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Questions to Ask Your Organization
Why should your organization have a web site?

Information technology is driving the economy and changing the way we live and work. And nonprofits are the driving force in making our communities better places to live and work.

For many people, the Internet is becoming their preferred way to access information, from the latest news to ideas for recreation.Therefore, an online presence serves a not-for-profit or public sector agency organization well, and the core of this online presence is usually a Web site of its own.

What are the functions of a web site?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What end results does your organization hope to achieve from its Web page?
  • How does using the Web mesh with your existing marketing goals?
  • How can a Web page enhance your existing marketing gaols and objectives
  • What efficiencies can be realized through doing business electronically?

What results can youexpect as a nonprofit organization? A Web page can strengthen existing relationships with your current audience and draw new people to your organization's programs. A Web page can help improve customer serve. A Web page enables you to get information to interested people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (And it is a lot cheaper than paying someone to stuff envelopes, answer the phone, or work third shift.) Visitors download information such as directions to your facility; date, times and prices of upcoming events/deadlines. They leave their "snail mail" addresses on the site, providing an inexpensive way to build lists for direct mail campaigns. And they use e-mail to volunteer, to learn more about events they have attended or interact with your administrative staff.

Who is in your web site audience?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What audience do you hope to reach?
  • What is their location?
  • What type of computer/software would be available to this audience?
  • What do you want your audience to do or think after and during their visit?

As with any other marketing planning process, the single most important planning consideration is your audience. You should find out if your current audience has the technology to view your Web page. Conversely, is there a particular segment of the "online" world that you'd like to reach? This is often the younger college-aged crowd and most mid-career professionals. Learn as much as you can about the various consumer segments using the Web.

What are the major components of a web site?
  • Web Design
  • Graphics Design
  • Programming
  • HTML Coding
  • Maintenance
  • Online Promotion
  • Recruit/Manage Volunteers
You may also require:

A Modem
Which modem is best for you:

Internet Service Provider
Local Internet Dial-up Service Companies:
What to ask when considering signing up: http://gea.nm.sik.si/silicon_graphics/ISP.choose.html#questions
Comparisons of National Providers:

Site Hosting
Metropolitan Austin Interactive Network Free Sites:
Non-profit Free Hosting:
Web host lists:

Your own domain name
Cost for 2 years is $70 to purchase, but many ISP's will not host or will charge more to host you

Web sites that get the job done well:

1. Boys and Girls Clubs:
2. and a contrasting website
3. Austin Living Wage Coalition:
4. Austin Butterfly Forum:
5. Austin Organic Gardeners:
6. DOVIA Directors of Volunteers in Austin:
7. Parents Anonymous:

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Last Updated: 10/30/03
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