If a chimp can do it so can your nonprofit

What can your nonprofit learn from a chimp about designing your website to totally meet your audience’s needs? Well if that chimp is MailChimp than apparently you can learn a lot. These email marketing geniuses have created a unique guide for their writers to think through what visitors are feeling and needing on every page of their website. It may sound arduous, but it’s actually a very easy example to follow.

Whether you are getting ready to build a whole new website for your nonprofit or thinking about updating your current one, we’d suggest you emulate MailChimp’s Voice and Tone guide to think through your content. (We’ve even got an easy worksheet below to help you.) Here’s an example from the guide:



Notice how it follows a very simple formula of identifying the users feelings while visiting each web page with a short quote from them to give you their perspective. This is then followed by a couple of tips to keep writing in line with the audiences needs and a quick example.

Let’s think through how this might be applied to your nonprofit’s donation page.

What are people feeling when they visit your donation page?

Eager to help

Want a sense of being part of something bigger than themselves

Happy to find a solution to a problem (e.g. hunger, education)

Apprehensive about giving their financial information

What they’re thinking?

“I really wish there wasn’t so much hunger right here in my community. I hope this gift makes things better for someone else.”

What 2-3 things do you need to say or have on this page to meet their needs?

Quick reminder of how they’re helping

Simple and professional giving form

Contact information

Here’s a great example of a donation page that does just this from Mercy Corps:


We like MailChimp’s simple formula so much that we’ve made you a worksheet for you to assess and tailor your website, enewsletter, blog or even print. Why not take one hour this week and complete a worksheet for each of the top 5 traffic pages of your website?

Download this worksheet

Want more?

This post by Nonprofit Tech 2.0 breaks down 11 great practices for your donation page

Check out our Creative Brief Worksheet which takes all these same themes and expands on them

Hear what the creator of the Voice & Tone guide has to say about it

Image thanks Flickr:Riley and Amos