Next to word-of-mouth and your program and organization partners, your website can be your best communication and recruitment channel for your fatherhood program. Your website can also be an important way to show funders your work with dads. (Funders often review websites to find organizations to fund and when reviewing proposals.)
Unfortunately, many direct-service providers do a poor job designing their websites (or portions of their websites) to communicate in a clear and compelling way the importance of dads and how they serve dads.
Not so with UIH Family Partners (Trento, NJ), an organization dedicated to serving dads that uses the 24/7 Dad® program. Their website is the best I've seen from a direct-service provider that shows in a clear and compelling way the importance of dads and how an organization serves them.
Although there might be a better website on which to model your own, you could do a lot worse than using theirs, regardless of whether your primary focus is serving dads or only one focus of several. Some of the design elements that stand out are:
- It's simple and easy to navigate. The top navigation menu has only seven links.
- It uses powerful videos to communicate the impact of the organization and the importance of dads. Please watch the five and a half minute video on the "Importance of Dads" page under the "About" link. It's quite moving as staff and dads (clients) discuss the organization's impact and importance of dads. The "About" link also provides access to their Mission and Vision statements, both of which are clear and concise.
- There's no wasted space or superfluous content. You don't have to scroll down a long way on any page to see all of the content.
- Visually it says "We serve dads." Pictures of dads are the first images you see when you go to their homepage.
- It clearly describes the seven programs and services they offer via the "Men" link. You don't have to guess at what they might offer.
- It tells different constituents (e.g. potential volunteers and corporate partners) exactly how to get involved via the pages associated with the "Get Involved" link.
- It includes a "Donate" link at the top of every page.
When you look at your website, what do you see? If it could use an upgrade that requires expertise your organization lacks, consider partnering with your local college or university's career department where students are looking to flex their newly-acquired design skills and are willing to work pro-bono to build their portfolio. There are also many website templates available at a low cost that make creating a website simple. Even a person without web design experience can create and edit web pages with ease. Websites such as wix.com and squarespace.com offer such templates.
If you haven't put enough effort into designing a clear and compelling website, get moving on designing one. If you don't, you're wasting an important tool in your service to dads.
Is your website simple and easy to navigate?
Do you use a balance of visual and written content to "show and tell" about your organization and its work with dads?
How much effort have you put into designing your website to show the importance of dads and how your organization serves them? Do fatherhood offerings get as much billing as programs for moms and kids?
Are you a dad looking for help? Please visit our Fatherhood Program Locator™ and enter your city and state on the map to find programs and resources in your community.