Maybe you’ve heard this advice: Treat your nonprofit website like an employee. That means setting performance standards for it. But it also means investing ongoing time (supervision) and money (salary) into it. You can’t set it and forget it — your website — any more than you would an employee on your staff.
Your Nonprofit Website as a Human Employee Is Still Good Advice
Given all the chatter about AI (artificial intelligence) replacing people and how your nonprofit should use AI, you may wonder how that affects your website. If AI-driven search will have all the answers, do we even need websites?
The answer is YES; you still need a website. That’s because you need a place online where you control the content, and now even more importantly, the conclusions about that content.
When the question is, “What do we put in our email, on social media, on our website, etc.,” our answer at Nonprofit Marketing Guide is to put P.U.T in your content – to make it Personal, Useful, and Timely.
We all love useful content: FAQs, how-to guides, lists, and more lists, and the like, because it’s, well, so useful.
But AI is often just as good or even better than we are at drafting that mostly process and fact-based useful content.
Where is AI not so great? The personal and the timely. With few exceptions, it’s awkward at personalization. And its brain is based entirely on old content.
That brings us back to your website. Should you still write useful articles? Of course! Do you still need a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy? Of course!
But I strongly encourage you to use a more human writing style and to add fresh content. In other words, treat your website like a human employee that you expect to talk to others and represent your organization as if it were a person. Expect it to be up-to-date on what’s going on in the world.
Here are some good ways to think about this.
Add More Personal Content to Your Website
Wherever you can, add more human voices and human experiences to your nonprofit’s website. Here’s how . . .
- Tell even more stories.
- Lean into thought leadership writing where you share opinions and insights.
- Share more first-person accounts.
- Do more personal videos.
- Edit how-to and other “easy-for-AI” website content by adding more first-person lessons or behind-the-scenes accounts with details that prove a person wrote it.
- Include more direct and attributed quotes from real people.
- Uses phrases like, “We believe . . .”
- Prove the human writers are there behind your nonprofit website with bylines and bios. Maybe even let your writers develop their own recognizable writing styles.
- Lean into brand and reputation building as a marketing goal so people will want to hear from you directly, not from a compilation of anonymous voices via AI.
- Allow commenting, posting reviews, or other user engagement with the content, such as taking quizzes and posting results.
- Be clear about who you are talking to with your website content. As AI gets better at knowing who is asking the question, it will want to direct people to content developed specifically for that audience.
Add More Timely Content to Your Website
Don’t set it and forget it. Get in there more often. If you aren’t using the blogging function on your website, you should (even if you don’t call it a blog).
- Update all of your nonprofit’s important website content more regularly.
- Respond to breaking news or cultural moments with relevant insights and resources.
- Use polling and surveying to create new data and research to share. Bonus: Include how people feel about topics in that data.
- Don’t be stingy with your own expertise. As your knowledge and experience grow, share it sooner than later on your nonprofit’s website.
- Reference breaking news or other timely topics in your content introductions (and on evergreen pages, remember to go back on regularly update those references).
We recommend checking out these articles that helped refine some of our advice in this post (none of which was generated by AI!):