We know that you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but in today’s world, presentation is everything. You can write the most interesting book in the world, but if it’s presented with drab colors and a poor design, it won’t grab attention.

The same is true for nonprofits.

You are doing incredible work and making a real difference. However, your credibility with prospective volunteers and donors is often established by your online appearance.

With tight budgets, a professional site makeover may not be in the budget for this year. The good news is that there are a few basic principles that your organization can follow to attract more volunteers and donors.

Choose the Right Colors

Your colors need to be easy on the eyes. This means that they should work together and contrast well with the text on the page. The colors shouldn’t detract from the content on your page – they should emphasize it. For example, all body text should be in a dark font on a light background, clean and readable. Brighter colors are best used as visual highlights (such as in images).

The colors you choose should follow your organization’s brand guidelines. Many organizations have a palette for their branded materials, which usually includes primary and secondary colors. If you don’t have a palette, it may be worth a small investment to consult with a graphic designer.

Avoid overusing “blaring” colors like reds. Such colors are best used as highlights for sections that need to “jump out” at users, rather than in large blocks.

Engage Visitors from the Header Down

Your header is extremely important. It’s the first place that a visitor looks to learn more about your organization, and it is a great place to grab potential volunteers’ attention. Highlight your logo and a special message that sums up your organization’s efforts and opportunities.

The header should be engaging but also mesh with the design scheme for the rest of the website. It should stand out, but not jarringly so.

Give a Clear Call to Action

If you are seeking to entice potential and current volunteers to sign up for events, make sure that this message is in a prominent place. Think about what would attract users to sign up. Do you have great pictures of past events? Do you have some engaging copy to show visitors? Do you have a stylized button that is used elsewhere on the site?

As you highlight these important elements, be careful not to overwhelm a visitor. If your potential volunteer has to scroll down too far, they may miss out on information – or lose interest. Too many calls to action may result in no action.

When setting up your online volunteer schedule, make it easy to read. Don’t overwhelm your visitor with dozens of fonts, colors, and styles, or it will become a meaningless visual jumble. Keep things simple with bullet points, headings, and plenty of white space.

Use Landing Pages

To take a slightly more advanced route, optimize your digital look by creating separately branded volunteer entry pages. VolunteerHub simplifies this process through its innovative landing page feature. Create a landing page for each of your event groups or corporate sponsors, and then create a custom link for each. VolunteerHub’s landing page feature was developed to be user-friendly – even to the most tech-challenged user.

Manage Multiple Volunteer Events

Here’s to a Fresh Look in 2015

Effective graphic design takes time and thought, but it is worthwhile for properly positioning your nonprofit in the minds of volunteers and donors. Our team at VolunteerHub appreciates the importance of design, which is why our application was built to be completely customizable for a seamless visual experience.

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