It’s time to revamp your nonprofit’s website. That means it’s time to convene a website design committee. Take our advice and choose your committee members carefully. You’ll save yourself some headaches.

Need a little help with that website redesign? Reach out to us today!


What Type of People Should be on the Team?

Before you start recruiting people for your website design committee, think. You want people who are:
  • Reliable. Who can you always count on?
  • Enthusiastic. No Debbie Downers allowed.
  • Creative. Choose outside-the-box thinkers.
  • Open-minded. Ditch anybody with a “my way or the highway” approach.
  • Knowledgeable. Pick people who are respected for their area of expertise.

 Who Might You Invite to the Committee?

As you’re narrowing down your list of candidates, keep in mind who should have a place at the table.
  • Your development director. They need to have input on the tone and the language of any donor-facing material.
  • Your marketing or communications person. They are probably a good writer and knowledgeable about how to move people through storytelling.
  • Your webmaster or other IT rep, obviously.
Now that you’ve chosen your committee members, follow these five tips for the most successful outcome:

Tip 1: Choose the draft copywriter.

Make sure it’s a solid writer who understands your content strategy. Or, it could be your account rep if you’re using a web design firm.

Tip 2: Solicit input early on and at key decision-making points.

It’s so irritating when a website’s copy is nearly done, the site is mapped, and someone jumps in with a multitude of suggested changes. So once that first draft is complete, let people provide input right away.
When you hit key decision-making points, such as approval of the site map, the final draft, and the beta version before the site goes live, solicit input again.

Tip 3: Submit the draft copy for feedback and SEO optimization, including keyword density.

Your webmaster or IT person is probably already good at SEO optimization, which helps Google and other search engines pick up and rank your website. Have them assist you with strong keywords and make sure the draft copy contains a good number of your focus keyword, as well as secondary keywords.

Tip 4: Set boundaries about input.

Just because someone provides input doesn’t mean it’s valid. Be sure to consider all input in an unbiased fashion—you’ll know valid input and the feedback that’s not. Your committee members must understand that giving input doesn’t mean everything will change to reflect their comments.

Tip 5:  Does the site meet your organization’s strategic goals?

Don’t ask, “do you like it?” which is subjective. Instead, ask, “is this copy/design/site map meeting our strategic goals, such as making it easy for users to find out how to give/volunteer/get involved?” Adjust accordingly.

Let’s get to work…

We hope our article will help you navigate the sometimes murky waters of working with a website design committee, ranging from who you should include, the best qualities to look for, and five handy tips to get things right the first time.

Further reading and resources:

  1. Building A Content Strategy with Your Audience in Mind
  2. Part 1: What Goes Into the Cost of Website Design? The Basics.