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5 Top Tips For User-Friendly Volunteer Website Design
Rosterfy has pulled together 5 top tips that organizations can do to make their volunteer website design as user friendly and engaging as possible.
Some of the biggest volunteer management challenges charities and nonprofits face are volunteer recruitment, retention and availability. One way to address these challenges is to have a user-friendly volunteer website design that attracts and engages volunteers.
An organization’s website is an asset that should be used to its full potential. It is a tool that volunteers can use to get involved and stay connected to an organization.
There are some key things organizations can do to make their volunteer website design as user friendly as possible:
- Make it mobile friendly
- Have simple registration options
- Make it easy to navigate
- Make it shareable
- Include volunteer-focused resources.
Let’s look at these ideas for nonprofit websites in more detail.
Benefits of making your volunteer website design user-friendly
The Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission reports that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian volunteer workforce was about 3.6 million people. COVID-19 public health measures, including social distancing and lockdowns, meant that many charities had to suspend their operations during the pandemic which resulted in a large reduction in the need for volunteers.
With most COVID-19 restrictions now lifted, life has begun returning to normal. However, charities and non-profits are having trouble attracting volunteers back to their organizations. Recent data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows a 19% decrease in volunteering since the previous census in 2016.
Implementing a user-friendly volunteer website design is one-way organizations can use their online presence to more effectively attract, engage and retain volunteers.
Another benefit of having a user-friendly volunteer website design is that the organization can target a broader range of potential volunteers. A 2022 Rosterfy White Paper on 10 Workforce Management Trends found that over the past few years there has been a dramatic shift in the age demographic of volunteers. In the United States, 21% of volunteers are aged between 20 – 30 years. In Australia, the 15 – 24 years age group makes up 32% of the volunteer workforce, whilst in the United Kingdom, it is 30% for those in the 16 – 24 age bracket. This younger age group is primarily more reliant on websites for information and engagement than the 65+ year cohort (which has been the dominant age group of volunteers in the past).
It is now more important than ever that organizations use their online presence to communicate with their existing, past, and potential volunteers.
Tips for your volunteer website design
1. Make it mobile friendly
According to Statista, 58.99% of all website traffic worldwide in the period of April to June 2022 was from mobile devices. The rate has slowly increased from 31% in 2015 to 50% in early 2017 to over 58% today. Therefore, it is vital to ensure your website is functional on small screens.
Every page on your website needs to be mobile responsive. All text and images should resize automatically to fit the device’s screen size and ensure the layout is clear and visually appealing. It is important to do regular page speed tests to see how fast each webpage loads. Large image file sizes are notorious for slowing down webpages.
With more and more youth participating in volunteering, it is essential this market is captured by having a mobile-friendly website. If visitors to your website have to spend time waiting for pages to load, or have to navigate through a haphazard layout of text and images overlaying each other, it is likely they will give up and move onto a different organization’s website.
2. Create simple registration options
The best volunteer website designs feature a simple registration option. The registration or sign-up form provides a great opportunity for gathering all the information you need from a potential volunteer who expresses an interest in working with your organization. Some important things to consider are:
3. Having a call to action button
A call to action button for registration is a motivation for volunteers to sign-up to work with your organization.
The text labelling on the call to action button should be just a few words long with clear phrasing that is easy to understand. “Volunteer with Us” or “Register to Volunteer” are great examples of what a call to action button should say.
The call to action button should be in a prominent place on the website. By anchoring it to the website’s header, it will show up on every page within the website.
The call to action button needs to be eye-catching. The color of the button should contrast the main colors on the website, but still complement them.
Capture data to match volunteer’s skills with appropriate tasks
The registration form should include the following fields:
- Email address
- Interests /skills
By considering a volunteer’s skill set and matching them to relevant tasks and duties, the organization and the volunteer will both benefit. The volunteer will feel valued because their skills are being used in new ways and the organization can take advantage of the skills and experience on offer from the volunteer. For example, a volunteer who has experience working as a communications officer would be ideally suited to look after a non-profit’s social media account. Similarly, an accountant could take on a role within the non-profit that looks after financial reporting.
By capturing skills and experience in the sign-up form, the data can then be easily imported into volunteer management software to help automate the rostering and scheduling of volunteers to match each individual’s skill set and availability.
Keep the registration form concise
The shorter the volunteer form, the more likely it will be completed and submitted.
Have the organization’s logo on the sign-up form
Including your organization’s logo on the sign-up form will ensure there is some branding that identifies your organization. This is important for instances when the form gets shared directly to social media without any other reference to your organization’s website.
4. Make it easy to navigate
You need to make it as easy as possible for potential volunteers to find out about your organization. Volunteers will be looking for information such as the positions available, the time commitment needed and any required skills of volunteers. One of the website’s menu items should be clearly labelled as ‘For Volunteers’. This will direct the volunteers to this section of the website, making it easy for them to find relevant information all in one place.
Ensure your website’s font is clear and easy to read. The best fonts for volunteer website design typically come from the San Serif font family.
You’ll also need to consider the color scheme, which may include giving some thought to color psychology. Joint research from Northern Illinois University and The University of Massachusetts found that each color was associated with certain traits and feelings. For example, white was associated with sincerity, purity and simplicity, while purple was associated with luxury, authenticity and quality.
Make it simple to share
You want as many people as possible to know about your organization and the vision it is working towards. We understand that the world of social media marketing can be confusing. So, an ideal way of engaging with social media is to have your volunteers do it for you. Current volunteers working with your organization are already engaged with you. Supporting them to encourage their friends, family and colleagues to also register with your organization is a great way to increase volunteer recruitment.
An easy way to make your website shareable is to include linked social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest) share icons in the site’s header or footer.
5. Include volunteer-focused resources
One method of improving volunteer engagement with regards to your organization’s website is by providing resources that are of value to them. These resources could be:
- A calendar of events being run by your organization. For example, volunteer training sessions, events that will need volunteers, volunteer thank you events, and awards nights could all be included on a calendar of important dates.
- An online community where past and present volunteers can connect with each other.
- Testimonials, case studies and interviews with past volunteers. This will make the volunteers feel valued and appreciated and give new volunteers an insight into the experiences of a volunteer.
- Important information for volunteers to consider such as insurance and tax implications.
When considering volunteer website design, one of the most important factors is to focus on making it as easy as possible for volunteers to register their interest to get involved with your organization. This interest can then be leveraged as volunteers share information through social media to their like-minded friends, family and colleagues. Having a user-friendly volunteer website design is an effective strategy to recruit and retain volunteers.
Rosterfy exists to connect communities to events and causes they are passionate about through volunteer and paid workforce management technology. Our proven end to end technology allows charities, events and nonprofit organizations to recruit, register, screen, train, manage and report with ease, replacing manual processes with automations to better engage and retain your volunteers and paid staff.
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