The Most Effective Ways to Gain Memberships for Your Nonprofit

Imagine you’re in charge of a nonprofit organization and your number one goal is growing membership. How would you go about achieving this goal? Would you focus on reaching a broad audience or stay local?

Unless you’re also a marketing expert, growing membership for any organization can be a challenging task. There’s seemingly no end to the research, options and decisions to make, not to mention the pressure. Because of this, it’s often in your best interest to consult with or hire a professional, like Signify Studio, to point you in the right direction.

Although community events, word of mouth, and passing out fliers are effective marketing efforts in their own right, the technology of 2017 makes having a website an absolute must. People increasingly rely on the web to get information about anything and everything. This means it’s essential that your organization not only has a website, but also has an abundance of easy-to-find information available.

There are numerous ways to get your organization out there and seen by the world, which will, in turn, increase membership. Here are a few of the main elements we recommend starting with:


Your website design influences how your group or organization is perceived, so it’s important to put your best foot forward.

  • Layout- In short, keep it simple. A cluttered site is confusing and hard to read, so make sure the design and content layout are easy on the eyes. It’s also important to make sure it’s responsive and works how it should on mobile devices.
  • Color-Having a bunch of competing colors makes for a busy, loud site that’s a turnoff for most readers. Stick with a few colors for a streamlined aesthetic.
  • Graphics- Use real photos wherever possible to convey a personal message. Everything should match your group’s message. For example, a flower shop would use images of flowers in flattering, whimsical colors, and avoid using much black.


One of the most important aspects of web design is to make it clear who you are and what you do. A person should be able to tell within seconds what your mission is, otherwise they’ll move on and you’ll lose their potential membership. People generally don’t want to have to try hard to find information, so make it easy for them. Encourage engagement by using large buttons marking where to donate, download, share, follow you on social media, etc. It’s also a great idea to offer multiple opportunities for engagement. Place donate/download buttons strategically encouraging them to sign up for emails, subscribe to your newsletter, and download your ebook.

Make sure your contact information (phone number, street address, important email addresses, etc.) is repeated on every page. If a person can’t easily find out how to contact you, they’re likely to move on without engaging.

Get Personal

Nowadays, it’s crucial to reach your audience on a personal level. People generally want to be aligned with a cause that invokes positive emotion and appealing to them on that level increases the chance they’ll connect with you, donate, or join your cause.

Your website should tell your group’s story through various types of content. Use real photos whenever possible for authenticity. Infographics, videos, testimonials, and relatable “feel-good” articles are also great ways to establish a personal connection. Always avoid any negative or controversial topics or you risk losing their engagement.

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