What's wrong with charity websites?

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Small charity websites, why are they not easier? We asked what really gets under your skin and makes your life more difficult: 

  • Slow pace of change, in many places there are hurdles to overcome, from communications barriers, through to delays from different departments -  

Monica inherited a complex project with her new job at a membership organisation. They were trying to introduce a new CRM system and wanted a new website to integrate with it. Her frustration has been the slow pace of change. Delays with the CRM system has held the website up and trying to ensure that everyone gets what they need from the new website has made communication and decision making slow and painful!

Wanting the website to do too much - there are often lots of competing demands on a website, and internal pressure as to why different pieces of information ought to be included on the website and particularly on the home page.

... has been struggling with how to make sure their new website provides information on the wide range of services they provide for people with disabilities. People have very strong feelings about important information that should be included, but getting everyone included has tended to create a website which is hard to make sense of.

Style over usability, a really common mistake many websites make, particularly when you are starting on a website,

.... from a research charity has a nice new website, which looks good, but has turned out not to offer them the options they want in terms of things like adding options to donate, or apply for roles. Her frustration is that they are stuck with their decision now as there is likely to be any more investment for a while.

No control websites get set up by well meaning volunteers, but you are left with a site which either takes months for any updates to get uploaded or worse you have no idea where or how to get changes made 

.... from a small environmental charity had a website built by a local company which has now moved, and they don’t know how to change the pages or update the newsletter (there isn’t an easy option).

Stuck on knowing where to start, for many organisations you've had conflicting advice which is overwhelming, you know making a mistake is not an option so you feel stuck.

...x from a large national charity has funds to invest in a great new website, but is bemused by all the different options and conflicting advice. available and not sure how to choose. They also need to find an option that doesn’t have significant ongoing costs, and don’t have revenue budget to cover this.”

”... is frustrated as they know they don’t have an effective web presence for their community organisation and aware it’s hard to get it right, but they feel over-awed by the task, and the risk of ‘getting it wrong’ when they do invest what little money they have.

How does this relate to you and your organisation? Do you relate to these issues? What would your top frustration be?