Originally posted over at the horribly designed travis.domain51.com (see what happens when you give a programmer CSS access), I thought I'd share this post here too since that blog is just getting underway.
It truly is a shame that so many amazing non-profits are hidden behind horribly thought out websites. Most of these sites deluge their visitors with information, even though great sites such as Charity Navigator exist to provide raw statistics and facts about non-profits. The problem is that most non-profits are missing the point. Their websites are there to tell a story.
Let me say it again: a non-profit's website is there to tell a story. Nothing else.
People are natural story tellers and are drawn to an authentic story. Each of the websites linked to above have an amazing story behind them just waiting to be unleashed. A story that engages their visitors and potential donors. A story that sticks with them while they navigate their life the next few days. A story that ends with another beginning. One the visitor is a part of—where they help chose the ending by getting involved and helping that non-profit reach its goals, whether those goals are getting girls back to school to defeat the spiral of poverty in East Africa; feeding the abandoned, mentally ill of India; or helping people afford water while lifting themselves out of poverty.
When I left Ning a year ago this day I set out to figure out how I could increase my impact on the world. Through a series of fortuitous events, I ended up working with non-profits, helping them tell their story online. I need to make sure I remember that.
Everyone has a story to tell. These organizations are trying to change the world with theirs, and we're there to help them.
Please leave your comments on the original post if you'd like to comment on it.