10 Common Mistakes Made on Websites

A list of common mistakes made by non profit organizations for their annual fundraising events regarding a basic website. Since a web site is the foundation of your digital presence, it is important to get this right!

  1. Not having a (separate) website for the event! As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m a HUGE supporter of individual websites for your event, separate from your organization. From experience, I know people are looking for more information that can easily be afforded within a large organization’s website. For smaller organizations, inclusion of the event is fine, as long as it is a well-defined section and has more than one page allowed.
  2. Not selling online. Our youngest generation of event attendees are definitely digital natives – they use the Internet for everything. If you’re aren’t allowing purchases/registrations/donations online, you’re missing a large potential attendee segment.
  3. Not offering Print options. On the flip side, if your attendee demographics span multi-generations, from 18 to 90, be sure to provide offline purchasing options as well. Provide information for phone sales and a printable PDF order form to be sure you’re getting as many attendees as possible.
  4. Not reviewing site analytics. In consideration of number 2, you must know your event demographics. Not only those who ultimately attend, but those who visit your site. Are you losing younger potentials? Are you too cool for old school?
  5. Not offering Volunteer ops online. Many events require a good cadre of volunteers. And many people not only want to attend but actually help you in any way possible. By offering a way to volunteer online, you can grow your volunteer-base quickly and easily. Check out websites like VolunteerSpot.com or VolunteerMatch.org for sites dedicated to helping you get volunteers.
  6. Not having a Contact form or information. People have questions and they want to know the right way to ask them. Whether it’s an online form, an email address to write or a number to call, give them that information. Preferably on every page or at least a link from every page.
  7. Missing regularly requested information. Is your event outdoors? Be sure to list your weather and rain check policies. Is your event in a heavily populated area with limited parking? Include parking and alternate transportation options. Are you serving alcohol or going into the wee hours of the night? Help out with accommodation listings and courtesy cab options. In short, expect your attendees questions and attempt to answer them online so you have a clear place to direct your attendees. If you have the information online and still get the questions, consider consolidating them into an actual Frequently Asked Questions page with the actual questions and specific answers listed in addition to having the information listed on relevant pages throughout your system.
  8. Not offering share/like options. In today’s viral world, you need to build off your attendees’ loyalty to your event and their willingness to tell others that about it. Share & Like options are good to include in your website frame on every page. Special Share & Link links are great for confirmation pages so attendees can immediate share that they bought tickets or registered. Sites like AddThis and ShareThis can help you quickly add multiple share options.
  9. Not sharing event’s FB & Twitter links. If you’re reading this blog, you probably already have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. What’s the good of having those if people don’t know about it? Be sure to include “Find Us” or “Follow Us” links on your site. Also helpful are Twitter feeds and Facebook Like Boxes.
  10. Not having a mobile option. Recently, two of my projects, Jazzoo and Treads & Threads, included a mobile version for their attendees. This mobile version included an interactive event map, a Twitter feed and several other key pieces of information that attendees need while on the go.
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