Guest contributor Ian McLintock from Charity Excellence shares the March Insight Briefing. This report focuses on the effectiveness of charity websites.
Most charities have a website and they can be quick and inexpensive to create, but there’s a huge difference between one that really delivers for your charity and one that doesn’t. The good news is that most charities don’t need anything particularly sophisticated, you don’t have to be a ‘techie geek’ to assess how effective yours is and it doesn’t have to be expensive to make it a great deal better.
Why bother? Nowadays, if someone is looking for something, they search online. Your website is a key way in which you can engage your audience, promote your work and inform the public. And with online giving increasing year on year and now accounting for nearly 10% of fundraising income, if your website isn’t working for fundraising, it may be that’s because you’re not doing it right.
This Charity Excellence Framework Insight Briefing uses data from the Charity Sector Data Store to assess how well we’re doing as a sector and provides you with a checklist and resources you can use to improve yours.
The Charity Sector Data Store
The Data Store anonymously aggregates the information input into the free Charity Excellence Framework online toolkit. It works for any UK based non-profit, by creating a unique framework of 8 questionnaires to meet the specific needs of each user.
The master database holds nearly 500 assessment questions, covering every area of activity. So far, there are just over 300,000 scored assessment statements, but that will grow to millions, as the system scales.
The CEF assesses 6 areas of website operation, which are listed below. Currently, all of the indicators are amber, which means that the majority of charities report that they are not doing particularly well in any of these areas. There is a lot of scope for us to achieve more. The list is in score order, with the lowest first, as these offer most opportunity.
If you’re a CEF user, run ‘Website’ in the query system to access the system resources and export your results as an action plan. If you’re not, the list below gives you a checklist you can use and some of the CEF resource links are included below to help you.
Here are some resource links from the CEF, to 3 very useful Charity Digital articles on how to MOT your website that will enable you to dig deeper.