Five love languages for your charity’s website

publication date: Feb 26, 2014
author/source: Todd Jamieson

Todd Jamieson photoThe days are getting longer; soon spring will be on its way and love will be in the air. But do your donors (and potential donors) love you back? 

In Dr. Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages, he talks about five different emotional languages that couples use to connect. While your website is inanimate and computers have no feelings (yet), the ideas in the book are worth considering when it comes to your website. This is because the words, images and technology you use on your website can make a huge impact on whether your visitors show you love by donating or engaging with your organization.

How do you start the good feelings flowing? By communicating in the right language. Your site needs to give the kind of love that makes users say:

1. “You look good to me!” Your site should not only look pretty and be designed for 2014, but it also needs to connect with visitors using imagery that clearly resonates with them and is in line with your cause.

2. “We can spend quality time together anywhere.” Your site is responsive or mobile friendly and looks just as good on your iPhone when you are waiting for a doctor’s appointment as when you are at home on your laptop.

3. “You tell meaningful stories.” According to Fraser Green of charity marketing specialists Good Works, “The jury is in. The brain research is conclusive. Nothing - absolutely nothing - imparts information from one person to another more powerfully than storytelling.”  There is some amazing science behind this. One study in the Scientific American by R. Douglas Fields used brain scans to show that a storyteller and an active listener’s brains begin to synchronize!

4. “You understand what’s important to me, and I believe in what you are doing.” Green states that there are six magic questions that most donors will ask when visiting your website. Does your site give the right answer?

5. “You really listen to me.” Your site needs to be set up to track website metrics. And — this is key — you actually need to take action on what your web data is telling you. That could mean changing images, or making your conversion pages easier to complete.

Be a cause they love

Just like in real life, to get love you need to give love. Creating a website that donors will love does take extra work and consistent attention. But at the end of the day, it’s worth all the effort as the love grows. That’s the magic of making a real connection with people who truly love what your charity stands for.

A tireless explorer of new developments on the web, Todd Jamieson has been keeping pace with its constant changes since 1996. Through, Todd and his firm have worked with over 100 non-profits and charities. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and two young boys. Follow him via twitter.

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