Having a Secure Website and Why It’s Crucial to Your Nonprofit

May 5, 2022

Trust and security are vital to attracting and retaining the donors or organization needs to succeed, especially online. Nonprofits store important data that’s at risk if they don’t take steps to ensure website security. The safety of donating on your website shouldn’t be a factor your supporters have to consider.
 
Two dobermans sitting at a table with a laptop as security
 

A secure website could increase your funds

 
If you run a nonprofit, you’ve felt the excitement of potential donors knocking at your door. You’ve also experienced dreadful fallbacks when your funds have decreased. A secure website does more than keep your data safe — it gives a trusting experience for site visitors. And trust is a crucial aspect of your donor relationships. Trust will place you on a path that leads to more, loyal donors for your organization.

Let’s talk about how website security can build trust…

 

Increase trust in your visitors

 
Maintaining public and donor trust is essential for the third sector. And it’s easy to lose trust if you don’t make efforts to establish online security.

Imagine browsing a site and seeing it flagged as ‘not secure’. Would you spend more of your time on it? What if it was a website that asked for your credit card information? This uncertainty creates hesitance for potential donors, which is a problem for nonprofits. It means your organization could be missing out on donations without even realizing it. There are two simple and important measures you can take to increase users’ trust when they visit your site:

  1. Get an SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer). An SSL tells users your site is secure and gives your website authenticity. This shows up in your URL with “HTTPS”, rather than only “HTTP”. When you use HTTPS it also ranks your website higher among search engines. A win-win!
  2. Include your nonprofit’s Employee Identification Number (EIN). This lets users verify your tax-exempt status which legitimizes your site. Additionally, it helps users feel safe in giving their credit card information.

As important as it is to gain your donors’ trust, it’s equally important to protect their information. This is critical today, where it seems like security breaches have become commonplace.
So, how can you make sure you’re not an easy target for hackers?

 

How to minimize risk

 
As an organization that depends on contributions, it’s vital to implement proper website security to ensure your users’ safety. There are a few ways you can minimize security risks:

  • Host your site with a reputable company. There are quite a few options out there, but SiteGround and Flywheel are our favorites. In addition to providing quality hosting at reasonable prices, they both offer excellent customer care and free standard SSL certificates.
  • Make sure your site and donor data are regularly backed up to prevent important data loss. With security breach incidents your data can get wiped clean. But, if you have your website contents and data backed up, you won’t have to deal with starting all over again. Backing up servers and data will save you money, resources, and time in the event of a breech.
  • Ensure that your site is kept up to date, uses supported software, and is regularly scanned for malware. Professional website maintenance is a simple solution. Be sure to discuss what is included in your maintenance plan so you don’t pay for services you don’t need, or worse, miss services you do need.

The bottom line is that your visitors need to have trust in your organization and know their personal information is safe. If you follow the simple tips in this post, your visitors will be more likely to engage with your secure website and donate to your cause.

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Ash Webb

Marketing Assistant

Brand Development, Copywriting & Targeted Messaging

Ash is our marketing assistant from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has always been passionate about helping others in creative ways. Ash focuses on assisting our clients with developing the voice and messaging of their brand.

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