Your nonprofit website’s About page (or menu) gives visitors more information about your mission, how you work toward it, and other crucial details about your nonprofit’s background. That may sound straightforward, but it doesn’t mean this page should be an afterthought in the web design process.
On the contrary, your website’s About page is an opportunity to tell your story in an engaging way, promote accountability and transparency, and ultimately recruit more supporters to your cause. It’s one of the first resources many potential new supporters will review to get a sense of what you’re all about, making it a critical part of the donor journey.
Make your About page work for your nonprofit’s digital marketing efforts by designing it using these tips:
- Offer a clear mission and vision statement.
- Describe your strategic plan.
- Introduce your leaders.
- Recap your organization’s history.
- Provide financial details.
- Spotlight recent news updates or research.
As we work through each tip, we’ll also highlight examples of effective nonprofit About pages from Kanopi’s roundup of the best nonprofit websites. Check out that resource for even more examples and consider how you can adapt each best practice to meet your organization’s unique needs. Let’s get started!
1. Offer a clear mission and vision statement.
The first thing you should explain on your About page or within your About menu is why your organization exists. Give visitors a clear understanding of what your organization does and why by highlighting your mission and vision statements.
Your mission statement should describe your organization’s foundational purpose and how you work toward that goal in one or two sentences. For example, if your organization works to end child hunger in the United States, your mission statement might be something like “We work to end child hunger nationwide by partnering with local communities to develop free food banks for families in need.”
A vision statement illustrates what the world would be like if your organization was able to achieve its mission. So, using the same example, your vision statement could say “We fight for the day when food insecurity has been eliminated in the United States.”
Check out Habitat for Humanity’s mission and vision statement page for a clear example of how to make these statements succinct and impactful. The page reads:
- Our mission: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.
- Our vision: A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
If you already have a mission and vision statement for your nonprofit, feature them in a prominent spot on your About page. If you don’t (or if you’re looking to update those statements), this is the perfect opportunity to meet with your team and brainstorm new ideas that better summarize your organization’s work.
2. Describe your strategic plan.
After drawing in visitors with your compelling mission and vision statements, they’ll be curious about exactly how your organization brings those ambitions to life. Make sure your About page includes details about your organization’s strategic plan, including your primary projects and programs.
For example, The Nature Conservancy’s “How We Work” page includes plenty of details about how the organization carries out its conservation mission, including:
- Influencing policy
- Researching sustainable conservation solutions
- Working with the private sector
- Partnering with local communities
- Developing new technologies
Each section also includes a call to action (CTA) button letting visitors learn more about each initiative.
3. Introduce your leaders.
One of the most essential functions of your nonprofit’s About page is to foster trust between website visitors and your organization. When audience members see who is in charge of your nonprofit and their impressive credentials, you’ll show them that your organization is in good hands.
Here are some of the individuals you might highlight on your leadership page:
- Board of directors
- Senior managers
- Regional managers/directors
- Subject matter experts
It’s also helpful to include a short bio for each individual to give visitors a sense of their background and experience. For instance, the CARE leadership page lets visitors click on each name and review short profiles for each board member or global management team member.
4. Recap your organization’s history.
Show prospective supporters the positive impact your organization has made over time by recapping your history on your About page.
Highlight key dates and significant milestones such as:
- Your organization’s founding date
- The tenures of notable leaders
- Significant or very successful projects
- Major policy changes your organization influenced
To make your story more engaging, create an interactive or visual timeline with key dates of your journey. Take a look at the World Wildlife Fund’s History page as an example. This page includes a timeline grouped by decade with pictures to illustrate each step of the story.
This is also a great opportunity to link to your digital donor wall, highlighting the individuals that made your organization’s progress possible!
If your organization uses a top content management system like Drupal or WordPress, you can search for a design widget or module to build your timeline. It might also be helpful to work with a web designer who specializes in nonprofit projects to bring your vision to life and ensure your timeline is as engaging and visually appealing as possible.
5. Provide financial details.
Another essential aspect of building trust with website visitors is promoting accountability through financial transparency. Be clear about how you use your funding and where your organization stands financially. This will go a long way toward convincing potential donors that your nonprofit is worthy of their gifts.
Include the following details on your About page:
- Annual reports
- Details about how you use funding
- Charity ratings
- Values and fundraising code of ethics
For example, Doctors Without Borders’ robust financial accountability page highlights the organization’s financial, annual, and activity reports, fundraising ethics, and more. The website even includes a fixed footer that breaks down exactly how donors’ gifts are used, reassuring supporters that their donations are being handled responsibly.
6. Spotlight recent news updates or research.
Show website visitors that your nonprofit is actively involved in a number of initiatives by highlighting news updates and research on your About page. Be sure to spotlight the following:
- News articles about recent projects. Your nonprofit might be in the news from time to time for different projects or events. Make the most of this publicity by sharing recent news articles or clips on your website.
- Press releases about internal updates from your nonprofit. You might publish press releases to announce changes at your organization, such as when you hire a new CEO or reach a milestone goal.
- Recent research and reports you’ve published. One of your organization’s public services might be conducting research in your cause area. Make this information easily accessible for interested website visitors. For example, the research page on the Girls Who Code website highlights recent reports about women and girls in tech.
Keeping relevant news and research updates front and center offers another opportunity for supporters to get a sense of what your mission looks like in action. Visitors will be able to see what your current priorities are and even identify new ways they can get personally involved.
Once you’ve perfected your About page using these tips, you’re ready to unveil it to the world! Promote it across your digital marketing channels by sharing a link on social media or including the link in your paid search ads.
Remember, if you’re looking for expert advice and tips on how to craft top-quality About pages, don’t hesitate to reach out to a nonprofit web designer. These professionals can leverage their expertise to help you design content that speaks to your unique audience.