’s priorities and website objectives.

For example, I recently worked with a health organization that had a couple of calls to action I hadn’t seen before:

  • Complete online intake and referral form for service delivery
  • Use online classifieds (buy and sell)

Use these ideas, but stay focused on your priorities

As you come up with ideas, think about ways you can start to move website visitors along a path: include small and easy steps that can lead toward deeper and more meaningful engagement with your organization on future website visits.

Since I’ve provided a long menu of options that may or may not make sense for your organization, I think it bears repeating… Always remember that the calls to action you select and how prominently you feature them should be decided based on the website objectives outlined in your website content strategy.

Crafting your calls to action

Once you’ve completed the planning and have moved on to writing your content, remember to make each call to action clear, appealing and easy to take (the list above includes the items you might note in your content plan, not the words you’ll use to communicate them).

Here are a few tips to help with that:

  • Prioritize: choose one main action that you’re going to feature in each piece of content.
  • Make your call to action as specific as you can.
  • Keep your language clear and concise. Ensure that it reflects your brand personality and tone.
  • Link to the place on your site where visitors can take the next step.

For more tips from your peers, check out this post by RoiAnn Phillips on the Nonprofit MarCommunity blog: Creating an effective call to action: tips from the community.

Take action: complete the calls to action part of your content plan

Is the “call to action” column of your website content plan looking a little empty? Then review this list and see how you can align your content with the actions you need your readers to take – that’s the action I’m calling on you to take today!

And if you have more calls to action to add to this list, please share them in the comments below.

20+ nonprofit website calls to action - other than 'donate': include them in your content planning Click To Tweet

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