When considering what platform works best for nonprofit websites Drupal often comes up as the top choice. This is in part because the open source software is perfect for projects without large development budgets and yet can also accommodate any amount of customization your organization might require. Nonprofits like the Marine Corps Association and Foundation, Reserve Officers Association, and United States Naval Institute have chosen Drupal to manage their website and content, including online magazines, as they expand their global reach.
By keeping content fresh and up to date these nonprofits are able to remain at the forefront of their industries on the web, which further drives new visitors to their websites and new members to their organizations. Read on to learn how you can employ some of the strategies that MCA&F, ROA, and USNI use to maximize Drupal to expand the reach of your nonprofit website.
Many nonprofits are publishing magazines online and have large amounts of content that must be not only managed by the editorial team, but also managed among membership types so that subscribers have access to premium content not available to non-members. Drupal manages user accounts and user permissions extremely well to ensure paid access content is only being displayed to the proper visitors. On the backend, Drupal's content management prowess empowers non-technical persons to administer the website and its content, a value that expands the number of people qualified to contribute to your website.
Google Analytics allows you to understand who your website's visitors are and what they're looking for when they arrive. Tons of useful information can be gleaned from this tool - where your visitors came from, what search queries returned links to your website, what pieces of content are driving traffic, and more. Analyzing this information and applying calculated changes to your site will draw more eyes to your nonprofit's online identity. USNI, for instance, uses Google Analytics to trace each visitor's flow through their site and MCA captures each visitor's method of website access (operating system, browser, etc...). By understanding these metrics each nonprofit can optimize their website to stimulate interest and return visits.
Social media integration is another important aspect of nonprofit websites because people are using these channels to access information their friends, family, and colleagues are sharing. By integrating social media sharing within your website's content you empower visitors to direct their followers to your website and encourage new visitors. MCA&F, ROA, and USNI prominently display their social media accounts across their website's header, which makes connecting to their audience a one-click process. The importance of this simplicity can't be overstated.
A strong comment management platform will help alleviate the influx of spam comments appearing on your website and will reduce the man-hours spent pruning spam from legitimate visitor comments. Making comments available on your website is a great way to allow visitors to connect and interact with your organization but they require vigilant monitoring. MCA&F, ROA, and USNI all use Disqus to manage their user comments, taking pressure off of their Administrators to wade through and determine comment legitimacy and relevance. Offloading management tasks to a module allows a nonprofit to make better use of their Administrators' time, helping to maximize the value of their people.
Nonprofits can synchronize published content to Drupal through the use of a migration module that pulls content into the site, publishes, and relates it to other content on the site. With a bit of custom development and fine tuning a migration module can be used to turn an empty website into a content-rich destination in a matter of hours. The migration module can also be leveraged to update the site with new periodicals and issues. Nonprofits, such as MCA&F and ROA, save hundreds of hours a year with this module by not having to manually import content.
The best websites for nonprofits use these tools to expand their reach and boost value to their members. Have a question? Contact us today.
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