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Website Planning Questions

What will this website need to do to meet our goals?

This can be a mix of both short-term and long-term goals. While these should certainly be related to the mission and goals of your organization, website goals tend to be more specific and concrete than the organizational vision.

Examples of website goals include:

  • provide basic information to the public;
  • deliver resources to our constituencies;
  • help us raise money and secure funding;
  • increase our base or our membership.

Who comes to your site, and why do they come?

Create a list of everyone who might visit your site and whose needs you'd like to meet. For each audience, broadly describe their motivation for coming to the site. Be sure to think about your audiences' goals, rather than the goals of your organization or campaign; that will help you develop a site that's centered on your visitors, effectively engages them, and keeps them interested.

Example audiences include:

  • Members of our constituencies who would like to access our services or resources;
  • Community members who care about the work that we do and are looking for ways to get involved;
  • Funders, either because they fund us currently or are considering funding us and want to learn more about our work and activities.

What do those audiences want from your site? What do you want from them when they come to the site?

It's important to put your audience's specific website needs first; by meeting visitors' immediate needs, you have a better chance of encouraging them to take the kinds of actions that will help you meet your website goals. It's give and take!

Examples:

  • Members of our constituencies want to know how to get in touch with us, what our hours are and whether there are fees associated with our services; we'd like them to submit a form on our site so that we can follow up with them and ensure they can effectively access our services.
  • Community members want to find out more about our organization's mission and when our next meetings and events will take place; we'd like them to sign up for our mailing list, make a donation, RSVP for events and share information about our organization via social media.
  • Funders want to learn more about our day-to-day work from our site; we want to make sure that they're able to find out what we're doing and that they come away with a sense of vibrant, effective, engaging work that they are motivated to fund.

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